Newest Review: ... from coats to necklaces, and that there is a huge variety of brands and prices. ASOS' own brand label is of very good quality ... more
To ASOS or not to ASOS?
Member Name: musicmad2020
Date: 26/08/10, updated on 18/06/11 (248 review reads)
Advantages: exstenstive range, flexible prices
Disadvantages: some items cheaply made, doesn't cater for less fashion junkie styles
In terms of online shopping, particularly UK high street stores, it's either a brilliant experience or it can leave alot to be desired. I have ordered with Topshop, Miss Selfridge to name a few and a couple of years ago I discovered the solely online store, ASOS.
To give you some background information, ASOS was launched in June 2000, and claims to be the UK's largest Fashion and Beauty retailer. It is a store that caters for men and woman, as well as having a kids range. It's products are often featured in fashion magazines, particularly Elle and Look and it also has a Facebook page with info and help with order tracking.
In terms of it's website, it is simple and clearcut, making very easy to navigate. Each item of clothing, i.e "Tops" or "Dresses" has it's own section which if you click on it, then gives you interchangeable options to determine the size or colour of the items shown. Whilst on the topic of sizes, they do cater for UK sizes 6-20 in the womens section. On the Men's section, it shows sizes for S-XL, which isn't particularly helpful, however there is also a size chart with specific measurements to aid sizing issues.
When it comes down to the types of clothing you can buy on ASOS, I genuinely believe they cater for all occasions, from daywear to workwear, eveningwear and even holiday wear. There is also a good range of sleepwear and accessories, so you could do a decent clothes shop on here without having to rely on other brands for particular items.
With this amazing range, brings some downsides. On it's website, ASOS writes that it is "Aimed primarily at fashion forward 16-34 year olds". I personally find that ASOS has a particular style to it, in that you have to be a certain type of person to wear the majority of it's clothes. For example I have just clicked on the "Tops" section, whereby I am initially greeted by frills, lace and bold patterns - none of which suit my personal style and I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable in them. Having said that, the interchangeable options means you can sift through and find items more tailored to your own style, however I believe they generally cater more for the especially fashion conscious, rather than everyday folk who just want to update their wardrobe!
Speaking of everyday wear for everyday folk, ASOS has it's own outlet label, which I have purchased from before (this also covers ASOS basics). Although it does give a really good range of basic tops, and everything else designed for everyday wear, I found myself disappointed with the fact this range in my opinion poorly manufactured. I ordered a hoodie from this range, which was made from very thin material, which I thought was misleading compared to the picture. I would have rather paid a little more for something more substantial material wise!
The prices, particularly from the basics range are perhaps what makes ASOS so popular. Generally, providing it is not a branded item such as Mango, the prices are fairly reasonable. They aren't as cheap as perhaps New Look or River Island (especially as you do have to pay for delivery), but they are not outrageous either. Dresses range from £15 to £150 so it certainly is budget friendly in that prices do vary, and there are often reductions and sales too.
Each item that is sold on ASOS has an accompanying picture, which shows an immaculate, tanned model wear the item as well as there being a catwalk video to it. I think it is helpful that you can really get a decent look at an item, particularly in terms of evening wear and dresses as you want to look your best yet it's not always easy to judge when you are not buying the item from a shop and so can't try it on. I would say though, that I find the models a little patronising as not everyone looks like that! It almost seems like false advertising, however that is just my opinion. I definitely think they should include paler skin models that are not up to their eyeballs in fake tan and also plus sized models, as this would be more realistic! I know they are trying to appeal to the fashion conscious, but I think there should also be a level of conscience in there too. As they sell up to a size 20, I definitely think there should be a better representation of this, as each item appears to be shown on a size 6/8 model.
As well as featuring other brands within the main ranges, there is also a designer section on the site. This sells brands such as House of Holland, Mc Queen, Whistles, Paul by Paul Smith and a host of other brands. As you would imagine, designer comes with designer prices and therefore is way out of my price range as the average item is £120! Although there is a sizable range of clothes on there, I personally find they are not to my taste and don't stand out as being anything special. Having said that, it is a good addition to the site as it again means you don't have to look to other retailers for the high end fashion brands.
In terms of delivery, I have nothing but praise for ASOS as my items have always arrived on time and promptly. There is a vast number of delivery options which again isn't something I have found with other retailers, particularly Topshop. ASOS states "Free Delivery & Returns" on all orders, however I believe there are some conditions attached to this, such as a longer delivery time. Same day delivery is £7.95 (why not just make it £8?!) if ordered by 2pm that day, which I would imagine is pretty handy if you are going out the following day and need something to wear!
When items arrive from ASOS they will either arrive in a brown paper bag packing or a box, depending on what/how much you have ordered. The only thing I would say is there is a fair amount of plastic packaging which is not recyclable and they claim to be a carbon neutral company, so I think they should definitely reduce all the rubbish you get in each parcel! Other than that I think the delivery service is fantastic and I have never had a bad experience with them.
All in all, ASOS is generally a pleasant online shopping experience. It doesn't always give me something that suits my personal style, however given there is a extensive range which is constantly updated, it means I can usually have a good browse whenever I feel like some retail therapy without leaving the house. Having said that, I would like to see less of the ridiculous bow/lace horrific items and more of the practical and something you could wear everyday kind of items. I also think they should improve the quality of material, particular with their own ASOS range so items can be long lasting. Other than that, a great online retailer.
Summary: A great online retailer, but not a brand I can always rely on to suit me