Thursday, October 4, 2012

Put On A Little Ruche

INTRODUCTION. My Spotlight Site this week is Ruche is my very favorite new independent online boutique. They have a great story, one that think really represents the American Dream. They started Ruche basically in their garage and while continuing to work in their corporate jobs, spent every spare second building their company into what it is now; one of the best new ecommerce boutiques available. They haven’t forgotten where they came from and give a lot of support to independent designers, which I think adds a certain freshness to their vintage inspired look. They also choose to work with eco-friendly materials, which I think is really important. Don’t be concerned; it’s often the case that “eco-friendly” products can tend to be more expensive but the prices at Ruche, from my middle-class student point of view, quite reasonable. I’d also like to comment on their very artsy site interface. I really enjoying clicking around to see all the creative and pretty ways Ruche presents their products. If you enjoy their site as much as I do, be sure to check out their free wallpapers for your desktop.
Per usual, I will be focusing on the women’s clothing aspect of Ruche, but I strongly recommend checking out their Children, Pet, Home & Office, and Bridal sections. Especially, if you have a child! My one-year-old cousin/nephew, Silas will be receiving many Christmas Gifts from Ruche this year! 

STYLE. Whimsy. Everything about Ruche feels pretty. The beautiful garments, the charm of the product presentation and even the name, Ruche, just feels pretty. Wearing an outfit from Ruches makes me want to be the subject of vintage photograph or a fantastic painting. When I’m shopping their site, I think to myself, I wish they just had an “I’ll take one of everything” button

PRICE. $10-300. Girls, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have nice things. Ruche offers lovely garments at very reasonable prices. I said $10-300, but most items are in the double digits. Think of it like The Gap; they have a few expensive pieces like a leather jacket or a fancy dress but most things are in a lower price range. Also! Not to name names but they carry some of the same designers as other sites I’ve reviewed and they offer their garments at lower prices! Don’t know how, don’t know why and I’m not asking questions.

Dreamy <3
WEAR-ABILITY. Ruche is for girly girls. Girls who like ribbons and bows, which secretly (or not so secretly) love the idea of a “tea party” and think Cary Grant is just the dreamiest. That being said, Ruche will suit just about any girly girl, regardless of shape, age, or financial background. So I would say, Ruche, for a small, new, independent boutique, has a pretty wide range of wear-ability.

SIZE&FIT. They use a basic juniors size chart and provide measurements. They are typically true to size. Meaning, if you wear a Medium in most American mass-market stores, you will wear a Medium at Ruche.  HOWEVER (any time I uses bold caps, imagine I’m saying this loudly with my authentic southern accent) there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the size chart. The disclaimer states, “due to the wide variety of apparel and brands, items sometimes stray from these average measurements. Please contact us if you want specific measurements for an item and we'll be happy to provide them for you.
One particular thing about Ruche that I think is really cool is their “Notify Me” service. If a particular item is out of stock in the size you want, you can be put on a contact list and they will let you know when they get your size in. I used this when purchasing my Pure Imagination Sweater and it was very convenient.
THEY CARRY PLUS SIZES. Now, I know I said I wasn’t going to discuss their bridal section but in my opinion this is really cool. I know it’s hard for plus size brides to find really pretty and chic, and affordable wedding gowns, but Ruches offers a beautiful selection of gowns from size 14 to 28.

Quality&Construction. I think the quality is good. I have purchased a lot of stuff from there but from what I have bought and seen I think the quality is pretty high. When I compare the quality of the garment to the price I paid for it, I feel like a got a bargain. My Pure Imagination cardigan looks just like it did online and I love it. It’s well constructed and is made up of high quality and eco-friendly fibers.

SHIPPING&RETURNS. The shipping is nothing to write home about but I didn’t have any complaints either. Orders typically arrive between 2-9 business days after shipment. For orders $0 - $49.99, you pay $5 and for orders $50+ you pay an additional $2. I’ve never seen a company charge that way for shipping but the prices aren’t very high, so I’m not complaining. They do offer express shipping! Which you know I love! The price for express shipping is determined by weight and they offer a shipping estimator located in your shopping cart.
DOWNSIDE is they do not offer free shipping on returns. The buyer is responsible for shipping cost on all returned or exchanged items. This bugs me; I think the company should offer a prepaid return-shipping sticker in packaging you receive your merchandise in. However, I do think this policy is typical of small boutique stores, so based on precedent I wouldn’t call this policy outrageous. ;)

RECAP. Ladies, fall is here, the air is crisp, and you’ve got a little extra pep in your step, get all gussied up in fancy fabrics and flattering silhouettes from and hit the town!

TIP. I am a student on a budget and when I am shopping online the first tab I click is the “SALE” tab. I love a good bargain. I’m sure many of you have seen that little bar at the bottom of your shopping cart where it reads “PROMO CODE.” How often have you ever gotten to use that little bar? Not much, huh? is a great place to get those elusive promo codes. Second tip for bargain shopping (You get two for one this week). I do not enjoy doing math, especially when I’m doing something fun like shopping. I hate trying to figure out what my total is going to be, after I apply those promo codes or coupons for random numbers like 17% off. HERE is a free calculator that will do the math for you! 

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Thank you for reading! Happy Shopping!

Scottie Key 

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