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Let's be glad I don't have my credit-card number memorized. There's a plethora of shopping sites loaded with über-chic, budget-minded clothes and accessories, and some of my all-time favorites are based right here in OC. Bookmark these URLs, and get ready to squeal, swoon and reach for your wallet. Fair warning: You may just swear off mall parking lots and awful dressing-room lighting for good.
Whenever someone compliments me on an outfit and asks me where I got it, there's a pretty good chance the answer is Ruche. Founded in 2008 by husband-and-wife team Mai and Josh Olivo, the Fullerton-based boutique is constantly updated with adorable, affordable, vintage-inspired items: dresses, tops, shoes, bags, jewelry, home goods, stationery, even a bridal collection. What makes the site stand out is how interactive the team is with its fans—or "Ruchettes," as they're called. A blog features giveaways, video contests and a Breakfast at Ruche live-streamed web show. One of the latest (and cuuuutest) Ruche additions: a baby section. "We like to think of ourselves as one big family," Mai says of the crew. "Josh and I recently announced our first child over the warehouse intercom." www.shopruche.com.
Threadsence is Ruche's wild little sister. Its shoppers are fun, edgy and can often be found Instagramming themselves at house parties. Launched in 2010 by the Olivos and their friend, UC Irvine grad Vu Bui, the site has exploded into a hub for lovers of indie music, art and fashion. Badass items include tops with spiked sleeves, asymmetrical skirts, ombre denim shorts, floral combat boots and skull-decked clutches. The site includes a cool section called Hot Minute that features Q&As with designers and bloggers on the rise. There are also playlists, recipes and street-style snaps—get ready to waste away the day. www.threadsence.com.
This Huntington Beach-based online boutique has been outfitting young, free-spirited guys and gals since 2004. Founder and buyer Belle Nguyen packs the shop with rad brands such as Obey, Wildfox Couture, Stussy and OC's supplier of stylish bow ties, Cotton Treats. Some of the most coveted pieces, however, come from the company's own collection, Purple Label. (Check out the custom-dyed, studded Levi's cut-offs—must have!) The site is also a great destination for swimwear and eyewear, carrying such designer brands as Tom Ford, vintage styles and a super-affordable house line. www.80spurple.com.
This column appeared in print as "OC's Best Online Boutiques."