I’m getting this post out just before Black Friday, a little last minute (of course) but hopefully it will help some of you with the often daunting task of buying clothing online. This is of course something many of us will be more used to of late thanks to Covid-19! If you’re someone who feels that online shopping is more hassle than it’s worth and often results in many failed purchases, not to mention all the returns… then this post is for you.
The good news is, that it is possible to make successful purchases online and you can learn how to do this. It’s really about know what to look out for and thinking before you buy (like with any purchase!) Here are our top tips:
- Know what you’re looking for. This is important as it can be easy to get sidetracked or spend hours scrolling aimlessly! Sale times in particular can be dangerous as it’s sometimes tempting to browse the best “bargains” even though they may not be what we need or came on to look for. Having an ongoing “wish list” for your wardrobe is always a good idea and will help you make smart purchases.
- Use search “Filters”. Most websites will give you the option to narrow down their selection by choosing specific styles or colours, size, price etc. This is great for big sites as it saves time and makes the search less overwhelming.
- Pay attention to shape. Look carefully at the product images and pay attention to details to make sure that the item is the right shape and cut for you. For example, a lot of coats now have “dropped shoulders” creating a more relaxed silhouette, but if your shape requires a neater, fitted shoulder, then this won’t work for you. Models are there to make the clothes look good but our shape is likely to be different to theirs. Obviously, understanding your shape and knowing what works best for you and what to avoid is a learning process. Simply asking yourself “Will that shape work on me” is a good place to start. If you’re very unsure about this a good Personal Stylist can help!
- Look at fabric content. This is actually very useful for a couple reasons. One, is that you will become aware of fabrics that you like and that work well with your shape. Secondly,it will also give you an idea of how the item might feel and the fabric quality. Over time you will become more familiar with different fabrics and what works for you. It’s also worth looking at the care of the garment, does it require dry cleaning (most coats and blazers will) or handwashing and whether this is something you are prepared to do.
- Check the size guide. Most websites will have this which is handy because all brands can vary when it comes to sizing. They usually have measurements for each size as a guide, so you can get out a tape measure and check if you’re unsure!
- Before you buy, ask yourself these questions. Where will I wear it? What will I wear it with? Does the style, shape and colour suit me? You want to be able to answer these questions with confidence otherwise you might end up with an item that ends up being too hard to style and or simply impractical.
- Check the returns policy. Again this can vary between different websites and brands. Check how easy the returns process is and whether you will have to pay for this.