Shopping online definitely has its benefits. It is one of the best ways to purchase stylish and affordable clothes, without even having to change out of your pajamas. But it can also be a very tricky and aggravating experience if you don’t know what to look out for… for example that beautiful beaded dress you ordered that came in looking like a kindergarten art project. Here are some tips and tricks to help you avoid any nasty surprises in the mail.
- Order clothes for your body type
When shopping at the mall, try to pay attention to cuts and materials that flatter your body type. For example, if you happen to be fuller in the upper chest area like myself, try to stay away from anything with a very high neckline as it can make you look heavier on the top half. Instead, opt for v-necks silhouettes like you see in the picture down below. Also, if you want to avoid getting your clothes hemmed, some online stores have a petite section for girls 5’4 and under.
- Read the sizing charts
Almost every clothing websites has them and they’re there for a reason! If you are unsure which size to order, buy a measuring tape and compare your measurements to the sizing chart. The three main measurements are usually across the bust, at the smallest part of your waist and widest part of your hips.
Example of sizing chart:
- Beware custom fees on overseas purchases
I was unfortunately a victim of this one… Depending on which country you live in, custom fees can really be a deal breaker. When living in Canada, I had to find out the hard way that custom fees could almost be 40% of the purchase price depending on the product itself and the country where it was made. So even if an item seems to be cheaper online, it might not be the case after taking into account the shipping cost, taxes and duty fees. Fortunately enough for everyone living in the States, duty fees are much more reasonable over here. Here are two websites to help you calculate the final amount of applicable duties and taxes.
- Promo codes
This is probably the easiest and quickest tip from the list. Most online websites have promotions that they disguise as “promo codes” which could help you save on your order or on shipping. I was able to get 30% off my entire order at Misguided by using this simple trick. And that means more money in your pocket to continue shopping! All you have to do is google the name of the company you’re ordering from with the words “promo code” next to it. Not all promo codes stay valid for an extended period of time, so make sure to try another one if the first one doesn’t go through.
- Watch the videos/catwalk
Pictures are often very photoshopped and it can become tricky to envision the way a certain fabric will drape or how the beading on a garment will look in person. That’s why I always try to find a video of the clothing item I am ordering. It truly gives you a better perception on the quality of the item. Some companies offer videos of the model in the garment directly on their website. If the website doesn’t show the video for a certain clothing item, try looking it up on youtube.
- Return policy
It’s all about using the tools at your disposal. ALWAYS read the return policy. Look out for things like: returns fees, how long you have to send the product back, whether or not you can make exchanges, etc…
- Chat section + reviews
If after using all these tips, you are still unsure about purchasing an item, email customer service for any questions and read the reviews on the product. Some sites like Triangl Swimwear even offer a direct chat service with its customers to instantly answer any questions, from shipping to sizing.
Following the above tips will help you get the best online shopping experience when ordering women’s clothing. Let me know what your favourite online stores are in the comments below.