Join the Club: Members-Only Sites Are The Hot, New Online Shopping Trend

Flash sites have been ruling the online shopping scene for a while now. After all, who can resist the siren call of Gilt Groupe’s slash-priced sale frenzy (the luxe name alone is alluring) or Ideeli’s members-only designer discounts? But if you’re not quick on the draw, you might be more frustrated by sold-out items than you are satisfied with your savings. But there’s a new shopping style poised to challenge the flash site: the subscription service. These once-a-month clubs are quickly becoming the busy fashion fan’s solution to the "stress" of an online sale, and 2011's hot online shopping trend. We've combed some of the biggest new names in this burgeoning space.Kate Bosworth teamed with stylist Cher Coulter to start JewelMint, a monthly service that will get you blinged out for just $29 per piece. After creating a style profile, you receive personalized recommendations once a month based on your preferences. Boho? No problem. Sleek and modern? They’ve got that, too. After filling out a survey, we were presented with gold earrings, bracelets and necklaces that looked they could have sashayed straight out of a Bollywood flick. If nothing strikes your fancy, you can opt out of between the first and fifth of the month.Unrelated, but still minty fresh, StyleMint is the Olsen twins’ take on the idea. They’ll send you T-shirts in lieu of baubles, but you can be sure that each one will have that signature Olsen chic. Sign up! It’s still in the pre-stages, but given that they’ve already taken over every market (think Wal-Mart, JC Penny, Barney’s and Saks) soon the entire country can look like a Balenciaga bag lady. Plans to expand into sweaters are in the works, according to WWD, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they add sunnies to the mix.While JewelMint may have set the format of monthly subscription style, JustFabulous and Kim Kardashian-fronted ShoeDazzle weren’t far behind. Both offer the same format as JewelMint, the same opt-out opportunity and the same survey-type selection process (though ShoeDazzle gave us the opportunity to say we’d dress like J.Lo and raid Carrie Underwood’s closet) to find your shoe personality. JustFab is the brainchild of the WhoWhatWear girls and offers shoes and bags for $39.95 a month, the same price as ShoeDazzle. Both offer a dizzying array of selections – many of which pay homage to familiar styles from YSL, Jimmy Choo and some others. And both even offer free shipping. While you might not be getting designer labels, the whole survey-and-celeb angle seems geared toward the kind of crowd that would admire Kim K herself, not the kind of ladies looking for haute high heels.

ClubFife, a minimal-chic label based out of San Francisco is offering a cami and/or panty of the month club to underpin your accessories choices. Playing off their “discreetly delivered” mantra, each shipment comes to you in a low-key manila envelope and promises a duo of super soft handmade thongs and boyshorts (or a combo of both) for just $200 per year. So if you’ve gotten your knickers in a bunch over something lately, not to worry: You can look forward to two pairs coming in the mail to replace them!

Tags: , , , , ,

Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.