How much are you losing from buying from boutiques at full price?
Princess Polly She Blooms Dress, $70 | Little JC, $50 (You’re gonna have to take my word for it in absence of an online store)–UPDATE! Now available to buy minus petticoat at SES for the bargain price of $25!
Dish, Princess Polly, Sunnygirl, and many other so-called “high end” boutiques in Australia are no more high end than your local Ice, Temt, or Ally Fashion. (Now with proof!) Everything comes from suppliers in China who make the same stuff as each other. Sometimes they produce lines at high quality, and sometimes their lines come out looking shocking, with loose threads, weak seams, and faulty zippers.
Really, I would argue that boutiques like these are no better than rip-off websites like Romwe, Sheinside and Oasap. They both contain a mixture of ridiculously marked up Alibaba stock and otherwise stock that is seemingly impossible to find anywhere else. I made the purchase of that floral dress in the first picture with full knowledge that I’ve never seen something like that on any of my online trawls (and I’ve been everywhere, man), even though I had already seen it in several different boutiques in Australia for way more than it’s actually worth. Knowing now that it comes in a different colour makes me all the more eager to find it, but it’s trickier than you think!
The difference between “high-end” boutiques and low-end stores like Ally Fashion, Temt, Valleygirl, etc, is not always just a difference in quality. While the latter stores do get their things from Chinese warehouses as well, you will not find them charging half as much as the high-end stores do, and for what? It’s not couture, girls! Same with jewelry and bags–I’ve never failed at tracking down a boutique bag on AliExpress when something pretty catches my eye!
A good indication of whether or not a store mass-buys their items from a Chinese wholesaler is if you’ve got the niggling feeling that you’ve seen that particular print before. Old followers of mine on Instagram will remember the dress that I found in a Queen Street boutique that had that same horrible yellowish -multi-coloured flower print fabric that I’ve seen featured on a pair of pants from Ice. Now, I can’t even unsee that pattern, I recognize it everywhere! Another pattern that I’ve seen everywhere is the tropicana print that you see in this post. I have spotted so many different items utilizing this same print, from bralette tops to short shorts, dresses to leggings. I see it everywhere! A distinct mark of a store that buys their stuff from Chinese wholesalers.
Living near Stones Corner offers me many opportunities to visit the small, humble boutiques that reside there–specifically two of my favorite called Little JC and Oz Jeans. Oz Jeans frequently has “nothing over $30” sales (and they mean $30, unlike those stores in Queen Street mall who have those “Nothing under $30, except for items over $30!” sales) and I’ve taken note of a couple of dresses in there that are also sold on Princess Polly and Dissh, as with the dresses I’ve found in Little JC, which also has frequent sales, albeit not frequent enough!
Now the point of this post wasn’t to shame any aforementioned boutiques, but to serve as a warning to their buyers–before laying down your hard-earned cash on that pricey dress you see in the window.. have a peek online. Check out AliExpress, try to Google it (e.g. “cat face dress site:aliexpress.com” or something like that) and scroll through Google Images for anything familiar. Be aware that Australian retailers are notorious for marking up stock for way more than it’s worth. When you’ve done that–try the dress on in the store, if it fits and the quality is up to par with your standards, buy that baby online!