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Online clothing shopping is on the rise, and it has a lot of advantages, but it also has a lot of drawbacks.
I’d like to share some online shopping rules with you in this article.
These are the things that have truly helped me navigate online shopping in a productive way, so that I can make smart decisions and shop more mindfully.
Avoid Mindlessly Browsing
My first rule is to refrain from browsing mindlessly.
It’s really tempting to do that, especially if you’re bored. However, because online clothes retailers are designed to urge you to buy by making you feel like you need something new all of the time, you’re bound to buy stuff you don’t need and won’t actually serve your particular style.
Instead, I strongly advise making a wish list, sticking to it, and only shopping online when you need to purchase something from your wish list.
It’s helped me avoid a lot of impulse purchases and focus on developing my personal style rather than just shopping mindlessly.
I strongly advise you to do so. The total benefit it has for how you feel about your clothes will make you very happy. Because just because you acquire something new doesn’t imply your style will improve.
Instead, concentrate on revising what you already have in your closet, finding inspiration, and reworking outfits in creative new ways with what you already own. It gives me a lot of pleasure.
Keep Color in Mind
Color is a marketing strategy employed by retailers to entice you to buy something.
It’s critical to understand how color affects you and your unique lifestyle.
I strongly advise you to create a color palette that is unique to you. Colors that go with your lifestyle and what you want to wear. Then sticking to it and staying away from things that are too far outside of that color pallet.
Everything will match and work well together, and you will get more wear out of your wardrobe.
Understanding color is also crucial, since if you know how different colors look on different people, you’ll be able to notice when a retailer has dressed a model in a color that’s perfect for her, because she’ll look amazing.
They’ll make that garment appear amazing, and you’ll think to yourself, “Maybe I need that dress, maybe that dress will fit into my wardrobe.”
However, knowing how it works or contrasts with your personal color palette and coloring will help you make better purchasing decisions.
Avoid items that are marketed to a larger audience but aren’t necessarily appropriate for you or your unique style.
Know Your Measurements
If you don’t know your measurements, it’s nearly impossible to make a smart online buy. So that’s the next rule I’m going to make.
When shopping online, always know your measurements and have them handy.
I have two approaches that work pretty well for finding them.
The first method is to use a tape measure to take your measurements. Get something flexible; you can find these in almost any store, including craft stores.
You’ll need to take a measurement of the width of your shoulders.
You’ll need to know your bust measurement, which is the width of your bust at its widest point.
Then there’s your waist measurement, which is normally around your belly button and is the narrowest part of your waist.
You’ll also want to know how high your pants rise, which is measured from your crotch to your belly button and then anyplace within that range.
After that, there’s the inseam of your pants. You do this by measuring the inseam on the inside of your leg all the way down to the point where your pants should hit.
Then there’s your hips, which are measured at their widest position.
The other method I propose for determining your measures is to place a piece of clothing that you already own and love, and that fits you wonderfully, flat on your bed or on the floor, and then take measurements on that garment with the same tape.
It’s a great method to compare the two and get a good understanding of your measurements and how you prefer things to fit.
Because you can then compare it to the size guidance provided by a retailer on their website. It’s quite useful, and it’s never let me down.
Similarly, you should always double-check the size guidance provided by the retailer on their webpage.
It’s usually on the side of the item, and you may examine it well before cross-checking it with the measurements you just took to determine the correct size for you.
I further suggest that you look not only on that website, but also everywhere else that brand is available.
Perhaps you’re looking at a Theory piece. Check out Theory’s website, but also check out their sizing guides, which you might get at Nordstrom or Bergdorf, to ensure you’re getting a broad sense of how they size their goods.
I also recommend asking bloggers or a friend for sizing advice. Someone you know has tried an item from that brand and can tell you if it fits true to size, or if it’s a bit big or small, and you can use all of that information to better choose your size.
It’s less likely that you’ll make a mistake.
I’ve found that a mix of all of those has really helped me find products in a size that fits me, regardless of how inconsistent every retailer’s sizing is.
Definitely give it a shot.
You should also pay special attention to the fabric composition of anything you’re considering buying online.
It’s usually the first thing I look for, because some fabrics appear great in photos but don’t translate well in real life and don’t last. After one or two washes, you’ll have an item that looks terrible.
Natural fibers are something I strongly believe in. Cotton, linen, wool, cashmere, and silk are some of my favorite fabrics. They wash nicely and wear beautifully, in my opinion. They tend to outlast some of their synthetic rivals in my wardrobe.
Polyester is the worst culprit in my opinion. Polyester is something I avoid like the plague since it looks great in images and videos but doesn’t wear up well in real life.
It quickly becomes wrinkly and faded, and it appears dirty and murky. I’ve also had a lot of shrinkage issues with polyester.
It’s one of those items that remains unworn since it practically comes apart after a few washes.
I always advocate inspecting fabric and thinking about the fabrics you want to wear and how they can work together to make a smart choice.
While inspecting the fabric composition, you should also pay special attention to the item’s construction.
Because you can’t hold it, look at it in different lighting, or tug on it to see if it’s sown correctly, this is really difficult to do online.
I recommend looking at the item in as many colors as possible to get a sense of it.
Because the distinction between some of the colors has always amazed me when I’ve done that in the past.
It may appear great in blue, but in pink, for example, you’ll notice a style point you didn’t see previously.
You’ll be able to spot a faulty seam more easily. Perhaps something that is a little uneven and appears to be a little less expensive.
Zooming in on photos is also very significant. Get as close as you can, then try to locate that thing not only on the website where you’re looking, but also on other websites.
That way, you can get a sense of how other people have stylized it and start paying attention to the small aspects.
It takes some detective work, but I’ve found that doing a lot of the legwork now will save you a lot of money in the long run.
When I’ve done that, it’s always worked out well for me. Definitely enter detective mode and begin digging into those photographs.
Last but not least, try to be extremely cautious when it comes to returns.
It’s particularly difficult to do if you’re new to online shopping.
I assure that if you follow a lot of the procedures I’ve mentioned here and put them into practice, you’ll be able to eliminate the need for returns if you develop a sense for what you actually like to wear, the colors, the fabrics, and the sizes.
I say this because more and more retailers are finding it cheaper to just discard returned items rather than restocking them.
To avoid returns, I strongly advise you to be as careful as possible when making an online purchase.
It can feel overwhelming, and I’m not saying this to discourage you from shopping online. Rather, I’m just trying to make you aware of something so you can be prepared.
Knowledge, in my opinion, is really vital.
You’ll be less likely to make a mistake if you rehearse these steps.
It might be far less daunting and far more advantageous.
I sincerely hope you found these tips useful and that they made you feel more free to purchase online and less scared.