Another Ambling Option
Member Name: AverageJoseph
Date: 28/06/12, updated on 29/06/12 (48 review reads)
Advantages: Different, Range, Clearance, Delivery Speed, Brands
Disadvantages: Email Confirmation, Item Descriptions, Prices, Styles
Getting tired of the same 2 menswear stores I normally shop from (Burton & Topman) in-store and online, I ventured onto several sites looking for modern clothing with decent prices. The problem is, not many have that slim fit style or up to date size guides - a 'small' polo shirt from Tesco for example, is more like a large by todays standards. eBay is also awash with bargains but you can never be too sure what you're buying, often receiving damaged goods, incorrect sizes or knock offs - the amount of clothing from Chinese sellers is bewilderingly terrifying. With Burton offering some safe clothing options for a preppy, grandpa or subdued, reserved look and Topman mostly providing the brash, attention seeking tat for an inflated price, I eventually stumbled upon Two Stoned. A British brand that offers its own line of clothes as well as offering several independent names including some well knowns: Diesel, G Star, Monkee Genes (personal favourite), Plims, Penguin, Replay and Super Dry. The site has a broad selection of: jeans, chinos, polos, t-shirts, button-shirts, vests, shorts and jackets along with some small choices of footwear and accessories.
Laid out well with a clean white background, the photos stand out superbly with young generic looking models in similar, genuine positions with a plain background - no dodgey posing or over the top focus on make up and hairstyles. A nice feature is that the images can all be displayed on one single page so you don't have to click through so many. Most images have 3 to check out, often with back and side view and a zoom function which activates when you hover over (sometimes a bit pixelated). There are sizing, colour options and price scales so you can set a colour scheme or budget whilst browsing. The best part of the site though is its 'clearance' tab. The first thing I click on, it lists hundreds of garments with slashed prices (I find it hard to believe that a standard polo shirt's RRP is £50 but hey ho). There are occasionally sales for short periods of time (as I write this there is a summer sale of 60% off) as well as emailing you with new arrivals and voucher codes for free delivery or discounts on specific brands. The customer care section is a bit limited, with only a couple of pages to answer any questions. The shopping basket isn't too great either as there is no log in and so, no personalised recommendations/wish list or more importantly, recollection of future, past or present purchases. An issue I encountered is with the email confirmation which takes several hours or even a whole day to confirm your purchase (considerably worrying if you've just spent a large amount of money and received no proof of purchase, not even an automatic email) I queried this and of course days later I receive an email claiming it was somehow 'my' fault that there was no email confirmation.. how does that work? - bit rude. Customer service typically take 24 hours to respond which isn't so bad as many other sites are far worse.
The first thing I noticed was that this site had the same styles you expect to see in the arcadia group stores but also many items that catch your eye, using different patterns, colour combinations and logos/imagery. A recurring trend I noticed was the appearance of being 2 items of clothing (like a sweater-vest and shirt underneath) stitched together making a one-piece ensemble. These may look decent at first but depending on the combination of clothes, can look rather silly when pointed out or unbuttoning your shirt to find it is attached to a cardigan. The Two Stoned badge is often emblazoned onto their own brand of clothing - which looks like it was made with a bead set - not massively displayed all over so you aren't a walking advert, in fact I haven't seen anyone else with the logo on them. Tops are available in Small to XXX-Large (sometimes sold out) but a considerably limited trouser size between 28 and 36. The majority of clothes are slim/muscle fit by default so if one where to prefer a baggy look, it would be best to go up in size. Its immediately evident with a rainbow of colour and young models that the overal look is one for teens through to early thirties max. The quality of the clothes is dependant on the brand but with my purchases I can safely say that most are of decent materials and half are still being worn to this day. One small reservation would be that some of the descriptions don't necessarily match the photographs - an image of grey/black chinos is described as 'tobacco'.
Prices, Payment & Delivery Method
As I stated before, you can expect to see simplistic shirts and average looking jeans in the area of 40-60 pounds. There are 3 options for (worldwide) delivery - UK standard 3-5 working days (always £4.99 and signed for), Next day delivery (a respectable £5.99) and Saturday special delivery (£15). UK Delivery is only free with orders that go over £100 - a bit steep unless you're buying two full priced shirts, in which case, you have money to burn there hombre. Clearance prices are a different story however with most shirts coming in around £15-25 which seems more like a realistic figure. The only explanation as to why some of the clothes are so expensive is that they are made in Britain, by small companies and chances are, you won't see many other people wearing them - whether thats because they are butt ugly or hard to come by is up to you. They only take credit cards (excluding American Express) so don't expect a paypal option. It is quite safe though as it uses the new protection system that requires 3 letters/digits of your personal password.
To sum up, Two Stoned does have a big collection, an expensive one that varies a fair bit, so it depends whether you're willing to spend a little bit more (or a hell of a lot more) to get a more unique wardrobe of trendy clothing. It's certainly a site that I still like to peruse as much as Burton, Topman & eBay, just not worth checking when money's a bit tight. I recommend it for others or people looking to buy clothing as a gift as it would be a fresh and stylish present - just make sure you have some knowhow of the ever changing designs and styles.
Summary: Worth checking for original looking clothing - namely when a sale is on or item in clearance.