* Prices may differ from that shown
Please note I am reviewing White Stuff the shop as well as the website (not sure why only the website is listed?). If I should add a new category? Not sure as they are selling the same products - anyway here is my review!
White Stuff is a clothing shop with a doozy of a misnomer. Not many of the clothes are white, and even if they were white the White Stuff deities would never name them as such - they would be called pure cloud or daisy dreamscape or something far more exciting. And they would cost £60 and come with a cute note and a bracelet to make you feel that bit more clever about shopping there.
White Stuff is a place I initially dismissed as an overpriced, yummy mummy-type shop. But with their quirky, faux vintage prints and jersey wool blends, I couldn't help but have an occasional snoop. With time I have come to realise they are a bit more intriguing than some others of their ilk. They are, in effect, the indie record store of retail clothing for the over 30 female. You walk in and feel magically young, but not like you are trying to be hip. The clothes have a fairly ageless preppy appeal. They remind me a bit of the American brand J.Crew, way back before it started thinking of itself as high fashion. They are largely stupidly priced, in response to Fat Face I presume, which sells similar but not quite as pricey stuff - yet not quite as silly as Boden. They are the kind of prices that make you wince a bit, but the garments are so pretty and comfy and cosy looking that you might, if you are a certain type of delusional shopaholic, start trying to justify them as "investment pieces".
The store makes you want to linger, there is no blaring music a la Topshop, just some gentle surf folk-type rock playing at just the right level. The sales assistants are generally laid back and don't pester you much. The dressing rooms... ah the dressing rooms. They are divine. No dust bunnies, no cold ugly overhead lighting or gaping sheets. They are just spacious enough, warm but not too warm. I could happily move in. These people know what they are doing. I needed another size in a dress I was trying on but was dubious about them having it as it was the last one on the sale rack. The kindly assistant nipped into the back room et voila - my size had magically appeared from behind the Cath Kidston-esque cowboy print curtain. This is just the kind of thing that happens in the magic land of White Stuff.
It doesn't hurt that the clothes, by and large, fit well. They tend to favour empire or smock cuts, but somehow they are not cut too baggy, either. Even the fitted clothes tend to skim rather than stick to any lumps or bumps. The knits are all cosy and pretty and practical. Fabrics are earthy, not man made. Things are normally sewn and finished to a high standard. The colours are largely in the muted to pastel range, nothing too garish or bright generally although there is the occasional pop of crimson or cerulean. The dresses and tunic-y things are that rare breed of vestment that can be dressed up or down. You can be comfortable and look smart which is no easy feat. It may not be high fashion, and truth be told the more drawn I am to the shop the more I do feel any efforts to be in any way sartorially hip dwindling ever smaller.
You realise that the White Stuff brand is pretty formidable when you venture onto the website. It is not just a website, nay, but a quaint village of sorts, where a pretty but relatively human looking group of folk gather to have cocktail parties and walks on the beach. They seem to live on some Hebridean type island/small village where everyone is terribly well dressed and presumably drinking mulled wine and playing gin rummy whilst the kids do their homework. Sure, it is an obvious spiel, but it is done well and the attention to ludicrous and entertaining detail in the naming of the clothes is something that dorks like me take great zeal in. I am a total marketing sucker. If you put the words "heritage" and "carpenter" in front of something, I believe it to be somehow intrinsically more trustworthy and durable. The men's current line includes a range called "gentlemen's relish", if you can believe that. I think someone at h.q. is taking the pistachio.
They appear to be a charitable lot and have several "what makes us happy" videos and pictures of dogs and inventive competitions. I may just win a trip to Lapland, now wouldn't that be nice? Then I could get myself that Clementine knit, that would go nicely with the reindeer...Standard delivery on their website is usually £3.95 but until Dec.17th they are offering it free which is jolly good of them. Returns are free or can be made in some but not all stores, so a B- there. In further seasonal news, they have a section devoted to "festive fillers" at the moment, which includes how to make the perfect snowball (cocktail) and ideas for your holiday wardrobe which is a bit presumptious really! Also are couple of bloggy deals by some posh birds. Which isn't terribly useful in my opinion but I guess interesting for those at a loss as to what goes with what.
The clothes are reviewed on site which is always handy, with hearts in lieu of stars. Each user review has a profile with a politely competitive list of what makes Jemima or Eloise tick. Popular pastimes include the usual children, theatre and reading but there also intriguingly seems to be a collection of farmyard pet enthusiasts. I envision them in their wellies and Fairisle knits, mucking out Herbert the micro pig's stall. I mock, but this is just another clever clogs aspect of the brand creating a homely, personal feel on the site to make their customers feel less like a number and more part of some mad, woolly tunic wearing sorority.
The sales are sometimes email invite only which is a bit annoying if you forget to walk around with vouchers like me. A high street chain maintaining such an air of exclusivity is laughable and bold in this economy but more power to them I guess. The aspirational smugness of it all is no doubt off putting, but what can a girl do with a dwindling selection of high street shops that cater to my needs?
I will let you in on a little secret - Ebay is a veritable treasure trove of often unworn White Stuff stuff. Presumably clotheshorses like me who realise their re-sell value. I acquired a (new with tags!) brown and teal corduroy skirt last week for peanuts, very Miss Jean Brodie let me tell you. The husband was a bit perplexed by my new fixation. White Stuff actually has lovely clothes for men of a certain age, they are not too trendy and only occasionally dandyish. But I'd only ever get my husband into something if it was a gift, he would recoil at the prices and probably moan the jumpers were itchy. Why can't he just sit in the corner and look pretty like the White Stuff model?
Well truth be told I am writing this review as the last minutes of the sale are dwindling as a means of distraction. I mustn't dally; the cherry pie tunic and wandering typewriter dress are calling my name. Should you feel inclined to part with a pretty wad of cash in exchange for something that looks nice with a country cottage and a golden retriever, there is no doubt a White Stuff in your vicinity. The website is quite user friendly although I did read a few complaints about it crashing during sales. Keep Calm and Shop on. A friendly White Stuff employee will be waiting for you with mince pies and wine should you tire of the Primark Christmas tussle.
I had never heard of White Stuff Clothing until my sister told me about it and showed me a catalogue of their gear. The clothes they sell are cute, vintage, often very ornate and intricately designed. Due to the attention to detail on the clothes they also tend to be quite expensive. I'd compare the shop and the range to a brand like Boden or Joules.
White Stuff sell a selection of items including womens wear, menswear, accessories like socks, tights, hats and scarves, jewellry and homewear. They also stock nightwear and underwear.
I first decided to look at the White Stuff website last month when I saw a few voucher codes on Moneysavingexpert.com and thought I'd take a look to see if there was anything I might get for myself or for a Christmas gift.
The website looks well designed and is easy to find your way around. The menu tabs are located at the top of the main page for easy access. From here you can access a smaller menu which breaks up the stock into categories such as 'knitwear' and 'T-shirts' so you can easily find what you are after. You can then sort the items that appear in the main page in order of price, rating, review standards or how new they are.
When you place an order with the website you have to register and create a password which you can use with your email address to login to the site in the future. The site personalises the pages by printing "Hello...[insert name]" at the top of the page. I find the ordering process very easy. There are drop down menus on each item from which you can choose your size and colour. A handy information tag informs you of the availability and of whether it is low stock. You have to click a button which adds the item to your shopping bag and then you 'checkout'.
After I placed my first order I became aware of some problems with the site. I got a confirmation of my order by email which was great but on the site itself the order wasn't registering as existing on my account at first. When I checked a couple of days later my order had appeared in a section of my account called 'previous orders' but was still not being listed in my current orders although it had not yet been processed. The order showed a status of 'waiting' which I found to be a totally empty term and there are no explanations of what the status terms mean on the website.
Orders are supposed to be processed within 3-5 working days and postage must be paid for at the cost of £3.95 unless your order is over £75. My first order was not processed within this time - it was eight days before I heard from them and they sent an email saying my order had dispatched. I then received an email the following morning giving a precise hour of the day when my parcel would arrive, which was very helpful to me. The order was complete and contained an invoice detailing the price as well as return labels for a free returns service.
My second order with this company went much the same way - ambiguous status term on website, overdue dispatch date etc. and I also had an extra problem with being billed incorrectly after using a discount code. I then had to sift through my credit card bills to check details, contact the company etc etc. Although neither of my orders were completed on time I am allowing for the fact that it's Christmas and that order processing times may be longer but I would have liked some confirmation of these delays by email. I also don't like the fact that my account and order status is a bit confusing. The billing error was simply time consuming and annoying.
I must say that the quality of White Stuff goods is amazing and I really love their stuff. They are also packaged very well to protect items during transit. I liked the fact that they have also given me the opportunity to shop with them again by providing little 15% discount cards with my orders. I will be, however, attempting to shop at my local store rather than online in future as I have found it to be a bit of a hassle to use the website. Online voucher code offers are often extended to their high street stores which I think is an excellent idea.
At the moment I'm economising - and that includes going through my wardrobe and expelling those clothes that haven't been worn for a while (very many of them!). However, as I merrily throw items on the "car boot sale" pile, I have begun to realise that the items in the "must keep and never throw away" pile are often from White Stuff. Now I just have to avoid increasing that pile, which is much easier said than done as I walk past the store almost every day!
~~So what do they sell?~~
Ok, so White Stuff is not the place to go to get a ball dress or something super smart for work, but they do cover pretty much every other base. Their products include:
- cosy tracksuit bottoms for lounging round the house/gym etc
- lovely patterned skirts for general daytime wear or work wear (if you're not required to wear a suit!)
- plain cotton jersey tops - lovely shape which doesn't get distorted in the wash
- casual patterned tops which liven up a pair of jeans
- great shaped jeans/casual trousers (they generally come in Regular and Long length)
- Boots and shoes (including some fab Winter boots in the current 2010/11 season which have a great grip and fur lining - perfect protection from the snow.
- THE COMFIEST pants
- Lovely patterned socks, scarves, hats etc
- Cosy warm coats and gilets (I always said I'd never get a gilet, but now I find myself with a lovely snugly gilet with a furry hood...)
- well...you get the drift...they do a bit of everything! 
Yes I do know that this is a review for the White Stuff *website*, but a White Stuff review would not be complete without mentioning the wonderfully perfect new flagship store in Edinburgh. Spread over 2 huge floors, everything is very well laid out so it's easy to see all the lovely clothes. The 2 floors are dominated by a huge tree which rises up through a hole in the first floor - sounds strange but it really very cool!
The fitting rooms are definitely also a highlight. The ladies' fitting rooms look like old fashioned wardrobes from the outside. This gives a false impression that they will be small and dingy, when in fact they open up into beautiful bright themed changing rooms. The themes include E.T's bedroom, the beach and lots of others (go and see for yourself!!). It really is like an adult's playground  I also had a quick peek at the boys' changing rooms. These are set up to look like garden sheds and the one that I saw had an old fashioned girly calendar on the door!! Eek!
The store also has a Concession department which sells candles, and gifty things (tea towel, notebooks etc) - lots more lovely things to browse through here too.
~~Now back to the website....~~
Whilst the website does not have the Lion, Witch and Wardrobe fitting rooms, it does have very many other great features. One of which is not dissimilar from what I'm doing right now - they have a rating and reviewing system so that you can see what other people think about the products before you buy. I have found this feature to be really useful many times, from finding out about the sizing of the products to learning about any potential "bobbling" of the materials.
The website is well laid out so it's easy to find what you're looking for. There's a clear photo of each item with a zoom in facility. The only minor niggle is that they could do with having a few shots from different angles rather than just a front on photo.
The website also suggests products that go with the item that you're currently viewing. So if you're looking at a tunic dress, they might recommend jeans, a handbag and a necklace. This is a dangerous feature as it can lead you to spending more money (and thus having more lovely things...every cloud...!).
I have only ordered online a couple of times, but have never encountered any problems with the ordering or delivery process.
~~Like what you hear? Then get on the Mailing List for great discounts!~~
You can sign up for the mailing list on the website or online. This is really worth doing as you will be the first to hear about the sale, will receive a catalogue for each season and will often get sent discount offers (usually 15% or 20%). The catalogues are also great with each season having its own theme and there's usually a competition in the catalogue too.
This review will appear on my Dooyoo under my username LouisaB and on Ciao under my username Loueeza.
I first started shopping at white stuff a couple of years ago, and almost exclusively used their stores at first. However, what I quickly noticed is that the stores, whilst charming and generally lovely, are very small, and can, especially during the sale periods, be frustratingly sold out of the things that you want. So I've taken to using the website for everything (now that I'm relatively sure about the sizes).
White Stuff claim to market mainly to the 25-40 market, which, being 20, I'm not sure how I feel about! However, I think the clothes are really nice - very casual, and not high fashion, but more everyday. The women's ranges are quite girlie and delicate, whereas the mens have a definite surf/skate underlying theme. I have a number of dresses, skirts, tops and trousers from White Stuff, as well as a range of accessories. My partner also has a 'man bag'.
OK, so the site itself is laid out in a very easy to navigate way, with lots of colours and a theme which changes constantly with each season (this season is 'pets'). The themes are quite kitsch and a bit retro, and there tends to be a fun competition or storyline running which you can follow on the site or in the catalogues (which they will deliver for free if you sign up on the website). The clothes are all photographed - the vast majority on and off models, which is really helpful, and best of all they give you ideas for things to pair with each item.
I find White Stuff to be a little expensive for basics like t-shirts and vests, so often I will buy one statement piece from here (like a pair of pinstripe trousers or a jumper dress) and then use the suggestions to complete the outfit from other sources.
The quality of the clothes is fantastic - although it should be noted that because they use only the best quality materials (lots of pure silk and lambswool), some of the garments are a little high maintenance (I usually have to do at least one lot of hand washing a fortnight).
Sizing wise I find them to be fairly average - they have a handy sizing chart which helps. Some of the dresses are pretty short though, so if you're not planning to layer you might want to pay attention to the stated lengths and how they look on models. Their delivery prices and times are always good and their returns policy is easy and quibble free, so if you do have a problem with anything you bought online they're always happy to exchange or refund for you.
So in summary, if you're looking to treat yourself, or add some really bold pretty pieces to your wardrobe, look no further than White Stuff.
I only buy clothes from 2 main shops, Fat Face, and White Stuff and have done for many years. Occasionally I'll stray into River Island for a pair of jeans, but the other two provide all my gear, as I dress very casually and quite outdoorsy I suppose.
Fat Face is probably my favourite, but this season in particular, I have bought most of my clothes from White Stuff. We don't have a White Stuff shop in our town, though Fat Face have just opened one in the High Street, so our nearest is in Cambridge or London. For this reason I tend to buy online from www.whitestuff.com.
The website is in my opinion a real credit to the company, who are specialists in selling clothes for the outdoor life. Like Fat Face the company started selling clothes off the Piste and two ski bums were the founders, but has developed into an outlet which has many dedicated followers all over the UK and beyond. It no longer sells just these sorts of clothes, but has a style all its own, indeed I shop there for wedding outfits, as well as for jeans and tunics for everyday wear.
Their motto is "lovely clothes for lovely people" and the website is a colourful window into their world of fashion. Go there now and you will see the fun in the brand, with gnomes all over the home page. The website runs well and, and navigating it is easy. You simply click on the choice you want at the top- womens' or mens' and you can then further select garment types on the next page. There is always a "best sellers" link you can click on, which gives you an idea of what is flying off their shelves.
Other links include a new section of size 18s which they have in a select number of styles, as well as items they perceive to be their favourites.
What I really love about this website is the way that they not only show you the clothes, but also the outfits you can put together. This is always very helpful, and I used this facility to pick an outfit for my daughter's graduation this summer. It also suggested coordinating jewellery so I was able to buy the entire outfit.
Prices on this site reflect the quality of the clothes which are excellent. The skirts are priced at anywhere between £35 and £50 and tops £20 to £35. I have White Stuff garments in my wardrobe which I have been wearing for over 7 years, and they are still in very good condition. An added bonus is that they also sell very well indeed on Ebay, if you decide they don't suit anymore.
At the far right of the links on the home page is a sale area, and this is a must for bargains. I have stocked up on many items over the years in this way, and it is a good way to purchase high quality clothes at good prices.
The top of the home page is particularly decorative with more links showcased in the frame of an ornate picture, and here you can get any help you may need. Clicking on the "help" link takes you to a friendly page where all the numbers to call are listed, as well as lots of links to specific questions you may have about sizing or delivery.
A particular feature of this website, which I love, is that they allow customer reviews, warts and all, to appear underneath garments. These reviews are a tremendous help if you are concerned about size or quality, and occasionally these are not complimentary, and so you can avoid that item if you wish.
Just a little tip when you click on a group of items, for example "skirts", click on the "show all" link which is next to the "page numbers" links, as this allows you to see all the skirts at the same time, so that you can compare styles and prices, without having to load up several pages.
If you want to find your nearest store you can go to the link at the top of the home page which is entitled "Our Shops" and here by entering your post code you can find yours.
Delivery is free for orders over £100, but look out for offers and voucher codes because this is often waived for smaller orders. Always go to a cash back site first before ordering, I use Topcashback as here you will receive 8% back. I have never had any problem with orders not tracking, and have benefitted enormously from this over the years.
Under the "need help" section link on the home page is an option to request a catalogue, which is a good idea because they are always very well put together and free to receive. Many times the clothes are photographed in exotic locations, and the emphasis is on style, but also on having fun, so it is a refreshing read.
The White Stuff website sells clothes for men and women, and my husband is probably their biggest fan. The shirts they sell are exceptional quality, and they do a slim fitting range, which he loves.
The website is as secure as they can make it using very latest encryption technology (SSL) and I have never had any problems paying using my cards. They accept all major cards and also sell gift vouchers.
Returns are also free, and I have to say that refunding my card for times when I have had to return items, on the rare occasions an item didn't suit, has been very fast indeed.
Now in its favour this website runs fast and certainly images load very quickly for me. I have a 10mb broadband connection and use Firefox, and it is always very quick to load, except at sale times when it does get very busy, and can be slow. One thing to remember is that items are returned so if something you want is out of stock it may well be returned at a later date, and it is always worth a call to customer service who are always very friendly. and will advise on stock levels. and any other queries you may have.
This website is in my opinion one of the most enjoyable I visit. The layout is good and the clothes they sell are brilliant. I have always found them to be high quality, wash beautifully and to be fashionable and urban, with a rural and outdoorsy theme running through them. The great thing is they suit teenagers right through to oldies like me and I think it is a great place to shop.
This review may also appear on Ciao under my user name there Violet1278.