When running a household and a business, finding the time to shop for your self can be difficult. Add to that stripping down endlessly in change rooms, crowded stores, and having to browse through stuffed racks of clothing – online shopping definitely has its appeal. On the flip side though, online shopping also has its’ share of challenges. What if the size is wrong? What about the expense of shipping? What if the color or style is terrible? I’d liked to put some of those fears to rest.
Recently, I was reading a blog by Ann Reinten. For the past two years, she has successfully shopped online for clothing. Here are her fail-safe tips to make it a pleasant experience:
Know the Styles, Shapes, Lengths and Colors that Suit You
You need this knowledge regardless of where you shop as it makes assessing the garment much easier. Ann says that most websites base their recommendations on your horizontal body shape. You also need the vertical shape. My Private Stylist program is a great assessment tool that takes the guesswork out of which specific clothing item is most flattering.
Know Your Measurements and Look for the Size Chart
What is the measurement of your bust, waist & hips? Use these numbers to compare with the retailer’s size chart to figure out the correct size, says Ann. Be aware: most department store websites like Nordstrom, ShopStyle, BooHoo provide a very generic size chart that is not very useful. Retailers of their own brand like Anne Taylor have much better charts.
Beware of International Size Differences
Please see below a good chart comparing the different sizes.
Look at the Model
Look at the model’s height and what size is she wearing. Many retailers include this information. The height in particular is very important as the length of the pants or skirt/dress will be shorter on her than on you. If the model’s height is not listed, then look for a product description tab. Hopefully, the length of the dress will be measured from the neckline to the hem.
Note the Fit
Ann recommends really study the picture of the model. Notice how the garment fits her body. Is it a body conscious, tight fit, does it skim her silhouette or is it more loosely flowing? If the sizing tends to be small or large, and knowing if the garment is loose or fitted will determine whether you need a size smaller or larger, as the case may be.
Expect that your seamstress will need to do the odd tweak to fit perfectly like a tuck around the armhole of a sleeveless dress to prevent unsightly gaping or to a nip in at the waist to give you some feminine curves. A competent seamstress is worth her weight in gold!
If in Doubt
Ann suggests that if you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the garment but are still unsure of what size to order, either buy one size larger than needed and have your seamstress do her magic. Or buy two different sizes and return the one that does not fit.
In conclusion, buying online has many perks:
1. an incredible range that caters for every possible size and dressing style
2. you can find items that locally may be almost impossible to source especially if you live far from a main centre
3. you are less likely to see someone else wearing the same garment
4. shipping is very fast and often free
Don’t worry about not trying on the clothes. Now you are armed with some simple guidelines to make online purchasing easier and more successful.