RIP retail. Lately, I’m not the biggest fan of department store browsing, but there’s something refreshing—and ultimately a lot more wallet-friendly—about shopping online with direct-to-consumer brands. First, as I mentioned, direct-to-consumer means you get the product minus the traditional retail markup. (Basically, this means the price is the price and you don’t have to panic that you might be missing out on an upcoming mega-sale.) Second, direct-to-consumer brands can get to know their audience a lot better and cater to their needs. It’s about a lifestyle versus a trend, which is something I really love. That’s why I’m rounding up some fashion, beauty and wellness direct-to-consumer brands that should definitely be on your radar.
If you ask me what I’m wearing lately, it is likely that I will (a) be wearing something from Ayr, and (b) take the opportunity to GUSH ad nauseam about how much I love the brand. Nothing feels trendy, everything feels like the perfect piece you’ll wear forever. A perfect black turtleneck. A killer wide leg jumpsuit. The right jacket for fall. And THE JEANS: They have the right amount of stretch for my backside, and are the perfect classic washes. Mic drop. All I’m wearing lately.
It’s the direct-to-consumer brand that coined the term leisurée—a blend of ath-leisure and lingerie—in the hopes of delivering the high style and comfort of lingerie, active and swim. The result is Lively, a line of high quality bras and underwear made using the best materials in the industry that enables women to wear them and feel comfortable in their own skin. I personally can NOT stop wearing their bralettes, which are simultaneously sexy and comfortable, an often impossible feat.
An offshoot of the uber-popular beauty blog IntoTheGloss.com, Glossier is a skincare and makeup line dreamed up by founder Emily Weiss and the women who have spent years—almost a decade, in fact—testing every product under the sun. It’s built around the core essentials of beauty, so you can whittle your getting ready routine down to the not-so-basic essentials and still look your best. (Think dewy skin and uncomplicated makeup. The best.) Tried and deeply loved: The Boy Brow and Strech Concealer. My next order: The body products and sunscreen.
Handcrafted shoes at an affordable price—not possible, you thought? M.Gemi is proving you wrong. Direct-to-consumer footwear that delivers the best of Italian craftsmanship and artistry in the form of timeless and on-trend shoes with exclusive designs that launch every week. (Gorgeous suede flats and incredibly wearable block heel booties included.)
As a Canadian, I was wearing Lululemon long before many of my US friends discovered it. So I was ready for a change even before the see-through pant debacle. Outdoor Voices has hit the scene and quietly become the uniform for every girl I see at Equinox and hip hop yoga. The color palette feels fresh and minimal, and the styles are simple colorblocking and flattering cuts (these are my favorite leggings RN). The collection will outfit you whether you’re hiking, biking, going to Bikram, or just getting a green tea latte.
Braces, ugh. If you had them as a kid, you most likely remember the awkwardness (and your parents, I’m sure, remember the hefty price tag that came with them). Candid is a new direct-to-consumer service designed to get you the straight and white teeth you’ve always wanted with clear aligners delivered directly to your door for as low as $88 a month. To get started, simply make an impression of your smile from the comfort of your own home and send back the starter kit, postage paid. An orthodontist then custom designs a treatment plan to match your needs and ships the FDA-approved aligners straight to your door. (Bonus: Teeth whitening also included.)
Away’s direct-to-consumer luggage ticks all the boxes: Stylish colors, holds a ton, lightweight, durable zippers, easy to roll, and affordably priced. Plus extras like a built-in battery to charge your smartphone while you’re in the airport, and a TSA-friendly lock. Extra genius points given for the fact that their entire collection nests inside one another, so you can store three suitcases in the space of one. I’ve been using their larger carry-on suitcase for about a year now and it shows no sign off slowing down.
Your health is priority #1. But the one-size-fits-all approach to supplements has never really worked for you. That’s where Care/Of comes in: The subscription-only vitamins are tailored specifically to meet your needs. Simply take a quiz to get a recommended list of supplements based on clinical research and you’ll receive a box of personalized packs each month—everything from calcium plus to the probiotic blend.
At a certain point, all white sheets look the same. Not so, according to Ariel Kaye, the founder of Parachute. After a trip to the Amalfi Coast, where she encountered the softest and most luxurious linens imaginable, she decided it was up to her to create the best sheets on the market and remove the confusion around what it takes to achieve a comfortable night’s sleep. Mission accomplished— I sleep enveloped in their (very affordable) linen sheets every night, and it’s just so good.
Rockets of Awesome
A kid brand that’s definitely too cool for school. Rockets of Awesome starts with a style quiz about your little ones that results in a personalized selection of 8 to 12 items that get shipped to your door so you can try before you buy. Anything you don’t like you can ship back for free, no questions asked.
It’s not always easy to find a leather purse that you love and feel good about. Von Holzhausen offers a vegan collection of easy-to-wear bags and accessories that are not only timeless, but are made with the utmost commitment to sustainability and a minimal impact on the environment. Most importantly, no animal is ever killed solely for its hide, and no sense of style is ever killed in the name of being kind to animals.
Do you like shopping directly from brands? Any favorites I missed? Let me know below, kay?