Fashion Lifestyle

How To Successfully Shop Online

By Shannon Meddings

Shopping for your wardrobe online can be an absolute time saver when done at its best (and an absolute necessity at the moment given we can’t leave the house!) at worst, it can turn into a journey of a thousand post office trips, which can really take the fun out of the shopping process and delivery day feels like a big bloop rather than your birthday!!

As a stylist, the main thing I think about when styling my clients is fit and cut. Trying to do this online can be a minefield as many photo representations don’t always match how garments will look and fit on you.

To have a successful online shopping escapade minus the heartbreak of ill-fitting and wrong sizes there are a few things to keep in mind. I have listed my hot tips below on avoiding online shopping disappointment and potentially becoming best friends (two arm’s lengths apart of course) with the local post office staff.

1. Check Each Garment’s Sizing Information

Check the clothing size of the country the piece is made in, with international shipping (which can include taxes) sizing may sound the same although a size 6 in one country can vastly differ to another country’s sizes. Also look at the model’s height and the shoes she is wearing in the image. Most models are around 6ft so if, for instance, the dress you like may comes to the model’s knees in the picture on you could sit midway on your calve. The same goes for cropped pant styles, if a pant is cropped on the model and your height doesn’t match that of the model you may find yourself with a pair of full-length pants. So be sure to check both horizontal and vertical measurements of the styles.

2. Measure Measure Measure

You can save a lot of heartache, time and money by this simple act alone. Checking your bust, waist, high and low hip are the main areas of fit for garments and investing in clothing that has a little bit of stretch in the material can ensure that even if the piece is a little snug you will be left with some give.

3. Watch the Videos

The videos will give you the 360 degree vision on the style. Stylists notoriously clip garments and generally “style” clothes in photos so the clothes look their best in the shot (you can achieve this on your own by tailoring items and tucking in tops or pushing up sleeves etc.) Watching the videos will give you evidence the style you see is the style you’ll get.

4. Buy in Bulk

Most sites offer free returns these days although many still do not and buying one thing here and one thing there, only having to return them, can be time consuming, environmentally taxing and a waste of your money. Avoid this by shopping for all the things you are after from a brand and send back what you want in one package rather than 6.

5. Dimensions IRL

When investing in shoes and accessories always check the dimensions of each piece. Heel heights, for instance, can look smaller in a photo and in real life be something you may not be able to functionally walk in. Same goes for accessories, the camera can have many different perspectives and a big bag you like in the shot may actually be a small bag IRL. Look at materials and lengths of jewellery as they may not be the same quality as what they look like in the images.

6. Check Wash Labels

Not being a laundry queen in my own life, I like my clothing fabric to be low maintenance. You may see something online that looks spectacular and is 90% off. Take a little look at the washing instructions before you dive in, it may be a “dry clean only” situation that could leave you wearing the piece once and then sitting in bag for six months while you find time to get to the dry cleaners!

To see more of Shannon’s work and style guides visit here and to follow her on Instagram here.

Want more? Click here to read about How Fashion Labels Are Joining The Fight Against COVID-19 and here for The Art of Transeasonal Dressing.

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