Don’t you just LOVE getting parcels in the mail? It’s like your birthday, except that you know when you take the wrapping off you’ll get something you really wanted, not just a set of candles that you are doing the re-gifting rounds amongst your in-laws.
In the mail on Friday I got another eBay parcel, and it reminded me to let you all know about my favourite Going Out brand: Monsoon www.monsoon.co.uk
Now, before I get started let me stress that Monsoon does not, the bastards, ship internationally. Feel free to send them a ranting email about this, as I do periodically. It must work, because other UK brands Evans (www.evans.co.uk
) and Dorothy Perkins (www.dorothyperkins.com
) have finally joined the twentieth century. I can only imagine that Monsoon’s dragging their heels because with over 800 stores internationally they’re already catering to a world market. And as long as the ladies in Azerbaijan, Latvia and the Ukraine can wear their scrumptious clothes they don’t much care about those of us in Australia, or even the US (yep, that’s right, even you Americans miss out – none of the 800+ stores are in your neck of the woods, either).
It’s a great shame, because the clothes at Monsoon are pretty consistently gorgeous, beautifully constructed and made of delicious fabrics like silk, cashmere, merino wool, etc, etc, etc.
The good news is that there’s always pages and pages of Monsoon clothing to be found on eBay, and once you’ve got your size down (they go up to an 22, and I suggest you disregard the measurements on the size chart and just order as you would in Australian sizes, or one size up in US) you can order willy nilly with the guarantee that just about everything you buy will look great.
My most recent purchase is this rather pretty little lace jacket:
I thought it would be a useful addition to my going-out wardrobe, as a way of getting a bit of coverage on my shoulders and upper arms without detracting from the dress itself. It could also be a cute way of dressing up a strappy top with jeans.
In my wardrobe I have two other Monsoon pieces, both bought during my year of Four Weddings And a Funeral. The strapless dress is an absolute show-stopper – the bodice is boned so it doesn’t have to be hitched up every five minutes, and the fabric is a divine silk-cotton blend that is infinitely wearable.
The red on the strapless dress was so perfectly scarlet that I couldn’t say no to this fully-lined silk sheath dress. It’s a little less formal, and can be worn to a nice restaurant
, as well as to an outdoor wedding.
There’s some fantastic stuff on Monsoon at the moment. Every time I go online I fall in love with something else. If you’re lucky you’ll find matching items on eBay, but I should stress that it can take many months for dresses to filter down to the resellers on eBay. If you’re looking for a particular upcoming occasion it could be better to start on www.ebay.co.uk
(where they have the wonderfully useful method of searching by brand) than on the Monsoon website where you’re destined to get cranky when you realise that there’s no way to get your hands on that perfect one-in-a-million frock. Then one day – hopefully sooner rather than later – the bigwigs at Monsoon will decide that the Australia and US dollars are every bit as welcome as the Azerbaijani manat. And we’ll all be happy.