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The New Black: Online and in style

Finding fashion on the World Wide Web

 by Ashlee Winchell
 published on Thursday, October 19, 2006

/issues/arts/698353
Katie E. Lehman / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
 

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When searching for the perfect outfit for a Friday-night date, many ASU students head to stores like American Eagle and Forever 21. But some students don't even leave their dorm rooms to add that luster to their look. They get online.

Web sites selling unique T-shirts, vintage finds and quirky accessories offer shoppers an accessible and easy way to take fashion to the next level - and prove that online fashion doesn't have to be dull.

At threadless.com, shoppers can find cool T-shirts that are made by other young people from across the country. All the designs are original, and students can enter their own designs into a contest to get their own T-shirts printed. (This honor comes with a $1,500 cash prize, a $200 membership to the site's shirt-of-the-month club and a $300 threadless.com gift certificate.) T-shirts on the site range from $15 to 25.

Psychology sophomore Lauren Conner says she's a fan of the site because of the shirts' originality. "I think I buy a Threadless T-shirt at least every two weeks," Conner says. "I just can't stop because there are always about 10 new designs each week."

Another great Web site for not only T-shirts, but also for hip accessories, is fredflare.com. This site features everything from flashy camera rings to geometric tote bags. The most affordable accessories on this Web site are in the sale section. Expect new products all the time from fredflare.com.

Undeclared sophomore Kimberly Thomson says Fredflare has unique finds. "I bought a yellow tote bag from fredflare.com last semester, and I always get compliments on it all the time," Thomson says. "I like it because it's not found in every single store in the Valley."

Feeling retro? Try RipeVintage.net, a great underground Web site that addresses the do-it-yourself side of fashion. RipeVintage features clothing pieces that are one of a kind from vintage and antique stores around Austin, Texas.

The site features an eclectic variety of unique clothes that are ideal for the savvy shopper. There are simple skirts, chic accessories and even a "bargain trunk" with reduced-price items. The site's wares are perfect for creating a diamond-in-the-rough ensemble for just about any occasion.

"There's a certain thrill in finding the gems that most people don't see," the Web site states. "We can't think of a better way to share it than offering the special finds in our collection here."

Ebay gurus and fashion enthusiasts might find themselves going to MeowKiki.com for handmade designs ranging from a piano-key purse to a zebra-print outfit. The Web site's creator and designer - who goes only by her first name, Heather - runs her business through eBay on her Web site. "My dream has always been to become a fashion designer," she states on the site. "I always wanted to be different."

And if you can't make up your mind between old-fashioned lace and buttons and street fashion, Supayana.com covers nearly every style and blends them all together to form incredibly unique pieces of clothing. Designer Yana Gorbulsky's ready-to-wear ruffled, laced and buttoned shirts are definitely not found on shelves in a local store.

The cure to monotonous fashion blues might be just a few clicks away. Just log on to these underground fashion meccas to get everyone around you asking, "Where did you get that?"



Reach the reporter at ashlee.winchell@asu.edu



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