Spree.co.za Occasion Dresses

I recently needed an occasion dress for an evening event. I decided to hit the mall and I was very disappointed with what I found! Most shops had a small or non-existent occasion sections. In the end I had only a couple of shops to choose from. Another issue I had is that too many of the dresses were bodycon dresses and I just did not want to wear one for that event.

I was browsing the “New In” section on Spree.co.za the other day and was so surprised to find some amazing occasion dresses. Their dresses are beautiful and some of them are very unique. Thank you Spree! This is just another example of where online shopping beats mall shopping.

spree.co.za occasion dresses

Closed: Locally made giveaway

As promised here is little surprise for you to celebrate this blog’s birthday and to say thank you! If you have followed this blog for a while then you know that I am a supporter of local design. I wanted to make this giveaway special so I selected local brands that I believe in. I own items by each of these brands and I cherish them. They are beautifully made, high quality and most importantly made locally.

The winner of this giveaway will receive each of the following:

Wanderlust Backpack by Double Edge

The Wanderlust Backpack by Double Edge


Bouquet Dress by Lara Mars

Bouquet Dress by Lara Mars


Branch Necklace by Trinket Design

Branch Necklace By Trinket Design

Double Edge is a Cape Town based brand who craft amazing high quality leather goods. I used a Double Edge backpack when I visited Bali and it was so comfy and handy. The fact that they look good helps too! Visit their website at www.doubleedge.co.za.

Lara Mars is also a brand based in Cape Town. They produce beautiful vintage inspired dresses from limited edition fabrics. I own two Lara Mars dresses which I love! Visit their website at www.laramars.co.za/.

Trinket Design is jewellery brand based in Johannesburg. They create highly crafted quirky jewellery pieces. I own one of their brooches and it is one of a kind! Visit their website at www.trinketdesign.co.za/.

To enter you must:

For extra entries you can:

  • Share a link to this giveaway on Facebook.
  • Share a link to this giveaway on Twitter. Be sure to tag my twitter account @EmbracingStyle
  • Share this giveaway on Instagram. Be sure to mention my Instagram account EmbracingStyle
  • Blog a link to this giveaway

Good luck! Anyone can enter this giveway. Giveaway ends Sunday 5 July 2014 at 5pm. The winner will be announced on Monday 7 July 2014.

Asos.com Review from a South African Perspective

So this is post number two of my online shopping review series. For those of you who don’t know, ASOS.com is a UK online store that stocks clothing by many brands. I know that lots of women I speak to are cautious of buying from overseas. When I wear something that I’ve bought on ASOS I am often asked where I bought that item. I tell the person and they usually just keep quiet when they hear it’s from the UK. I hope this post will shed some light and sway some of you to try ASOS.com out.


So what are the things that make South Africans think twice when buying from overseas? Here are a few:

Isn’t the postage expensive?
No! Asos offers free international postage. How awesome is that? They do offer paid postage options but I haven’t ever used them. I’d rather not pay for shipping and then wait longer for my goods.

Won’t I wait long for my goods?
You might wait long but a little patience never hurt anybody. I’ve waited between two to four weeks for my parcels from ASOS. I waited quiet long when I bought during the festive season and I really thought that my parcel went missing. It did eventually arrive and I was happy.

Won’t my parcel get lost?
ASOS doesn’t offer a tracking number when you choose the free postage and this can be worrisome. This is one of the reasons I don’t buy anything that is too expensive when shopping from ASOS. I’ve received each and every one of my ASOS purchases though. I must admit that I have been starting to buy things that are a bit more expensive because of the good track record. In short, I trust this way of shopping.

Aren’t the customs charges expensive?
Guess what? I’ve never paid customs duty for anything that I bought on ASOS. I hope I am not jinxing myself by saying that! When you buy from ASOS there is a little message that says you might pay customs duties if your purchase exceeds R500.

ASOS under R500 customs message

I have never bought anything for more than R500. I know that many people have paid customs for purchases that are under R500. So, I am really not sure why I have never paid customs and why other people have. I can say that I one buy one item at a time. Since shipping is free I think this is fine to do. I emailed someone working at customs and asked them about this R500 limit and they said that there is no such rule. So, who has got it wrong? Basically, you need to be prepared for the possible customs duties. You can find out how to do the customs duties calculation here.

There are many awesome local online retailers, so bother with overseas shopping?
This is very true. We have brilliant local online retailers and I do shop on their sites. As a South African I often feel restricted when it comes to shopping. There are many trends that do not reach our shores and I feel that ASOS gives the average South African access to this kind of product. Besides that, ASOS does stock awesome stuff! They have loads of stock in every style under the sun. Yay for options! ASOS is based in the UK which means their seasons are opposite to ours. This means that the merchandise that goes on sale is perfect to wear in South Africa. I’ve bought leather boots for about R300 on one of these sales, so I really recommend it. They also permanently have a sale or clearance section. VIVA sales!

In conclusion…
I don’t have anything bad to say about ASOS. I have tried to pay via PayPal a couple of times and it didn’t work but let’s hope that is fixed now. They definitely get the “Embracing Style” stamp of approval. Did I mention their customer service department are very much on the ball? If you are one of those who are a bit cautious to try them out, I hope I have swayed you a bit. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Have a lovely week ya’ll!

Spree.co.za Review

I’m often asked to give my opinion on fashion or trends. While I am always honoured to be asked I often find myself thinking that I am a mere civilian and all I can offer is opinion. One thing I definitely feel qualified to comment on is shopping. Yes, shopping is a recreational thing for me but I enjoy it and I do it often and I have a lot to say about it. This is why I decided to start a little series where I review online shops that I like to shop at. Bloggers and other people who are on the Internet a lot and who trust the Internet have been shopping online for ages. There are lots of people who are too scared to shop online. Some of these people are my friends :) I hope these series of blog posts will sway to try online shopping.

spree boots by Zoom for Autumn

If you’re a regular on my blog you’d know that I am a fan of Spree. Buying online for me comes down to a few things. How fast will I get my item? What is the quality of the stock vs price and how stylish/fashionable/unique is it? Is their website easy to use without bugs and hassles? How much does delivery cost? This is how Spree fares on all these questions in my humble opinion:

The Turn around time

They get straight to it. You receive feedback about your purchase very quickly and you receive it very quickly. So quickly that you never need to track your purchase. I bought an item one evening and received it the next day before lunch (fantastic!). I’ve never waited longer than two days to receive a purchase. Their head office is in Cape Town so that’s obviously in my favour.

The product

Generally speaking I’d say that Spree is not the place you’d go to grab a cheapie item. They stock clothing mostly by South African designers. If you’re like me and like to support local design and don’t mind paying a little more for good quality then Spree is for you. They do always have a specials tab though which I love. What girl doesn’t love a mark down? One thing I have noticed about their merchandise is that you’d find certain items by designers that you don’t always see on other sites. eg. another shop might stock the same brand but then I wouldn’t see the specific item that Spree stocks in the other online shop. So chances are you’d could be buying something that not a lot of other people will be wearing.

The website

The design is not too cluttered. One thing that many online shops do these days when you visit their site is pop up a modal asking you to subscribe to their newsletter, Spree does not have this. Thank goodness because it’s my pet hate! The site is acceptably fast and is relatively user friendly. One thing I love is the litte info graphic they have illustrating how far your purchase is.

Spree.co.za InfoGraphic

There is a “Why Buy” section on each item on the website and it gives mostly useful information like how to wear the item which is a nice extra.

spree.co.za Why Buy

Checking out (purchasing) on their site is quick and easy. They offer EFT and credit card. All in all I am very happy with the Spree online shopping experience. There are one or two minor things I would do to improve the buyer experience but they are no biggie and it might just be on their to do list. Being a techie, I always have these kinds of things in the back of my mind.


Free. Mahala. Gratis. Nuff said. (oh and by courier to your door – that’s always a bonus).

The verdict

Spree gets a thumbs up from me, but you probably knew that already :) They give great customer service and their product is fairly unique and stylish (duh). I have got my eye on some of their items for Autumn. Can’t wait to buy them. I already bought the boots above at their sale.

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