Style and sample sales, fashion and fun.
Despite Hurricane Irene, the shopping must go on
Once the storm watch adrenaline wears off and you're done stocking up on essentials, bordem is likely to set, especially if Hurricane Irene does decide to stop by and keep Long Islanders locked inside our homes this weekend. (Here's hoping she won't cause much, if any, damage or danger, and remember: safety first!)
If you've got power during the storm, cozy up to your computer and have your credit card handy -- there's some great shopping websites just waiting for you to discover them.
GILT GROUPE; gilt.com
Why it's fun: Gilt Groupe makes you feel like you're part of an exclusive club, when really all you had to do was input your e-mail address and create a free account. You'll get access to exclusive designer brands for up to 60 percent off, and there are new sales every day. For deals on resorts all over the world, visit Gilt Groupe's travel site, jetsetter.com, and dream of sunnier days.
There's more: Gilt Groupe just launched Gilt Taste, with access to exclusive wines and all the best foods to pair them with. After a few days of canned food and peanut butter, you'll be raring to rip that package open.
Why it's fun: NET-A-PORTER is a one-stop shop for luxury clothing, shoes, bags, accessories and beauty products from every top designer of the moment. Think window shopping on Fifth Avenue, minus the crowds.
There's more: NET-A-PORTER Live is a new feature that lets you see in real time what other people around the world are buying. Watch someone in Madrid snatch a Gucci leather shoulder bag, someone in Poland pick up a pair of Burberry rainboots, and someone in Kuwait grab a Marc Jacobs leopard-print scarf. Feeling inspired? Click on the item and order it for yourself.
Why it's fun: Aside from allowing you to easily search for and buy anything from Tory Burch backpacks to Marchesa wedding gowns, Shopbop will guide you on the latest trends and best looks of the moment. Check out their designer lookbooks and fall fashion trends for fresh new ideas like wide-brimmed hats and berry-colored frocks.
There's more: Going on now, Shopbop's sale has Theory, Alice + Olivia, Alexander Wang and more at up to 70 percent off.
Why it's fun: The self-proclaimed "people's fashion destination," Chictopia provides an online community for fashionistas of every style. The community marketplace allows independent store owners to sell their items, so you can find pieces you might not find anywhere else, like vintage pendants and retro purses.
There's more: Constantly updated, the gallery encourages everyday, style-minded men and women to post photos of their best outfits. Check out the newest looks, or browse by holiday or brand. You'll likely find yourself yearning to try a new look, and even if you're not a fan, it's always fun to judge other people's outfits. (Oops, did I just admit that out loud?)
Why it's fun: You can shop, you can ask and answer fashion questions, and you can even become a virtual stylist and put your own outfits together with the create feature's blank canvas and cool search tools.
There's more: Polyvore is currently hosting a contest along with Vogue magazine to find the best Fashion's Night Out ensembles. The site is showcasing designs by FNO retailers at polyvore.com/fno, and you can use them to try your hand at creating the winning outfit. The prize is a trip to Manhattan with a guest to attend a Vogue photo shoot and a tour of the magazine's fashion closet with the editor.
If you buy anything exciting this weekend, let us know about your purchase (generators, bottled water and manual can openers excluded).