A few weeks ago, I was invited to check out a new service: Octer.com. Aside from having a cool name, they provide a cool shopping service. They take all of the products from fashion spots around the net and compile them into one big store for you to shop through. That way, you don’t have to worry about missing something awesome because you forgot how much you loved ASOS before you decided to drop some coin at Topshop.
Does that ever happen to you? Like you set out after payday with the intention of spending $40 on yourself, and then draw a blank on your favorite stores? I have FOMO when it comes to shopping for myself, so I get creepy-obsessive about checking every single item at all of my favorite stores to make sure I’m getting the A+ #1 500% best thing I can get for my money. Hey, there’s a reason I run a blog about being a cheapskate.
Anyway, Octer takes all of your favorite online shops for fashion, home decor, kids stuff, sports, beauty products, and more and creates an aesthetically pleasing mega-shop out of the products. Everything is still meticulously categorized into easily browsable subheadings. I decided that it was finally time I bought myself some new clothes, so I was assigned $70 to spend at any shop within Octer.
The time I spent figuring out the “A+ #1 500% best things I can get” for $70 was… excessive. I spent days and days going through all of the beautiful and enticing products. Helping to speed up my search, I decided that one of the items I got would have to be a dress, and the rest would be tops. There are enough pants in my world right now, and there was no way I was spending $70 on one thing. So, I adjusted the price range in the sidebar search of Octer to “Max: $20” and ended up falling in love with a classic navy blue dress, a gold top, and a funky blue sleeveless sweater.
After clicking on all of the products I had fallen for, preparing to decide which of the stores I was going to shop at (I’m paying shipping once, thank you very much), the planets aligned. Everything I loved just so happened to be from Dorothy Perkins.
Yesssss. As you may know, I’ve been checking out Dorothy Perkins for a while. Never have I actually purchased something, though! Dorothy Perkins is based in the UK, so I always assumed that the shipping charges would be astronomical. I never realized that they actually give you free shipping on orders over $50 with the code DPSHIP50. That meant that I was about to get free shipping from the UK! Octer is leading me through one of the best online shopping experiences ever!
My Dorothy Perkins x Octer Haul
The very first thing that drew me in on Octer was this beautiful, simple, classic blue dress that had been marked down to final sale, with one left in my size. #fate
Navy Broderie Midi Dress,
My experience with dresses as an adult is very slim. Very slim, as in, I maybe get into a dress once per year. In an effort to branch out and diversify my portfolio (that’s what that means, right?), I picked this utterly charming, navy blue dress with an eyelet bodice and faux buttons down the front. I’m not a super charming person, so these kinds of dresses don’t usually make their way into my closet.
Navy blue has been calling to me more and more as we get closer to fall. This is one of two navy blue clothing items I picked up, and it’s definitely my favorite.
The “midi” on this midi dress couldn’t be more perfect for me. (I’m 5’6″.) The bodice was actually a little bit large for me which totally blows my mind. Usually, the reason I can’t wear dresses or fitted tops is because my boobs explode out of the standard sizing. In the case of this dress, I’m not wearing the most supportive bra that I could. The back has criss-cross straps, so standard bras aren’t super cute with this, but the bralette I wore still made me look alright! There’s just a tiny bit of gapping near the armpits.
Ultimately, I think I could have gone down a size (from 14 to 12 in US sizes) as the fabric is a little bit stretchy and there’s no adjustment straps or ties on the dress. It’s not often I discover clothing that runs large!
Unfortunately, this dress has sold out – likely thanks to me – but it’s still available in size 6 Tall!
If you’ve been around B&B for a while, you know that I have a weakness for clothing that has an interesting rear view. This… can get me into trouble sometimes. For examples, this crazy-interesting knit top by Tenki (one of the brands carried by Dorothy Perkins):
Tenki Blue Sleeveless Knitted Top,
On paper, this top is super cool. A metallic, navy blue, sleeveless knit top with an open back and draped chiffon. The weirdest part, though, is that there’s a button in the back that you fasten, allowing the back to kind of… billow out, which accentuates the pleated chiffon, but also does really weird stuff to my body shape.
Yeeeeah… Not so sure about this. I love the collar and the material is nice, not scratchy at all – but the shape. Maybe it’s just not for voluptuous hourglass shapes because I could not figure out how to make this look cute on me. It did make me realize how much I love notched necklines, though! The quality of this piece is also top notch (HAA), it feels awesome on me and off of me. It even came with an extra stupid button in case you lose the first stupid button!
Oh, it’s worth mentioning that the button can be undone which gives it more of a drapey effect in the back… but what’s the point of having a button if you don’t get to use it!?
After looking at the product photo again, I’m not sure what I expected… There was no way this top was ever going to survive my curves, but what can I say? I just love weird structural in fashion, okay!
This top I’m about to show you is my favorite pick from the entire batch of clothes. I am really bad at buying tops, I typically end up living in graphic t-shirts, but in agreement with my mission to branch out, I picked up this gorgeous, champagne-colored top with an open back that actually looks good on me.
The outer material is kind of a crinkled, shimmery silk with lots of texture while the fabric underneath is a beautiful, soft, baby pink chiffon. YUM CHIFFON.
Can you see how the open back makes 150% more sense on this one? This is a Rear View I can… get behind? Unintentional pun, I swear. There’s also no visible bra strap on this top which I wholly appreciate, though I have no problem with visible bras. Sometimes you just want to look put-together and, I don’t know, covered!
There has never been a top quite like this in my closet before. Not only am I kind of new to the idea of gold clothing, but I also don’t do many sleeveless tops at all. (Unless we’re talking about ribbed tanks in which case I live in them.) A deep v-neck top is something I’ve been craving lately, too, because crew necks and even some scoop neck can make my boobs look extra big and low. Deep v’s kind of lengthen my torso in a way that is really flattering.
AND THE BACK IS AWESOME! I love the way it looks, the way it feels, and especially the way it looks with skinny, skinny pants. It’s almost a tunic length top, so even the skinniest pants look good with them. Best of all, the draping in the back just so happens to ethereally float over any muffin-toppery that could occur from said skinny jeans. It’s kind of a perfect system.
10/10 would do again. I love this top. I have worn it a bunch of times and feel totally comfy-glam every single time.
True to form, I had to find another perfectly-priced item to be the icing on my sale-pillaging cake. So maaaaaybe I broke my own rules because I found the only pair of white(-ish) pants I’ve ever liked.
Black Star Print Skinny Trousers,
I can’t help myself. I have a jeggings and… jousers?… problem. Really, anything that feels like pajamas and looks like outside-pants is okay with me. These just so happened to be on sale, as well, and in my size. Once again, I totally think I could have sized down without too much of a problem. There are teeny-tiny black stars making up the pattern on these pants, which makes them really unique. I’m definitely not a white-pants-wearer, but these are a happy medium for my mission to branch out my style.
I tried really hard to make these high-waisted which they kind of are… but there are no belt loops which severely limits my ability to wear them that way. They don’t fall down or anything, but I can’t get too adventurous in pants with stretch and no belt loops, you know what I mean?
Pant photos: clearly not my forte.
There are side welt pockets on these pants, which is really exciting. They’re sewn shut still, so I guess it’s not exciting enough to rip the seams! I’m still trying to figure out if there’s a way to keep these up on my waist, but I have no clever solutions that don’t involve suspenders. Yet. Also be on the watch for me wearing suspenders because I love these pants.
Now that my bounty is flaunted and out of the way, let’s get back to Octer – the service that got me here.
I really love the idea of Octer because there are clothes that I love at almost every shop online, including boutiques and department stores. Octer blends all of these into a beautiful storefront where you see products from different stores mixed together.
Some downsides are present, but Octer is so new that I am confident they’ll be ironed out before too long. My biggest gripe is that lack of search criteria available. Right now, you can only search by store, price, and whether or not the items are on sale. There’s no size sort option or color sort option, and you can’t look at more than one style of dress or top at a time. On the other hand, they have included some helpful curated categories like “beach,” “active,” and “work” for clothes that pertain to swimwear, workout gear, and business-appropriate clothing.
I also wish there were dropdown menus at the top, because it takes a lot of clicks to get from the beautiful front page to a page with clothes on it. It’s also a little frustrating to try to view all styles at once (instead of just “sleeveless tops” or “short sleeved tops,” etc.), some categories have a link to view all styles and others don’t. Outside of those easily-fixable functionality gripes, Octer really served me well.