SO many times, when I get asked where I got my dress/shoes/sunglasses from, and I say, “thanks, I bought it online” people respond with “Oh! I could never shop online, it’s too hard!” Which is a fair enough answer. But at the same time, don’t whine to me that there is no variety of clothing choices in NZ, and you don’t have time to go shopping, etc etc.
Online shopping has become such an intrinsic part of fashion in the 21st century. People want to be able to shop 24/7, in the comfort of their own homes, without the stress of heading to a mall. On a Saturday morning. With kids in tow.
Here is a bunch of stuff I’ve bought online over the past few months, and yes, my job does give me a slight advantage, but I’m here to share my tips and tricks for getting your online purchases RIGHT!
So why does it still scare people? I want to try and alleviate some of that fear about shopping online (I’m an EXPERT, trust me!) and give you some of my top tips for getting your head around the scary world of online shopping.
1, Buy what you know, from brands you know
Love Witchery and buy heaps from them in store? Then chances are, any online purchases from them will be of a similar size/fit/quality.
Don’t start off by going to some random site, and buying something completely different that anything else you own, that’s a recipe for disaster right there
2. Start small
Accessories, shoes and underwear are always a good place to start if you haven’t bought something from a particular online store. You’ll get a feel for their service, their shipping costs and the quality of their garments
3. Use “real” people as inspiration
Like I mentioned, I buy a lot online, most of which makes it onto the blog. Use mine, and other blogs are a guide for what clothes look like on women of all shapes and sizes (that aren’t just gorgeous models!)
Find a blogger that has a similar shape, personal style etc to you, and go off their recommendations. This will give you a closer idea of what may work on you!
Some of my faves to check out are Styling You (a gorgeous blonde Apple-shaped gal in her 40’s), Sonia Styling (a petite hourglass-shaped honey in her late 20’s/early 30’s), Redcliffe Style (an athletic hottie with brown hair in her 40’s) and Kimba Likes (an inspiring Pear-shaped lass in her 40’s)
4. Know your measurements
This is a BIGGY! Almost every online store will have a SIZE GUIDE. It is your friend. Use it well.
Not sure how to take your measurements? well never fear! Here’s a blog I prepared earlier on HOW TO TAKE YOUR OWN MEASUREMENTS. Know your numbers and buy accordingly, it doesn’t matter if you are an XL on that site, wouldn’t you rather get the best-fitting garment, rather than the one with the M on it that you have to squeeze into?
Also be aware of what country the sizing is in. America size very differently to us, so make sure you look at the size guide well – but don’t worry, there will always be measurements to relate to the sizes.
5. Check the return policies
If you STILL aren’t sure you are buying the right thing, then make sure it’s easy to return! I love shopping at The Iconic because not only do they stock HEAPS of Aussie brands you can’t buy here, they have super-easy returns! You just re-wrap your parcel, email them and they come collect it back from you!
Often chain stores will allow you to return online purchases in store too. Just make sure you GET the return done in the timeframe you are allocated (normally it’s a little longer than normal online, and the generally offer you a full refund)
6. Don’t buy it JUST because it’s cheap
This is probably the ONE single biggest mistake I see people making. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
Boohoo.com and ASOS are notable exceptions. But don’t get sucked into those cheap dress ads on the side of Facebook, they are cheap and nasty and small-fitting and will taint your online shopping experience.
5 of my faves
Here are a few things from 5 of my favourite online stores (that don’t have bricks and mortar stores here in NZ). I buy plenty from them all and am more than happy to personally recommend them!
SHOP THESE ONLINE: 1. Birdsnest.com.au coat $199.95 | 2. Heine blouse from EziBuy $99.99 | 3. St Frock shirt dress $59.00 | 4. Styletread.com.au boot $199.99 | 5. Idella stripe dress from TheIconic.com.au $59.99
So what do you think? Worth another shot? I just think there is so much more opportunity to buy things that are different and new and that no one else has!
Are you an online shopper? Any other tips for those who are unsure? Tell me in the comments below!
Until Next Time, In Style & Love Always,