The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Adventures in Online Shopping: La Redoute

A number of my readers have asked for my opinion on La Redoute (, a French retailer of affordable women's fashions, shoes and accessories. I was curious myself to see just how well La Redoute stacked up to the rest of my favorite budget fashion stores, so I bit the bullet and placed my first order. Here's how it went:

Navigating the site: At once exhilarating and exasperating, browsing La Redoute is a daunting task as their inventory is huge, yet the site isn't very well organized, their search function is modest, product images are very limited, and it's easy to get lost. However, if you have a clear shopping list in mind, and a plan, you can manage. My plan of attack: Hit up the clearance section, where items were marked up to 85% off. Then, I searched by size, thereby eliminating needlessly browsing things I couldn't buy anyways. With this method, I honed in on a black and beige floral tunic dress (above left), wool grandfather cardigan (above right), brown leather bomber, and black cigarette pants.

Checking out: Adding items to my cart was easy and straightforward, as was the checkout process. When I completed the transaction, an annoying voice boomed, "Congratulations!" and then a popup asked if I wanted to save more, or fill out some survey, both of which I declined because of the annoyance factor. Hint: If you're shopping at work, turn off your speakers!

Special deals: La Redoute had a sitewide promotion going on which was prominently advertised on their homepage: Use code LRSAVE25 for an additional 25% off any order of $25 or more. Nice! Code was applied without any hassles, and the discounts were dramatic.

Shipping: Considering that I got 25% off my entire order, I wasn't too disappointed by the $10.99 shipping fee I paid for standard 4-6 day shipping. I ordered on 9/29 at around 1pm and received my package on 10/3. Definitely satisfactory.

Back order blues: Sadly, on 10/2, I received an email from La Redoute informing me that 2 out of the 4 items that I ordered were on backorder! Argh. Frustrating, but at least they won't charge me until my items ship, although I'm not sure when that will happen.

The goods: I bought a UNITÉ Deep "V" Dress, orig. $79.99 on sale for $24.99, in hopes of creating a sort of "winter floral" look for fall. The quality is pretty good, I would say it's on par with something you'd get at H&M or Zara. The wool/rayon blend fabric drapes nicely but it's a tad scratchy. My main complaint with this dress is the fit: It's simply too loose and too broad through the shoulders, which left it looking more hobo than boho chic when I tried it on (see pic).

I also purchased a La Redoute Creation Long Cardigan in beige, made from a wool/nylon blend. Again, I would say the quality was aligned with the price (orig. $49.99, on sale for $24.99). I figured this would be a warm and snug addition to my winter wardrobe, as I already have a gray bf cardigan and a black one - and I love them both - but I dunno. I rolled the cuffs and that seemed to help. My problem, once again, is with the fit. I think the size is correct, but the diameter of the armholes is too big, and the torso is too bulky, even when cinched with a belt. I know, it's supposed to have that "borrowed from the boys" look, but it's not quite right.

Returns: I'm on the fence with both items, so I'd love some feedback. If you think both items look fug, save me some money and let me know...I'm not afraid to return them.

Once my bomber and black pants arrive, I'll post an update. Until then, my conclusion is this: La Redoute has peeked my interest. The prices are awesome, the quality is, again, comparable to H&M, and has some great gems including trendy pieces, classics, and lots of stuff that just looks so Euro-chic (not to be confused with Euro-trash).

Of course, I'm just one customer sharing one shopping experience, so if you've ordered from La Redoute before, please share in the comments - the good, the bad, let's here it!

I have to tell you, I live in Europe, Portugal, and I am a great fan of la redoute. My only problem is sizing, sometimes the sizes are much smaller than you usually wear, most times they're too big (I am a very, very petit girl), so that can be quite frustrating, but, at least in my country, they have a great return policy, and I have never had a problem with that, you can change it for a bigger or smaller size (as long as it exists, smaller sizes than what I usually order don't) without further cost, or simply return it and have your money back in a couple of days. Plus, this summer I won a fashion trip to France, from la redoute, to have a photoshoot in Paris, and they gave me lots and lots of clothes (in addition to the trip, the photoshoot, a book and all the other perks)! so if that's not a turn on, I don't know what is!
I love the dress and I love the cardigan, I'm not so sure I like seeing them together, the cardigan looks too bulky. But I would say keep them, both!
ps vote for me! :-)
#1 Rita on 2008-10-05 09:10 (Reply)
this post was amazingly helpful. it's good to hear that their things seem to run on the bigger side (quite the opposite reaction i had with my experience with topshop). thank you so much for this!
#2 Cupcakes and Cashmere (Homepage) on 2008-10-05 09:40 (Reply)
I think they both look pretty cute but since they weren't "rock bottom" pricing - i'm on the fence. Thanks for sharing!
#3 Beth B. on 2008-10-05 09:59 (Reply)
I actually think the fit of your items look exactly like the web pictures. However, if the dress feels overall loose and the shoulders are too broad, that sounds to me like it's a size too big for you, despite what the advertised size is. You might try to exchange the dress.

As for the cardigan, that knit welt on the pocket looks great, a bad welt in a woven fabric is a very easy thing to do if your quality control is lacking, let alone in a knit, so I'm pretty impressed with the quality. I say exchange and keep.
#4 lsaspacey (Homepage) on 2008-10-05 10:26 (Reply)
I really like La Redoute and have some great pieces, however I have found that sometimes they have things in multiple catalogs that they are sold out of and have had to really keep on top of them. I also have a friend who ordered a jacket- the first time it arrived it was dirty- she returned it and recieved another damaged piece! I guess that happens sometimes with mail order.
#5 Carolyn M on 2008-10-05 10:37 (Reply)
i have to say that i'm really not a fan of la redoute. i've shopped with them twice, and my 1st experience was just horrible. they sent me my order twice...which wouldn't've been so horrible if they hadn't double-billed me! i had to spend over an hour on the phone with their customer service since nobody seemed to have any idea what had happened, and they wanted me to pay to ship back the second order (hello, why should i pay for your mistake?). i wound up returning both orders, since the clothing really wasn't what i'd expected...fitting was really off from their size chart, colors weren't correctly portrayed on their site, and sweaters were thin, cheap & scratchy.
i never would've gone back had it not been for a catalogue i received from them with a free s/h discount...their pieces always look so nice in the catalogue, & their deals always seem so great, but it's just not worth it in the end. the sweaters i'd purchased were - again - cheap & scratchy, and the fit was off (even though i took into account the sizing issue from last time). each time i've returned items to them, it seems to take 3-4 weeks for them to process my returns, which also seems inordinately slow compared to other websites i've purchased/returned items from before. it's just not worth it!
#6 ginster on 2008-10-05 10:43 (Reply)
Overall I agree with you. The quality is to be expected given the prices, but sometimes things do just fit really bizarrely. The final straw for me was the MOUNDS of junk mail I started getting -- mostly other catalogues -- after I purchased from there. The time spent calling to get myself off all those mailing lists is reason enough to avoid La Redoute!
#7 Amanda on 2008-10-05 10:44 (Reply)
I ordered once and found the 5 items I ordered did not work for my petite size, despite being the smallest size they offered. I also thought the overall quality of the items (pants, a shirt, two sweaters, and a pair of shoes) were not quite as fab as they looked in the photos (i.e. sweaters felt scratchy, shoes looked very cheap in person, etc). I returned everything and they were nice about it, though I doubt I would ever order again.

I like the items you chose, but I don't think the fit is working for you. I'd probably return them.
#8 tm on 2008-10-05 10:51 (Reply)
I Your first look with the cardigan buttoned-up, the belt slung at your hips, and extra cute boots (where are they from? They look awesome), looks really nice. If each piece was much cheaper, I'd say keep and find some way to work it into your wardrobe, but they weren't, so I say exchange.
#9 Joann on 2008-10-05 10:52 (Reply)
I think the dress looks kind of frumpy and not very flattering, and the cardigan too boxy and bulky. When it's belted, it makes your hips look bigger. I don't know, but I think these ensambles are not to my liking.
#10 sasha on 2008-10-05 20:25 (Reply)
I vote to return both items. Since the seater is a staple for fall/winter you are likely to wear it frequently. There is nothing worse than wearing something that you are in doubt about - does it fit well? Does it look cheap? Are the armholes too big? Do I really look my best? If this will be going through your mind the whole time - send it back. Go to Gap get one of their cardigans - the price is not much more and most of thims you can count on the fit and quality.

The Tunic - As soon as you said "scratchy" I put it in the return box. Life is too short to wear uncomfortable "casual" clothing.
#11 Meg Middaugh on 2008-10-05 20:40 (Reply)
I think the dress looks just beautiful on you! I wouldn't pair it with the sweater, though. The sweater looks very nice too, but I think it would look best with skinny jeans or something like that. The dress and sweater don't go together.

I shopped at La Redoute a long time ago, and I was really pleased with the pretty little skirt I got. It's one of those things I wish I'd kept. Your post has inspired me to check out LR again.
#12 Anusha (Homepage) on 2008-10-05 22:09 (Reply)
I am a faithful shopper of LR. I have never had any problems. Love the quality of the clothes as well as the price. Also you might want to look into this website I just found is Loving some of the items there.
#13 RUTHY on 2008-10-06 11:51 (Reply)
I have to agree with RUTHY. I've been using La Redoute for YEARS and I've never had a problem with them. They're my go-to spot for nice inexpensive sweaters and shirts that are also quality - especially the sweaters. I think I've even ordered a few jackets from them as well. I've only had to return something once. I love them!
#14 Bee on 2008-10-06 21:09 (Reply)
Looks like the "NAYS" have it, so I'll be returning both these items. BUT I'm not giving up on La Redoute for good! I sense potential, even if these two particular items were a flop. Thank you to everyone for sharing your insights and opinions! Very helpful. :-)
#14.1 The Budget Babe on 2008-10-07 09:56 (Reply)
I've never heard of this online boutique before, but I went to check it out. They do have some cute things, but it reminds me of Newport News, whose quality is also lacking as well. There is a great online boutique, Eye Candy Buy Candy, Their items are of great caliber and they maintain exclusivity by carrying only a few of each item. You should check it out.
#14.1.1 Bettina (Homepage) on 2008-10-10 05:27 (Reply)
i love your boots in those pics! they are a great height/shape. are you willing to share what they are/where you bought? and are they comfortable? thanks budget babe!
#15 meg on 2008-10-12 14:57 (Reply)
The boots are from Target! Bought them last season. I love them but sometimes I wish they were real leather... :-)
#15.1 The Budget Babe on 2008-10-12 22:09 (Reply)
I have ordered a few time from redoute. Not that their clothes were spectacular or anything, but the pair of pants " Activewear" grey plaid happened to be my favorite ones for more than two years. They sit great, they look great, they don't crawl down my hips like some jeans do. Now I wanted to reorder this same pair ( I accidentally spilled some bleach on them), and realized I could not. what disappointment.
#16 Tatibarnes on 2009-10-30 15:59 (Reply)
Please think about having a store like the United Kingdom and French Stores. I am a plus size 4x or 5x and can't find any fashionable clothing anywhere. I want something different, like slim people with good taste and fabrics. I used to be a size 2 and now wish I had the options I once had when slimmer. Long cardigans, neutral colors and black. No polyesters and rayons. You get so warm when you are larger and they are not preferred. If I had a way to express myself with my clothes I would want to go out in public, saying something about my style then just fat dowdy clothing. Are there any designers, willing to do some clothing? Just because you are overweight means you are not tasteless and ignorant. Make the clothes like a person who is a size 5 or 14. Please listen to my plea. Be creative and notice there are plenty of larger women. Jeanne Gangelhoff
#17 Jeanne Gangelhoff on 2010-04-10 05:14 (Reply)
im bumd wish theyd still would of kept it for the u.s.a .wonder if any of their sites shipto the states!
#18 s.stam on 2011-01-12 04:26 (Reply)
My husband bought a whole wardrobe from La Radoute before they went out of business - FOR HIS CYBER GIRLFRIEND!!!!

unfortunately for him, they sent a catalog to the house - what a nice surprise for me :-(

I kicked him out - she married somebody else - bleh!
#19 adomini on 2011-03-02 16:17 (Reply)
Just FYI, LaRedoute has a website ( that offers shipping to the USA. I just placed my first order with them yesterday, so we'll see how that goes. BUT, they've already messed up as my confirmation specifies that they should send the package to my office, and when I got the tracking number, it is directed to my house. _SO_ annoying.
#20 darlingberna (Homepage) on 2012-01-27 12:08 (Reply)
i had a TERRIBLE experience with La Redoute. I can laugh now. they got my first order wrong, then sent 17 of one item, and charged me for them all. Plus the shipping and returns took forever.
#21 pris on 2012-06-09 19:02 (Reply)
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