Friday, 10 December 2010

A little bird... one of a handful of websites and newsletters that I swear by to help guide me through the clutter of cyberspace shopping.

Like most people I sigh when another junk mail drops into my inbox but there are a select few that buck the trend - the only downside is being distracted from work while you coo and sigh over the latest delight.

What distinguishes them is a love of what they do, knowledge and passion and a hefty dose of wit and humour.  And though I've not had the pleasure to meet any of them personally, they all engage with their readers with sweet little messages on email or twitter.

My latest pick of the bunch is A Little Bird, set up by Daisy Garnett and a Francesca Martin who met at Vogue.  They describe the site as 'an opinionated guide to what's on'.  As a former BBC Radio 4 producer how could I resist any site described by the Guardian as 'Radio 4 meets Vogue online'?  Being opinionated is key - nothing more dull than the wishy-washy.  Strong editorial opinion makes me trust what they say.

Similarly Kate Carter's Fashion Statement for Guardian Life & Style is a mid-week must read.  Take for example last week's profile of fashion goddess Anna Della Russo.  Though I confess I usually scroll straight down to the faux-pas of Fashion Graveyard.

Another fabulous newcomer is Chic Little Baby blog.  Also formerly of Vogue's parish, Maggie Westhead is Associate Shopping & Style editor of Time Out magazine, London.  She seeks out the best sales, the coolest shops and the most delectable buys.

If you're a print junkie who seems the pleasure of glossy pages, then Angels and Urchins is for you.  Editors Annie Reid and Emily Turner infuse the magazine with their personality.  The quarterly publication's perfectly complemented by Claire Gill's weekly newsletter.  A concise, colourful digest to what's hot in London.

If you want to dress up your home, rather than your children, take a peek at Ellie Tennant's Home Shopping Spy

For the man in your life, Oi Polloi can't be beaten.  This Manchester retailer's enews letter is like Saville Row meets Noel Gallagher.  Describing itself as the antidote to stale and uninspired menswear it's also a trail-blazer in how to sell online.

Last but not least word has to go to Times Top 40 blogger Dulwich Mum.  Relentlessly funny, DM has made twittering into an art-form.