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What kind of fitness tests do our pieces have to go through before the designs are approved?

Really, they have to run a gruelling marathon in design terms and we make no apologies for our high standards.

You see, at Stella Phoenix, we’re not looking for the cheapest, easiest option. We’re not trying to find any old fabric we can slap on a coat hanger and sell for maximum profit without a single care in the world what happens for you after you’ve taken it home. Nope. We are, instead, customer-centric. What does that mean? Allow us to explain, but with the preface that it’s awesome news for YOU.

Our new Fashion Designer, Laura, started about a month ago and has been doing an amazing job at designing our new collection (side note: we know a lot of you are absolutely dying and having Stella withdrawals waiting for more info on this. We will tell you more soon, our pretties! Soon!) Last week she made an interesting comment that stopped us in our tracks. Not because we’d never considered it before, but because it’s so normal for us now, we forgot how special it is (for a brief moment). She said: “It’s so nice designing for a brand who cares about what’s right for the customer.”

She is, of course, referring to the painstakingly technical Stella Phoenix design process. Many hours, months, discussions, drawings, contemplations, tests take place throughout our design process to make sure that the outfits are as perfect as we can make them – for you.

Our designs are underpinned by a philosophy of being clever, yet simple. Special, yet practical. If it’s too hard to wear, to tie, to love, to care for, to interchange, to clean we’re not interested in it. We’ve had playsuits survive cake smashes and blue make up mishaps, we’ve had dresses survive the beach and we’ve had t-shirts go through 50+ washes and come out looking perfect on the other side (extra level sparkle included). There are times that the team has been drowning in fabric swatches hunting for that perfect unicorn fabric. While nothing is indestructible, if you care for your Stella, it’s made to last.

Here’s some examples of the kinds of tests we put the outfits through:

  • The twirl test: we’ve mentioned this before, but yes, all our dresses and skirts go through a twirl test to make sure the twirl is magical. We take it very seriously at Stella HQ!
  • The scratch test: during fabric selection, we put swatches through a scratch test and any that fail this test are rejected
  • The wear test: when our models try the outfits on, what is their first reaction? Do they love it, or hate it? If they start skipping, twirling and dancing about, we know we have a winner. Each piece must be nothing short of magical for the wearer!
  • The comfort test: how comfortable is the item to wear? How does it feel against little, soft skin? How easy is it to adjust and interchange? It may seem like the functionality of our outfits are effortless – and they are. But, the process to get them there? Very technical, with the combined genius of many minds.
  • The practicality test: what little functions can we add to outfits to make them easy for parents? For example, all of our playsuits have snap clips up to a size 5 because no one wants to get stuck trying to untie a playsuit during a toilet emergency. We consider questions like, how does it go zooming down a slide? What about a sandpit or climbing a tree?
  • The wow test: if a sample arrives and it doesn’t make us ‘WOW’? It’s a no go.

And after this is all finished and we receive the outfits themselves? They go through two separate quality control checks, that can take up to an hour per piece.

We realise this all seems like a lot of work for us, and it is. But, more work for us means less work, and more fun, for you. To us, the many emails we get describing our outfits as “perfection”, the stories we hear about little girls refusing to take their Stella off, and all the gorgeous adventures they have in it, are absolutely priceless. Hearing that customers are packing our outfits away in treasure boxes as family heirlooms fill our heart with gladness. Being customer-centric means caring about the customer most, and this is why our customers keep coming back to us. Refusing to waiver on this standard means customers have come to trust we’re here to look after them.

We’ve been talking recently about changes we have made prior to COVID-19 as part of our Mindful Fashion Plan and what they mean for you.

Some of those changes are to our manufacturing model which means that the way you shop Stella will change. Further to all of our pieces being Australian made from 2020, we are now:

  1. Manufacturing based on pre-orders. This means that customers will be able to pre-order the pieces they love. We already have a list of VIP customers who will have first opportunity to see and purchase from our new collection before it goes public and we’ll release more info on how you can pre-order in the near future too!
  2. Instead of manufacturing one or two big collections each year, we’ll be releasing pieces in ‘drops’ per quarter. Opportunities to buy will be limited which means our keepsake pieces will remain exclusive and rare, just the way you love them!

Combined with the efforts and progress we’ve already made on mindful fashion, these two changes will enable us to be even more sustainable, ethical, mindful, innovative and agile to create a better future. And yes, this means learning a new way of shopping with us, but we are in this together. We’re here to help you and to make it the most effortless and magical experience we can.

As always we will listen, learn, test and adjust as we go along.

Love it? Give us a 🙌 in the comments.

There’s lots of discussions and a growing movement regarding moving away from fast fashion and towards ethical, sustainable fashion and examining consumerism. These topics in themselves can be quite complex. Here at Stella Phoenix, we create what we call ‘mindful fashion.’ What is mindful fashion? It’s fashion that not only incorporates quality, ethics and sustainability but also a way to consume by buying less and creating more. It’s a simple, yet clever philosophy that underpins everything we design and means you can still enjoy shopping beautiful, exquisite pieces for your little girls, while having peace of mind that you are contributing to a better world for ourselves, our children and each other.

There’s lots of work to do with changing the face of fashion, and like you, we can’t achieve everything at once. However, we have a Mindful Fashion Plan that we’ve been working towards in order to ensure our impact on the world continues to be a positive one. In our quest for mindful fashion, we are focusing on progress, not perfection because we recognise the nature of our modern world is fluid and ever changing. We aim to be agile and responsive; listening, learning, testing and adjusting as we go along.

Here are some examples of our progress so far:

  1. Interchangeable pieces: we are committed to designing pieces that enable you to create multiple outfits from simple core pieces and are adjustable for growth. This includes mixing and matching tops and bottoms of playsuits and dresses, the ability to detach skirts from dresses and wear on their own, and also the fact our pieces are seasonless. That is, you can wear them on their own for summer, or layer them to wear all year round. We’re currently working on brand new designs that take these capabilities to a whole new level – so watch this space.
  2. Timeless, quality and versatile design: whether you decide to pass your outfits down through generations, or on-sell for someone else to love when you’re finished with them, we are committed to designing pieces that will be endlessly stylish, will last and can be played in. This is why we don’t prescribe to the ‘trendmill’ (a term coined by Nina Gbor, a sustainable Fashion Stylist) that holds many hostage – instead opting for timeless pieces that can be styled to suit sentiment, mood and even imagination, without having to continually reinvent your wardrobe. Our luxurious playsuits and dresses have survived all sorts of adventures like cake smashes, sandpits, tree climbing and zooming down slides. If you take care of your treasures, they will last!
  3. Australian designed, made and owned: from 2020, our Stella Phoenix pieces will be designed and made in Australia. This means customers will not only continue to enjoy exceptional and, at times, unparalleled quality, but also the comfort of knowing that they were made in ethical conditions, by people who are being paid fair wages. Whether in manufacturing, sourcing fabrics, employing staff or working with businesses in the countries we sell into, customers can trust that the money they invest in their Stella Phoenix outfits not only brings joy to their little loves, but is also being invested back into local community jobs and businesses as we grow.
  4. Smarter manufacturing: we’ve changed our manufacturing process to ensure less waste, from how we determine and allocate the quantities we manufacture, to the manufacturing process itself. An example of this is how our manufacturer cuts fabrics in a way that reduces fabric waste.


We’ve achieved a lot over the last 12 months, and there’s much more to do. At the moment we are working hard behind the scenes on sourcing more Australian, New Zealand, UK and USA fabrics to add to our gorgeous collection of fabrics from around the world. We’re also looking into more sustainable packaging options that will still give you that breathtaking box opening experience y’all love so much! If you know of any amazing suppliers, please let us know!

Some people might say that Stella Phoenix is a brand that sells clothes for your little princess. Playsuits, dresses, tutus, sparkles. And, we do. But, we don’t.

While Stella Phoenix is known and trusted for high quality, durability and mesmerising beauty, what we deliver for your little princesses is so much more than something to wear.

Why do our customers continue coming back to us?

For the breathtaking moment when they open the box, the luxury and prestige of wearing our pieces and the magical experience their children have with them! 

What makes our pieces so magical? 

To answer this question, we actually need to get a little nostalgic. Many people say fashion is changing the world over, and really, it’s coming full circle in a lot of ways. Once, items of clothing were treasured and passed down as heirlooms. Remember the christening gown that Prince Archie wore for his christening? Sure, it’s a replica of the original royal christening gown, but that original gown dutifully performed over 160 years of service!

Similarly, our pieces are considered keepsakes that customers pack away in treasure boxes after their daughters have grown out of them. Owning a Stella Phoenix piece is thought to be like a rite of passage. Recently, a customer said, “every little girl should own a Stella piece.”

Keepsake pieces share our secrets, experience our stories and make our moments. It becomes part of us and our family to be loved and loved again. It’s more than something to wear, it’s an experience. When little girls look back on their childhood, they will remember their magical dresses and the fun they had in them. They will enjoy watching their own daughters experience the same. Some of our most luxurious dresses and playsuits are often slept in, worn under school uniform, the centrepiece of cake smash celebrations and adorned in the sandpit or at the beach (and have survived to tell the tale!)

This is why we put so much thought and effort into the details and sensory aspects for your little ones, including:

  1. Subjecting all of our dresses to a twirl test to ensure nothing less than the perfect twirl
  2. Designing from the perspective of happy childhood memories. For example, our Amelie dress is quite often likened to a battenburg cake or strawberry ice cream on a summer’s day!
  3. We only choose fabrics that are soft on little skin so your little lady can enjoy both style AND comfort
  4. We combine different textures, colours and patterns so that little eyes and fingers can get lost in exploring the outfit

When little girls put our outfits on, they immediately start twirling, dancing, leaping and showing off to all their friends!

Next time you are shopping for your little lady, whether Stella Phoenix or otherwise, try to look beyond the outfit that is before you. Take time to curate your little lady’s wardrobe and think about what suits her personality and what beautiful experiences the outfit will help her create. If she loves superhero t-shirts, pair a sparkle skirt with that. If she’s a rock princess, throw her darling playsuit on with some chunky boots. If she’s a cowgirl, pop on a cute hat and cowgirl boots!

If she refuses to take her outfit off because she loves it so much (warning: this is likely with Stella pieces), layer it for winter or wear it on it’s own for summer! She can love her special outfits all year round.

Stella is for every little cowgirl, superhero or princess to express herself and her creativity however she likes! And that, our friends, is more than clothes.

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Purchasing and Returns Info

COVID-19 update: while it is always our aim to minimise impact to customers, given the unprecedented impact of Coronavirus, there have been some temporary service interruptions. 

Stella Phoenix has stringent quality control and safety practices to keep our staff and customers as safe as possible. We are still currently meeting our order processing time of 24-48 hours, however there are worldwide shipping delays and cancellations which are detailed below.

We are shipping orders worldwide, with the exception of Burundi, Bermuda, Brunei, Bahamas, Bhutan, Botswana, Belize, Columbia, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Western Sahara, Fiji, Grenada, Honduras, India, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Kuwait, Cayman Islands, Laos, Lebanon, St Lucia, Sri Lanka, Liberia, Lesotho, Libya, Morocco, Moldovia, Montenegro, Madagascar, Myanmar, Mongolia, Mauritania, Maldives, Nambia, New Caledonia,  Nicaragua, Peru, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Paraguay, Rwanda, Sudan, St Helena, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Chad, Tunisia, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, Somoa, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Customers from these locations are still welcome to order and we will hold on to their parcel until such time as the COVID-19 shipping restrictions are lifted.

COVID-19 has caused a global reduction in flights. Subsequently, all other locations are likely to have some shipping delays, including express post in Australia. If you are shopping for special occasions that are time sensitive, please ensure you order as soon as possible to avoid any potential delays.

Given the fluid nature of this situation, we’ll continue to update you as advice evolves.

We thank all of our customers for their understanding and support during this time.

By providing your email address during the order process you are consenting to us contacting you about your order. This includes updating you on the progress of your order, contacting to resolve issues with your order or following up with you if your order is incomplete.

Please choose your purchases carefully as Stella Phoenix does not accept returns or issue refunds for change of mind, natural wear and tear or incorrect sizing. 

We provide a comprehensive size chart on our website to help you choose the correct sizing. Please refer to our size chart prior to making a purchase as we are unable to exchange sizes due to limited stock availability.

Stella Phoenix takes reasonable steps to ensure that the products we supply correspond closely to the samples and images on our website, social media and in our lookbooks. Due to variations in production runs, computer monitors, device screens, printing colour differences and natural imperfections in fabrics (especially natural fibres) there may be slight variations in colour, embellishment, pattern or construction from time to time. Stella Phoenix is not liable for these differences and will not accept returns on this basis.

Stella Phoenix has stringent quality control processes to ensure the quality of our products, including two separate quality control checks. It’s therefore highly unlikely for a customer to receive a faulty product. It is your responsibility to check the product immediately upon delivery, but in any case within at least 30 days, and advise us of any faults or damage so that we can resolve the issue for you. 

If you have received a Product with a fault, damage or defect, please contact us immediately at [email protected] and provide evidence of the fault, damage or defect along with proof of purchase.

The faulty Product must be returned to us prior to us processing your exchange or refund. 

To return the Product to us, please arrange to post the Product to us by registered post so that the Product can be tracked. In the event the Product is deemed to be faulty, damaged or defective, we will refund your return postage costs, so please keep your receipts. We won’t refund return postage costs of products that aren’t faulty, damaged or defective.

If the Product is confirmed to have a major fault, we will repair (if possible), exchange or provide a refund for the Product to your original payment method, as elected by you. 

If the Product has a minor fault, we will offer a store credit if a replacement is not available due to stock limitations or a full refund at our discretion.

Please allow up to 10 days for the refund or exchange to be processed.

Nothing in this clause is intended to exclude any of your statutory rights as a consumer under Australian Consumer Law.

All garments have a care label and care instructions are also available on our website. Customers are responsible for following the care instructions correctly. Stella Phoenix will not accept return of items where damage has occurred due to incorrect cleaning or care.

Australia

Stella Phoenix generously provides free express shipping on all orders delivered within Australia totalling more than AUD $129. For orders totalling less than this amount, a flat rate of $10 will apply for express postage.

International

Stella Phoenix generously provides free standard shipping on USA and Rest of World orders totalling more than AUD $129. 

For orders totalling less than this amount, the following flat rates will apply for standard postage:

NZ: AUD $15

Asia, USA and Canada: AUD $15

Rest of World: AUD $25

Stella Phoenix uses third party courier companies and mail carriers to deliver customer orders. Each company has their own terms, conditions and processes which are outside of our control. Parcels are delivered according to the terms and conditions of the selected courier or carrier. Stella Phoenix is only responsible for your parcel up until the point it leaves our physical care. All risk in the Product shall pass to you upon delivery.

It is your responsibility to take care when opening the Product or packaging so as not to damage it. From the time when risk passes to you, we will not be liable for loss or damage to the Product except as otherwise provided below.

A person must be available at the specified shipping address to sign for delivery. If the courier company allows, you may grant them authority to leave the Product at a designated area (for example, at the front door) when placing your order. If you do, you understand and agree that this authority gives us and/or our couriers permission to leave the Product unattended at the place specified by you without obtaining a signature confirming delivery. In such circumstances, you understand and agree that by granting authority to leave the Products, we and our couriers are released of all responsibility and liability for the Products delivered and left unattended, and that this responsibility and liability transfers to you upon delivery.

Customers will receive an email confirming who is managing the delivery of their order, along with a tracking number. If your parcel does not arrive as expected, your first port of call is to contact the courier company or mail carrier, quoting your tracking number. If unresolved to your satisfaction, please make contact with us as a second step.

Stella Phoenix is not liable for delays or failure in delivery for circumstances that are outside our reasonable control (including third party policies and processes). For example, error or omission by courier companies/mail carriers or customs/importation processes. We are also not liable for delivery issues associated with limited access to the property or inaccurate/incomplete contact/address information provided by customers.

Delivery timeframes:

Delivery timeframes are approximate and provided as a guide only. Actual delivery times will depend on the courier service and your location.

Orders will be posted by us within 2 business days of the order being placed on our website.

Australia

We use Express post. Once shipped, please allow 1-3 days for Australia Post to deliver your order.

Rest of World

International deliveries will be sent via DHL and may take 7-14 business days depending on where you are located.

We recommend our customers make adequate time allowances for shipping delays when ordering to avoid disappointment. If your order is urgent, please email us at [email protected] prior to ordering.

The order price does not include or cover any applicable importation charges, taxes and duties for customers in the country where the order is to be delivered. The customer is responsible for such taxes and duties. Stella Phoenix has no control over customs or importation processes specific to each destination. We are not liable for customs delays or non-delivery of items due to customs policies and processes.

We reserve the right to refuse any order placed with us for any reason, at our sole discretion. Only approved Stella Phoenix wholesalers are permitted to wholesale our product. All orders placed with Stella Phoenix are for domestic use and products must not be resold unless previously organised. If you wish to wholesale our product, please apply to wholesale here: https://www.stella-phoenix.com/wholesale/ Wholesalers are agreed at the sole discretion of Stella Phoenix and we reserve the right to revoke our wholesale agreement at any time, for any reason.

This contract is governed by the laws of Queensland, Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia and such other laws which are applicable in the country where the consumer is resident.

Stella Phoenix puts a lot of effort into providing a personalised service to our customers. If you have any questions or feedback please email us at [email protected] as we love hearing from you.

Please also email us if you have a complaint. We will endeavour to respond to your complaint within 5 business days of acknowledging our receipt of it. If you submit a complaint and do not receive a written acknowledgement, please contact us again to double check it has been received.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our customer service and will make every reasonable attempt to resolve a problem or complaint to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.

In the event that you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may refer the complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

From 2019 onwards, all new Stella Phoenix pieces come with a certificate of authenticity. Each certificate will have a tracking number and other security features to prevent certificate fraud. If you receive your new item without a certificate of authenticity, or you suspect you’ve received a fraudulent item and certificate, please email us immediately at [email protected]

Please note that any suspected copy or fraud of our products, certificates, branding or IP will be referred to law enforcement agencies and vigorously pursued.

Please ensure you keep your certificate safe. If you decide to apply to ‘sell back’ your items in our pre-loved program, you will be required to provide it.

Stella Phoenix offers domestic customers the opportunity to ‘sell back’ their pre-loved Stella Phoenix items in exchange for a store credit that they can use to purchase new items from our range. Our pre-loved #sharethelove program has been introduced to support ethical fashion choices and give customers the opportunity to love our items again!

To participate, customers are required to upload images and a description of the item for our review. Uploading an item is not a guarantee that we will buy it back. Stella Phoenix can refuse to buy back an item for any reason, at our sole discretion, including but not limited to, oversupply of a particular item, the condition of the item is not conducive to re-sale and/or customer demand for an item.

If an item meets our re-sale requirements, Stella Phoenix will ask the customer to return the item to us via registered mail so we are able to complete quality control checks before agreeing to buy it back. This is for the health and safety of all customers. If the item passes our quality control check, and we agree to buy it back, we will refund the initial return mail or courier cost of the item upon customers producing a receipt. If an item doesn’t pass our quality control checks, Stella Phoenix will return the item to the customer. We will not refund initial return mail or courier costs to customers where items are refused or where the customer is unable to produce a receipt to verify mail or courier costs.

The value of the store credit that will be offered to customers in exchange for their pre-loved items will depend on the item, its condition, customer demand and is determined at the sole discretion of Stella Phoenix. Customers are welcome to refuse an offer and Stella Phoenix will return the item to the customer at our own cost. Where a customer refuses a store credit for a pre-loved item, Stella Phoenix won’t refund their initial return mail or courier costs.

For health and safety reasons, pre-loved items will be washed by us according to the label cleaning instructions before re-sale, however it is recommended that customers purchasing pre-loved items also wash before wearing. It is the customer’s responsibility to follow our pre-loved care and cleaning advice.

Customers participate in our pre-loved program with the full understanding that Stella Phoenix maintains sole discretion over the final RRP of pre-loved items, that we are entitled to re-coup the costs of facilitating the program, and there is no further compensation owed outside of the agreed “sell back” price.

Customers who purchase items from our pre-loved section are welcome to re-apply for buy back after a period of 6 months. Agreement to buy back again will be subject to these terms and conditions, which may change from time to time.

Given our stringent quality control processes, it is highly unlikely for a customer to receive a faulty pre-loved item. If you believe your pre-loved item is faulty, please refer to our purchasing and returns info for further information.

Please note: items from the 2019 ‘Imagine’ collection onwards will only be bought back if they are accompanied by an original Stella Phoenix certificate of authenticity. Please see the certificate of authenticity section for more information.

The #sharethelove program is only available to domestic customers. Stella Phoenix will not buy back wholesale items or Stella Victoire items. If a customer bought a Stella Phoenix item from one of our approved stockists, they will be required to produce a receipt to verify their purchase. Items cannot be bought back for ‘cash.’

Stella Phoenix may choose to offer samples for sale at a discounted price. These items may have been worn and may also have minor faults or defects. The known faults or defects will be disclosed to the customer prior to purchase, however the customer accepts that there may be other faults or defects unknown to us. The customer purchases the product knowing it may not present or perform to the standard of a new, full priced garment. Stella Phoenix is not liable for the faults and defects on sample items and will not accept returns.