Special Delivery - Catalouge shopping
Catalogue shopping is probably the most convenient, relaxing shopping you could do. No nasty, eye-straining VDUs to cope with. No pushy/ bored/snooty shop assistants to fend off. Essentially, you don't even have to get dressed -- you can be eating cornflakes in your pyjamas, while selecting that perfect dress for the cousin's wedding next month. It's great, too, if you're short on time -- I have friends who live in the country whose clothes I have admired, only to be told, "Sure, that's Littlewoods!"
Littlewoods Ireland is one of the longest trading catalogue companies in Ireland. Formerly Family Album, the company was bought more than two years ago and it was overhauled, rebranded and relaunched as Littlewoods Ireland.
"Littlewoods knew that the Irish consumer was even more high-fashion aware than their UK customers, and they felt the time had come for the catalogue to reflect that," Geoff Scully, Commercial Manager of Littlewoods Ireland said.
The Littlewoods catalogue now resembles a glossy fashion magazine, with its editorial, catwalk-style photography, style guides and designer diffusion ranges.
Not only does it do numerous high street brands, Littlewoods also has many exclusive designer ranges. Elements by Amanda Wakeley is great for sophisticated cocktail dresses and evening gowns, Enchanted by Ann Louise Roswald is true to her design stamp of slightly boho-style daywear, while Teatro by Nicholas Millington is an ideal label for wearing to events. There is even a style guide and clothes selection by Trinny and Susannah.
I especially liked Littlewoods' own labels, such as Love Label for teenagers. This label is full of great denims, tops, minis and T-shirt dresses a la Top Shop cool -- and go up to size 20 in some styles.
Definitions is the big sister's label, and my favourite, with its mix of fashion-influenced tailored pants, T-shirts and jersey pieces, some reminiscent of Anglomania by Vivienne Westwood. There's great skinny jeans, LBDs and dinner jackets, too. Prices are smart, with dresses from €64, jackets at €99 and jeans for €49. South is their tailoring label and is great for coats.
Littlewoods' catalogue comes out twice a year, with two mid-season updates. There are constant updates and additions online, as well as mid-season reductions, special offers and promotions. From this month on, credit cards are accepted. Or, you can open an account and spread your repayments. Postage and packing are included in the price, but you have to pay the postage for any returns.