It’s happened to me countless times, but whenever I have a more formal event to attend and I find myself looking at my closet, I realize that my clothes are 95% Uniqlo. And because I don’t like going to the mall (unless it’s to visit Uniqlo) and prefer to shop anything and everything online (if possible), I eventually found my go-to online shops with dresses that suit my body type (semi-straight with square shoulders) and sense of style.
Below are some stores where I’ve found or purchased dresses for different occasions! (I’ve linked some to their product pages, too. In case the link is missing, then that means the online store must have removed the product from their catalogue already.)
My most frequently-visited online fashion shop would definitely be ZALORA. I even subscribed to their ZALORA Now to get unlimited free and express shipping. It took me a while to figure out their sizing guide (their dresses were always a hit or a miss for me—I never knew when to get an XS or an S. Through a number of returns and refunds, I discovered that it really depends on the brand and material). Their newsletters have a tendency to bombard non-stop, but I think I have enough self-control to ignore the promos and just log on when I desperately need to buy something (or when there’s a huge sale going on). Aside from basic dresses, I buy all of my swimsuits on ZALORA as well!
Mesh Illusion Dress
Oxygen Interlock One Piece
Oxygen Interlock One Piece
RAF Manila (which I only found out recently stands for Rich and Famous) is the higher-end brand of Plains and Prints. I’ve always been in love with their chic and timeless designs, so I like to buy from them whenever I have dressier occasions or special events to attend. RAF Manila’s website isn’t as detailed as ZALORA’s, but if you memorize your size from their store (I’m an XS with dresses and tops, and an S with pants and skirts), then you won’t have a problem shopping online.
This was from the RAF Holiday 2018 Collection, which is no longer available.
I have the Tame Sleeveless Dress in White, but haven’t had the chance to wear it yet!
If you’re looking for more affordable options compared to RAF Manila, but without compromising the design and quality, then check out Plains and Prints! Their sizing guide is similar to RAF Manila, and you’ll be sure to find dresses that are a bit friendlier to the wallet. Their collaborations with local designers are something I constantly look forward to. One of my favorite collections was their Plains And Prints Beyond 25. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the Vania Romoff designs!
I remember seeing Apartment 8’s shop often in Greenhills when I was in college. If I’m not mistaken, and if my memory serves me right, both Plains and Prints and Apartment 8 started their humble beginnings there. Years later, I eventually followed Apartment 8 on Instagram, because I loved their designs, but I never really found the need to buy anything—until a week before my Despedida de Soltera last September, and I didn’t know what to wear. My mom and I headed to their branch in UP Town Center, and found this simple yet classic-looking dress that we immediately bought. Months later, I found the same style (but longer and in a different color) on ZALORA, and it was on sale. Since I already knew my size and I needed a gown to wear to my friends’ wedding, I bought it without hesitation!
Okay, this might come across as a little biased because Hinhin’s founder (and former #CalyxtaGirl!), Tricia, is part of what is called the NBoys and Baes Barkada or NFam (her husband, RG, and the Cupcake were high school classmates and good friends from Ateneo. We’ve been attending their class milestones for years—from weddings, to baptisms, to children’s birthday parties). Though I haven’t purchased anything from Hinhin yet, the brand’s story really speaks to me. I’ve had my eyes on the Sinta Dress and Alon Top (both modelled by Valerie Chua, another former #CalyxtaGirl!) for a while now. During one dinner, Tricia passionately shared that the materials she sources are limited—which means the dresses are one-of-a-kind. (If they get sold out, there’s a high chance they might not restock anymore.) I’ve seen her wearing Hinhin dresses in all our get-togethers lately (they conveniently double as a maternity dress for her!). A fellow NBoy and Bae even ordered custom matching outfits for their family (which they wore to their daughter’s first birthday). So if you’re looking for something really special and unique, Hinhin is your best option out of all the shops in this list.
Another brand owned by a friend and Ultimate Frisbee teammate, I’ve been a loyal customer of Love, C Manila since its birth in 2014 or 2015. I even wrote a couple of blog posts here and here. Since then, the brand has been a go-to of brides when it comes to their entourage gowns. I’ve attended several weddings where the bridesmaids wore Love, C. The first time I was asked to be a bridesmaid by my good friend, Elle (of Elle’s Kitchen, who made mine and the Cupcake’s wedding cake!), I was also wearing a practical and functional gown from Love, C Manila. Aside from entourage gowns, their designs are ideal even for wedding guests!
Love, C Manila Jamie Dress
Love, C Manila Faye Dress
My newest discovery for casual dresses perfect for the office is Feral. Considering that the price points are below P1,000, I was surprised to find that the quality of their clothes is good. One of their dresses, Dahlia, is my favorite because it’s comfortable and I feel so girly in it. I can play it up with heels or dress it down with sneakers. I have the Sedum and Dianella dresses, too! Apart from dresses, they have other categories like tops, skirts, rompers, and coordinates. You can visit their online shop to see the full selection!
Feral Dahlia Dress
Other Online Shops I Visit But Haven’t Bought From Yet:
In case you’re still looking to explore other online shops, below are some that I frequently visit but never really had the chance to buy anything from yet. I can also vouch for these brands, because I’ve seen some of my friends order from them. And if I do find myself needing another dress to wear, I might just buy from one of these soon!
And that’s the list of where I buy my dresses online! I’m sure there are hundreds more waiting to be discovered, so if you know of some that aren’t in my list, do share them in the comments below! I’d love to check them out.
I hope you guys enjoyed this article! In case you haven’t yet, do follow me on Instagram @gretchengatan for all things beauty and lifestyle.
Where to Buy Dresses Online: My Top Online Dress Stores