With so many flashy, fun shopping sites popping up, it's more important than ever for online retailers to offer a little window inside their style-savvy worlds. Case in point: Shopbop and Urban Outfitters have grown accustomed to matching all their juicy products with educational and entertaining editorial content—retorial, if you will. No doubt it's a strategy to get us to buy more, and we figure it's probably working. But really, it allows the smarter online shops to offer a deeper experience than just a handbag. In some cases, you'll discover designer profiles, stories on the latest trends, and quirky, newsy feature articles that are giving our glossies a real run for their money. Which ones are worth a click? See below for our list of headliners.
One of the earliest adopters of "retorial" with their always-ahead-of-the-pack UO blog, Urban often features free music downloads and work by emerging and of-the-moment artists like Piers Atkinson.
We love their news page, which mixes up articles on architecture and design, art and culture, film, photography, trends, and Joan Collins.
Just in time for Fashion Week, they just launched the blog Shop Talk, which headlines lots of fun editors' picks, trends, and other fashionable tidbits.
OC's namesake blog offers a window into the Opening Ceremony universe, with cute employee profiles, updates on designer collaborations, pics of celeb cameos at the store, travels, parties, street style, you name it.
A few months ago, Anthropologie introduced a quirky off-shoot site called The Anthropologist with articles, images, and other story-telling ephemera used to uniquely profile such notable "anthropologists" as photographer David Eustice, filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman, and director Jane Campion—the perfect extension of the brand's signature hippy-world traveler vibe.
While the grand dame of e-commerce can really do no wrong, we always head to their Magazine section when we're jonesing for a quick fix of gorgeous shoes, handbags, runway trends, and more.
With the launch of their recent "Muse Worthy" feature, which spotlights 9 real women, their inspirations, and their inspired (very J.Crew) style, we can already see there's probably lots of other clever shopper-friendly concepts on the horizon.