As the multi-brand etail market continues to evolve, the originators have their work cut out. How to keep attracting new customers in the face of increased competition? How to tackle the issues of fit and returns? How to differentiate from all the copycats out there? And how to deliver an outstanding service to keep customers coming back?
My-wardrobe.com has a new service that aims to tackle some of these concerns and I was asked to try it out.* As I’m easily put off online shopping by time consuming returns processes, this one had instant appeal.
The service is called my-dressing room and is offered to My-wardrobe’s Silver, Gold and Black tier members. It’s a try-before-you-buy idea which lets you order a number of items, have them shipped to you free of charge, and only once you have decided what to keep do you get billed. You receive an email a couple of days later asking what you’re keeping and the remainder gets picked up by courier, also free of charge.
I know that a lot of people choose online shopping so they can try things on in the comfort of their own home, with their own things. They will frequently order six dresses, knowing they’ll only keep one. Or they’ll order the same item in several sizes so they can settle on the best fitting one. So forking out £500 when you only plan to spend £100 can be a pain, especially when you factor in the time it sometimes takes to get refunded.
To test the Black tier service, I’d planned to pick out a few statement pieces from my-wardrobe’s London Lab designers. But much as I admire J.W. Anderson, Meadham Kirchhoff et al, I don’t have much use for crystal hairslides and origami dresses right now.
So back to my comfort zone I went, adding white shirts, cashmere knits and chunky boots to my ‘dressing room’. I chose two types of Acne boot, a black Pistol boot (always fancied a pair) and a higher Colt boot in a lush oxblood shade (exclusive to My-Wardrobe). I also fell for a pair of salmon pink Paul Smith brogues – a beautiful summer shoe to wear with slim cream Joseph trousers (which I also ordered). Well, I guess I’d wear them if I lived somewhere reliably sunny like Tuscany, but in rainy west London, my common sense got the better of me. (Clearly however, some disagreed…)
Also in my dressing room went a Helmut Lang snake-print leather sweatshirt and a 3.1 Phillip Lim grey marl cropped sweatshirt. Of those two the Lim was perfect in every way except the cut was just a tad too boxy for my frame. A Carven white shirt was also on the roomy side and I decided I could live without the Carven cuff and Maria Francesca Pepe set of rings…for now.
So what did I keep? I was utterly thrilled with the Acne Colt boots. I know I’ll wear them to death as they’ll take a few knocks without looking too shabby too soon. At 100cm, the heel is high (for me) but chunky enough not to teeter and the cut hugs the ankle so you feel supported. My other keep was an Equipment bottle green cashmere crew neck. This is a classic cut in a rich colour which for some reason is never easy to find. Like my Equipment shirts, if I’m happy with this I’ll be repeat buying.
After mulling over my choices overnight I boxed up my returns and emailed My-wardrobe who gave me a time slot for my courier pickup. My credit card will only be charged for the items I kept and the overall experience is one of being thoroughly pampered. But while this service is certainly useful for customers, it’s not all altruism on the part of my-wardrobe. Do I detect some clever psychology at play? Once you have something desirable in your possession, it can be very hard to let it go, so although I’d been allotted a budget, I naturally found myself going over it. I mean, the goods are here, they’re super useful, they fit perfectly, I may as well keep them, right? And if I, the cautious, virgoan, methodical shopper can be seduced that easily then anyone can.
All things considered, I’d say that giving customers a free pass to play dress up with more items than they might really need is a canny move from My-wardrobe. But as a service, my-dresing room is a great reward for time-poor My-wardrobe loyalists who want a convenient way to shop online with all the tedious elements taken care of.
For more information on My-wardrobe’s my-dressing room, click here.
*Discosure: For the purpose of this review, I was given a budget to shop with by My-wardrobe
Just launched: Seek No Further, a new premium fashion line from the heritage utility brand, Fruit Of The Loom. I love these offbeat campaign images from the brand (shot by Colin Dodgson), which is said to harness a pioneering spirit, “inspired by yesterday’s visionaries, today’s trailblazers and tomorrow’s innovators”. Although we’ve all heard that before so the proof will be in the pudding… Continue reading
Love books? Love Bowie? Love Vuitton? Here’s a treat for you then. Louis Vuitton has tapped David Bowie as its latest guest curator for its Curated Bookshelf. A secret gem in itself, the ‘Librarie’ can be found in the Louis Vuitton Maison in London’s New Bond Street, one of a number of Vuitton book stores that reflect different themes. Continue reading
This month’s column from regular DRG contributor, fashion & retail insights expert Alison Bishop explores the latest moves in how taste-making got shoppable…
Since fashion is now shared instantly across social media, it’s no wonder how we shop for it has become more instant too. From Instagram to Pinterest and Tumblr, these platforms have become a visual marketplace for fashionistas, brands and retailers. Most important are the style leaders or ‘taste-makers’ that other users follow – and they’re the ones responsible for a new Shazam-style of shopping.
Snap it, search it, buy it
Just as another season’s month-long fashion week circus kicks off, there is a raft of new apps that target the street-style set with instant-hit fashion, at the click of a photo search. I’m calling this the ‘Shazamification of shopping’, since the practice of snapping what someone is wearing, then searching, then buying it, mimics the music identifying app Shazam. Last year Shazam announced it would broaden its service by recognising content from TV shows, so that when people ‘Shazam’ a show, they can link through to buy items worn by presenters or actors. Continue reading
Running a fast fashion empire is a tough old task! Aside from the sheer volume of product to be managed, there’s the competition to worry about, not to mention the cheap labour issues and carbon footprint headaches that entail from manufacturing overseas.
ASOS is one fast fashion company that’s tackling these issues in interesting and highly profitable ways. Last week I spent an insightful afternoon drinking in as much info as I could on a personal tour of its Stitching Academy, its brand new design studios, plus the infamous photo studios at ASOS HQ in Camden… Continue reading
This week is all about couture but did you know that alongside the gowns, there’s also the haute joaillerie to be wowed by? Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Boucheron, Chanel and the rest all showcase their top-tier diamonds, pearls and rubies; quite frankly, the frocks are small fry compared to this finery. Continue reading
I love that this exclusive Sophie-Webster-for-Net-a-Porter collection is called Ida. Ida Petersson is Net-a-Porter’s senior shoes buyer who I first met a few years ago when she was at Harvey Nichols. She’s like a bundle of energy in person, so it’s no surprise that she’s a fan of Webster, whose own aesthetic is equally high on the fizzy fun factor. Continue reading
We’re not even two weeks in and it’s already shaping up to be another good year for sneaker heads.
First, the surprise appearance of trainers (in thrice waxed leather or white velvet!) at Tom Ford’s AW14 menswear presentation. In fact the whole Tom Ford collection was casualised (below), so posh trainers aren’t too out of place…
Oh goody. In amongst all the tracksuity sport-luxe that’s dominating London Menswear for AW14, Burberry brings us the silk foulard. Slung jauntily around the shoulders of biker jackets and teddybear coats, it’s not the most macho look but it’s one I really love.
My favourite was a London map-print (old style, not Google-style thankfully), which also comes on a jazzy silk shirt. My other highlights were the handpainted grained leather Caban coats (£5,500), round-shouldered camel Chesterfield coat (£2,495) and split collared Aran sweater (£1,495).
I’m sure you have last minute gift guides coming out of your ears but I couldn’t not share these from Marks & Spencer.
While opinion may still be divided on its fashion offer (but I’ve seen Spring and I’m impressed), I think we can all agree that they’ve got the beauty buy just right. Continue reading