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I hope you all are enjoying the spring weather as much as I am. Just kidding. It’s the end of May and its snowing here in Cheyenne. But I hope you all are getting lots of sunshine!
I wanted to write this post because I get a lot of questions about buying clothing online. What if it doesn’t fit? Isn’t it such a hassle to be constantly sending things back? I used to have these fears too. Then I moved to a small city where the nearest mall was an hour and a half drive. Shopping online for my clothes became a necessity and now I’m addicted. I almost never shop in-store any more.
There are obvious advantages to shopping online. No dragging impatient toddlers through dressing rooms. You can find practically anything. It makes it so much easier to find things within your budget. If you’re not sure about an item you can sleep on it. All these reasons make shopping online my preferred way to buy my clothes.
All those things make online shopping amazing but there are still some pitfalls to shopping online. Never fear! I am here to give you my top tips for a successful online shopping haul!
Pay Attention to Return Policies
One of the biggest reasons to avoid shopping online is that you often have to pay for shipping and return shipping. This can get really pricey!
The good news is that you can easily avoid shipping charges by paying attention. There are places that are known for free shipping and returns.
I adore Modcloth. They have the most adorable clothing with unique retro vibes.
Nordstrom has a little bit for everyone and the shipping makes it a very attractive shopping destination for bloggers.
And of course, Amazon! If you have Amazon Prime then shipping is free. They even have the Amazon Wardrobe program where you can try things on and keep them for 7 days before being charged to make sure you really love your new clothes. If you don’t have Amazon Prime there are still tons of clothes that offer free shipping. Just be careful. Even if they have free shipping the returns aren’t always free so be sure to double check before clicking “Add to Cart.”
My other favorite place to shop is AliExpress. (I’ve also ordered clothing from China from DH Gate.) Be warned. If it doesn’t fit or something is off with the quality or whatever then don’t expect to get your money back. It can be a gamble ordering from overseas and return shipping costs are almost guaranteed to be more than the cost you paid originally. You can find amazing deals and really good quality stuff but don’t spend what you can’t afford to lose! You might be able to message the seller and they might be willing to send you a replacement but don’t count on it.
Read the Sizing Charts
Now that you are clear on what its going to cost you if you have to return it, lets try to avoid that in the first place.
Most online shops will have size charts. USE THEM!
As we all know too well, sizing between brands is not standardized. Get out the measuring tape and figure out your measurements for bust, waist, and hips. Write it down and get to shopping.
When you get to an item if there is any doubt about what size you should wear whip out that little piece of paper and compare to the sizing chart. If you are in between sizes then think about how you would like the clothing to fit. Do you want it to be loose and flowing or form fitting? Let that determine which size to go with. Also note that jeans often stretch so if they have any spandex consider going for the smaller size.
If you are ordering from AliExpress or some other overseas shop, they often have measurements in cm or even mm. Be prepared to convert that to inches to find your correct size.
Pay Attention to Fabrics
It can be hard to tell if something you are buying online is going to be of good quality and will last you for years or if it is going to fall apart on the first wash.
One indicator of quality is going to be fabric selection. Obviously your silks, wools and cashmeres are going to be a higher quality than polyester but they will also be more expensive. If you have the budget, go for it!
You can still get awesome polyester blends and they have the distinct advantage of being wrinkle resistant. One of the best ways to tell if it is going to be to your quality standards is to simply look at the pictures. There are times when you can spot poor quality just from the pictures.
You’ll also want to note any washing directions listed. If its dry clean only you may want to pass unless you are willing to dry clean.
Read the Reviews
One thing I cannot stress enough is to read the reviews if there are any available.
They will tell you if the sizing runs large or small. If the quality is lower than expected. If the sellers were difficult to work with.
There will always be people who love and item and people who hate that same item but if the overwhelming majority are leaning a certain direction, listen! It will save you a lot of trouble.
Those are the big things to look out for. If you have a good return policy, pay attention to sizing, look at the fabric, and read the reviews then your shopping experience should be smooth sailing and I’ll bet you come to love online shopping as much as I do!
Do you prefer shopping online or in store? What are your best shopping tips? Let me know in the comments and be sure to subscribe for more tips!