Before I had kids, I have to admit that although I wouldn’t consider myself a shopaholic, I did spend a majority — make that all — of my free time shopping. Bergdorf’s, Bloomie’s, Banana Republic — the store didn’t matter. Browsing the season’s newest offerings was my absolute favorite activity. I was a fashion editor living in New York City, after all, and part of my job was to know the trends, day in and day out. Well, fast-forward almost three years and two kids later, and now, as a busy suburban Long Island mommy, I’m lucky if I have five minutes to run to Whole Foods for a pound of organic turkey. So, I’ve done what many 30-something moms have, in order to get my fashion fix: I’ve turned to the Internet. Surfing shopping sites may not give me the high of actually strolling through Bergdorf’s shoe department, but these five sites come very close:
Just because I’m a mommy now doesn’t mean my teen-like obsession for all things celebrity has vanished as quickly as my once-flat abs. I still need to know the names of Rebecca Romjin’s twin girls, whether Zuma looks like Kingston (hope so!) and what Nicole Ritchie is wearing as she pushes Harlow in her $900 Orbit stroller. Singer22.com features paparazzi pics of starlets like Katie Holmes and Ashlee Simpson with captions on what they are wearing. So, you like the PRPS plaid tunic on Katie or the J Brand low-rise jeans on Ashlee? Just click to buy them. It’s that easy.
Before bath time, bottles and the Backyardigans became part of my nightly routine, I spent hours researching the latest bags, blazers and bras in my favorite fashion mags. Now, with my free time at a minimum, all I have to do is visit Shopbop.com, which is the fashion equivalent of Cliffs Notes. I simply click on Shop By Trend, and within three minutes, I’ve learned that Florals, Neon and Frontier-inspired looks are all in for spring. Shopbop’s offerings include brands from hip designer moms like Tory Burch, Shoshanna and Alice + Olivia.
During my second pregnancy (I had a son, Jordan, six months ago), I was too tired to even think about shopping. Just the idea of schlepping my 2-year-old daughter, Chloe, to the mall in my third trimester was almost as scary as acting on my anchovy craving. So when I discovered my already favorite site for shoes, Zappos.com, offered the cool maternity brands Belabumbum and Chiarakruza (Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner are fans, respectively), I fell in love with the store all over again. Now that I’m (almost!) back to my pre-baby body, I happily order from their non-maternity selections, including Ella Moss tees, Joie boho tops and flattering Rock & Republic jeans. The items arrive quickly, and free shipping and returns make it a no-brainer.
If you’re like me and can’t get enough of sample sales (the deals! the competition! the fab, one-of-a-kind finds!), then this site is right up your alley. Two women in their 30s — a founding member of eBay and her fashionista-exec friend — teamed up to create a site that offers daily virtual sample sales with merchandise from top designers (including men’s, women’s and kids’ lines), from Ralph Lauren to Missoni to Vera Wang, for up to 70 percent off. Sales start daily at noon and, like true sample sales, it’s on a first-come, first-served basis. So do like I do: Put the kiddies down for their midday naps early, and then shop away! The site is by invitation only, but Betty fans can go here to sign up.
With the recession in full swing, it’s refreshing to come across a fashion site where most of the clothing and accessories cost less than a can of baby formula. Yes, my teenage baby-sitter and her friends all rave about Forever 21, but for good reason: The store offers on-trend pieces that are a good fit for your body and for your budget. I’m obsessed with the long, comfy tees and tunics that give their pricey department-store counterparts (Splendid, James Perse, Michael Stars) a reason to worry. Just choose wisely, as some looks are better left to the Hannah Montana set.