9 Useful Tips To Avoid Making Mistakes When Buying Clothing Online
Was this embroidered boho dress a mistake?
I bought this dress and booties way back on Black Friday on super sale from an online retailer.
I’m not proud of myself.
To be honest, I don’t think it was worth it.
Yes the dress is all hippie dippy trippy, sheer with embroidery, a funky boho style that I’m drawn to but let’s be clear…it isn’t vintage.
After I bought this from an online store called SheIn (fast fashion! Boo!) I saw the exact same dress available at Zara. Did Zara copy their version or did they copy theirs? All I know is that I supported fast fashion which makes me ill (I had a mad moment of weakness!) and the probability of running into someone wearing the same dress (the horror!) is much higher than I would like.
The quality of the dress isn’t great. It came with snags on it already and quite a bit of the embroidery is pulled or threads are coming loose. It still looks pretty from a distance, but these things matter to me even when I buy on sale. Also I worry that should I try to wash it the whole thing will simply fall apart.
The velvet booties I don’t regret.
They are comfy and the chances of finding deep burgundy velvet booties like this via vintage or secondhand shopping in my size with a low heel and in good shape are zero, so I won’t flog myself over the booties.
This dress requires another dress/slip underneath. It also doesn’t define my waist and normally I don’t care for that silhouette on me but I think slowly I may be shifting towards a more forgiving sense of personal style.
Might be because I’m having a fat
Since I bought the dress online there was no chance of sending it back.
Shipping, customs and duty in Canada are all far too expensive to consider returning items bought online from overseas.
We’ll see just how much I regret purchasing this dress depending on how often I wear it.
I worry about snagging it already. I was terrified that Zoë would jump up and snag it.
I’m not often lured into the vortex of retail consumption as I choose to focus my efforts on secondhand clothing that doesn’t carry as much guilt.
I’m not perfect though and sometimes I succumb to temptation.
Like my favourite author says, “I can resist everything but temptation.” – Oscar Wilde
Some Online Purchases I Don’t Regret
I bought this vintage dress online through Etsy and I am very happy with it.
Another Regrettable Online Purchase
I bought some gorgeous booties just after Christmas that I never got a chance to wear or feature on my blog from Anthropologie.
I should have looked a bit more carefully at the manufacturer and done some research on their European sizing.
They were meant to fit a child’s foot. I tried stretching them out but nothing worked. I was like Cinderella’s cranky step sister trying to squeeze my plump feet into some delicate tiny velvet booties. When my feet hurt everything hurts and I turn into a nastier version of Gordon Ramsay.
I had to take the beautiful booties back to the store and swallow the extra $60 I paid in shipping, taxes and duty. Not cool. Now someone with petite baby feet in Oakville is walking around wearing a pair of booties that I partially paid for. I choose to look at it as “Paying it forward” rather than failing at online shopping.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
I’m not a huge online shopper but I’m going to share a few of the tricks I’ve learned through my limited experiences on how to shop successfully online.
Useful Tips To Avoid Making Mistakes When Buying Online
1. Measure yourself properly with a tape measure.
Sizing is much easier to choose correctly when you have your own measurements to compare with those indicated online.
2. Pay attention to the fabric contents.
The ModCloth dress was cotton with a bit of Spandex. The other dress is sheer polyester, basically night and day in terms of quality and fit.
3. Be a bit flexible on the colour.
Each computer monitor is calibrated a bit differently and we all choose our own level of brightness on our screens not to mention that photos don’t always reflect the exact colour of the garment.
4. Make sure the item is lined if you are buying a skirt or dress.
The Mod Cloth dress has a cotton skirt inside that adds to the flare of the dress and keeps me cool. The other dress required my own shift dress underneath.
5. Check the store’s return policies for your country.
If you live in the US often manufacturers have a much better return policy for you than for those of us located outside of the States. You could wind up losing shipping costs, duty and taxes like I did.
6. Read the product reviews.
I’ve stopped myself from buying quite a few retail items online that looked cute in the photos and then had horrible reviews.
7. Research online for reviews of the retailer.
Not all online retailers are created equally. Some have great customer service some have no customer service. Do a bit of research before you hand over your credit card number.
8. Only use an online site with a secure certificate.
This means they have paid for additional security to protect your credit card information.
9. Research the manufacturing company regarding sizing.
I should have done this for my booties. I would have realized that the manufacturer has notoriously small sizing.
Do you have any personal tips for shopping online that you’d care to share?
Have you bought anything online and regretted the purchase? If so, what was it and why didn’t it work for you?
Linking up with Turning Heads Tuesday