clock menu more-arrow no yes
Photo: Need Supply

The Best Places to Shop Online

These days, if you’re not shopping online, you’re probably just not shopping, period. Amazon Prime and ASOS have made it easier than ever to fill a closet without leaving your house, and the options on the world wide web are endless, with new direct-to-consumer brands and online boutiques popping up quite literally every day. Here are the sites that set themselves above the rest; for even more specifics, see our guides on shopping for sweaters, coats, lingerie, beauty products, and jewelry online.


The Big Multibrand Retailers

From Net-a-Porter to Moda Operandi to Shopbop, here’s where to go when you want a ton of options (and are ready to splurge a bit, too).

Barneys: Barneys’ website gives you the same experience you’d expect at its flagships: impeccable curation, exclusive designer collaborations, and eyes on emerging talent. In recent years, the brand has added an editorial section called The Window, but the best online asset might be Barneys Warehouse, where you can snag crazy discounts without having to sort through any crap.

Farfetch: One site, a zillion international boutiques. That means exclusives, rare finds, and obscure designers you’d have to travel to Mumbai, Tokyo, or Berlin to shop, all in one URL.

Net-a-Porter: Net-a-Porter is the OG of luxury online shopping with over a decade of delivering the world’s top-tier labels through the magic of the web. Gorgeous designer gowns, jackets, and bags float on a white background like little works of art to scroll through. For men’s, head to the just-as-glossy sister (brother?) site, Mr Porter.

Matchesfashion: The UK-based high-end retailer Matchesfashion is another solid option for shopping the big-name designers all in one space, from Gucci to Saint Laurent to Vetements. The site carries both men’s and women’s and also offers cool digital trunk shows featuring collaborations with designers that are exclusive to the site.

Moda Operandi: No one does pre-order quite like Moda Operandi, but the site has grown considerably from its early days of order-and-wait. MO now includes a boutique section where you can shop dozens of big designer names year-round, with curated-by-category shops and inspirational editorial content to boot. (And psst, the site is currently running a 50%-off sale, which will crank up through Black Friday week.)

SSENSE: The Canadian-based retailer stocks a hearty selection of high-end ready-to-wear and accessories for men and women with unifying principles of crisp, minimal, and forward. The site’s design mimics that ethos with little clutter, hyper-clear images, and not a serif in sight.

Like what you're reading?

Get the Racked newsletter for even more great stories, every day.

Shopbop: The selection here is great for mid-range and everyday (think lots of denim and loungewear from brands like Mother and James Perse), with accessories-only offerings from higher-end brands like Gucci and Prada. What sets the site apart, though, is its thoughtful editorial and styling content that, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, makes navigating through the huge selection a lot easier.

The Outnet: From the people behind Net-a-Porter comes one of the best places to shop for marked-down designer pieces — if it weren’t for the reduced prices listed under each garment, you probably wouldn’t even notice you were on a discount site. Plus, crisp product photography, trend-based styling guides, and a reliable customer service desk are all there to guide your purchases.

Totokaelo: The web extension of a Seattle store — which now has a beautiful outpost in New York City as well — is all things airy minimalism. The designer roster includes a great in-house label plus heavy-hitters like Comme des Garçons, Issey Miyake, Jacquemus, Marni, Vetements, and so much more.

Yoox: Yoox is a massive luxury brand discount site best navigated with many filters and plenty of time to click around. There are hundreds and hundreds of brands to shop — seriously, check out this designer index — making it nearly impossible to leave without a full cart.


The Best Indie Sites

The sites supporting independent and up-and-coming designers.

Creatures of Comfort: This boutique’s New York and LA storefronts are must-shops if you find yourself in either city. If not, the online experience will certainly do. Designers here are pretty mid-range (Acne, Carol Callahan, Mansur Gavriel, Robert Clergerie), but the tight edit and clean e-comm navigation set it apart from the rest of the pack.

The Dreslyn: From Rick Owens Lilies dresses to Kowtow printed jumpsuits, The Dreslyn carries a huge range of pieces by of-the-moment designers, including lots of new discoveries. The LA-based site always seems to have some sale or promotion going on that makes out-of-reach items suddenly attainable.

Garmentory: Almost like an indie-er version of Farfetch, Garmentory represents hundreds of small stores and designers from across the globe, including some of the coolest boutiques in Portland, San Francisco, Brooklyn, and beyond. The style skews minimalist, and the "make an offer" feature for items on super sale really sweetens the deal.

La Garçonne: Despite its Manhattan storefront, this boutique’s roots are in e-commerce, and its excellent online presence is an homage to restrained luxury in a palette of black, white, and maybe cream. Dozens of up-and-comers saddle up with major fashion houses for an edit that’s heavy on forever pieces styled in a forward-thinking way.

Lisa Says Gah: Lisa Says Gah, founded by former Nasty Gal buyer Lisa Williams, is known for its thoughtful selection and editorial-like product photos. The shop stocks a tight edit from indie heavy hitters like Rachel Comey and Maryam Nassir Zadeh as well as of-the-moment newcomers like Loq, with tons of new discovery brands in between.

Need Supply Co.: Need Supply is one of the best true boutiques online (its brick-and-mortar is in Richmond, Virginia), offering a host of brands at a variety of price points and starting off with relatively affordable picks from labels like Intentionally Blank and Ganni, plus actually affordable options from exclusive lines Stelen and Farrow. Launched last spring, the brand’s in-house line, Need, is a great bet for wear-everyday basics. Oh, and the store’s sales are killer, so you might want to sign up for its newsletter.

Of a Kind: Of a Kind finds which designers to watch out for before anyone else does and has them create limited-edition capsule collections. This is a foolproof place to lock down a thoughtful gift, especially in the home and accessory departments, but the clothing and jewelry is definitely not to be missed, either.

Opening Ceremony: Once simply a quirky boutique, now a fashion force to be reckoned with. Find brand-new designers, niche lines from around the world, exclusives from big-name brands, and the store’s own in-house line in the expansive mix that’s never, ever boring.

Tictail: An online marketplace for independent brands based all around the world, Tictail is where you should browse if you’re looking to discover new names before the rest of your friend group does. Styles range from very avant-garde to perfectly casual, and prices start as low as $6 for a top.


That Sweet Spot

The brands to shop when youre willing to spend more than a hundo, but still less than two.

Aritzia: The Canadian boutique chain mostly sells in-house lines like Wilfred and Babaton, and the edit errs on the side of simple tops, pants, and dresses that do just as well at work as they do on a night out. Prices can feel a bit high for certain pieces, so your best bet is to wait for the sales.

COS: H&M-owned COS (an acronym for "collection of style") launched in the US a few years ago with an online shop and several brick-and-mortar spots, accelerating the heartbeats of art directors, gallery owners, and conceptual architects across the nation. The aesthetic is minimal but forward-thinking in fabrics that last and at prices that aren’t astronomical.

Eloquii: The women’s clothing, shoe, and accessories brand has been a game-changer in the plus-size world, offering a wide selection of merchandise for sizes 14 through 28 that is on-trend and affordable. The "Style and Substance" portion of the website is dedicated to editorial photo shoots, interviews, and style tips, and it spotlights members of its constantly growing fanbase through an Instagram carousel.

Everlane: One of the early pioneers of the cut-out-the-middleman movement (also known by the buzzy phrase direct-to-consumer), Everlane has grown far beyond the basic tees it started out with. Its successful strategy of slowly rolling out new products has cemented the brand as a go-to destination for classics; the company’s shoe collection is especially good, with made-in-Italy leather loafers coming in under $200.

Frank + Oak: Menswear brand Frank + Oak finally launched a women’s line in mid-2016, and it’s every bit as wearable, cool, and actually affordable as the men’s collection (sweaters start around $55, dresses at $65, and jackets around $145). The style of the clothes is minimalist meets preppy without trying too hard; it sort of looks like Everlane, American Apparel, and Gap had a baby.

Loéil: This LA-designed, Korea-made brand has up-to-the-minute trends for wildly inexpensive prices — shoes are generally under $80, dresses and skirts are under $150 (with many under $100), and most bags are under $100. Some of the styles might look a bit too familiar, if you know what we mean, but you’ll feel better about buying knockoffs from an indie label with sustainable production practices than you will scoping the racks at Zara, if that’s what you’re after.

Lou & Grey: Another ampersand brand, Lou & Grey makes great basics with feminine touches. The brand has you covered with everything from workout clothes to work outfits to party dresses; the sweaters are particularly great. While clothes start at under $20, most items fall in the $50-to-$100 range. Always-free shipping doesn’t hurt, either.

Oak + Fort: Not to be confused with Frank + Oak, Oak + Fort is an amazing source for simple, minimalist clothes you can wear to work or for the weekend. Think lots of neutrals in nice fabrics cut in super on-trend, modern silhouettes, as well as classic ones; you’re as likely to find a perfect T-shirt or crewneck sweater as you are a cool drape-y top, apron dress, jumpsuit, or bell-sleeved shirt. The shoes and accessories are also on point, and to top it all off, most items are under $100.

Universal Standard: Though only a year old, this clothing and accessories brand is also making a name for itself in the plus-size category, with a size range that begins at 10 and goes up to 28. The collections are centered around neutral-colored basics in quality fabrics — think black, gray, olive, and white button-down shirts and tops, vegan leather skirts, dark denim jeans, knit capes, jackets, and more in the $60-to-$230 range.


Resale and Vintage

The top (legit) online consignment shops.

Re-See: This site is great for super rare high-end vintage and gently used designer items from past collections. Most of the pieces are handpicked by the site’s founders, but the site also occasionally accepts consignment from users. You won’t find any deals here, but you will find some really special items that range from 1940s mink coats to YSL jeans.

The RealReal: The site’s tagline of "authenticated luxury consignment" sums it up pretty well: This is the No. 1 spot to shop pre-owned designer goods on the web — we’re talking Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel at up to 90 percent off.

Vestiaire Collective: Sébastien Fabre’s hyper-curated resale marketplace doesn’t just stock verified designer goods in perfect condition — the items are all right on trend, too. It’s like eBay for people with good taste.

Looking for menswear? Check out our list of the best online stores for men.


Science & Health

The fall equinox is Wednesday. Here are 8 things to know about the first day of autumn.

Recode

How to make your job search suck a little less

Recode

Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired

View all stories in The Latest