Online shopping is nothing new, and savvy shoppers already know how to make sure that the items they pick out online are of high quality. Reading the reviews and researching the brand usually tells you all that you need to know. But when it comes to buying clothes online, things get a little trickier. You may be able to determine the quality of that trendy top or cute little black dress, but determining the fit when you can't try the item on – that's a whole different story. Take a look at some tips that will help you learn how to successfully shop for clothes online.
1. Know Your Measurements
Have you ever noticed that when you try clothes on in the store, some brands just don't fit, even though they're technically the right size? There can be big differences between two different brands' size eights, even if the style of the item is similar. So when shopping online, you can't just rely on knowing that you're usually a size eight. You need your exact body measurements.
You should measure everything you can before you start shopping – your waist, chest, shoulders, hips, inseam, and shoe size. Men also need to know their neck size, and women will want to make a note of their bust size. If possible, it wouldn't hurt to get a professional tailor to do the measuring for you – then you'll know for sure that the measurements are accurate. Once you have the measurements, you'll need to update them occasionally.
Most online clothing retailers provide a sizing chart that explains what those sizes mean. All you have to do is choose the size that corresponds with your measurements.
2. Research The Retailers
It can help to know a little bit about the brand of clothing you're buying and the retailer that you're buying it from. Different retailers have different customer bases, and they market to those customers. You stand the best chance of getting clothes that fit if you're part of the target demographic for that retailer.
If you're petite and slim, you probably won't have much luck buying from a store that caters to plus sizes. Or, if you're big and tall, you may be able to just skip the retailers that cater to the average-sized customer.
3. Learn The Return Policy
It doesn't matter how carefully you shop, if you buy enough clothes online, you'll eventually get something that doesn't fit, or that just doesn't look as good on you as it did on the model on the website. That's when it pays to be up on the retailer's return policy.
Most retailers do have some sort of return policy. The best ones will send you a box and a return shipping label, so all that you have to do is wrap it up and send it out with the next day's mail. Other retailers will have you pay for the return shipping. Either way, make sure that you know what the deal is before you click "confirm purchase." And it's usually best to avoid retailers who don't allow returns, unless the item is something that you can regift if it doesn't work out, or unless the item is being sold at such a deep discount that you won't feel like you lost anything if it's not the right fit for you.
Shopping for clothes from a trendy online boutique has its hazards, but it's definitely more convenient than the mall. And once you get the hang of it, you'll find that it gets easier and easier to pick the right fit.