Online shopping can be daunting for some. There’s thought of future credit card bills or a fear of not being able to control themselves once they’re on a roll.
Some may find poorly designed web-stores a put off. Sizing difficulties keep many well away, as does the dread of measuring oneself this soon after the holiday period; I mean that’s just cruel.
These uncertainties all have something in common, they can all be classed as Fear of the Unknown: its common don’t worry and there is therapy available. Just kidding.
But seriously online shopping is like another world when you start out, but once you’ve got it down, you’ll barely have to set foot in a mall again. . . and I don’t know about you, but for me, that is a huge plus.
Where Do I Start?
One of the biggest starting points is where to shop. I mean, if you don’t know where the sites are or how to look for the, typing “online fashion stores” into Google won’t get you the best results. Many popular brands are selling online, so if you have a favourite label, that’s a good as place as any to begin. If you’re unsure of what you are initially after then there are some great online stores which represent a collection of different brands. Some favourites are Shop the Look on fashionz.co.nz, www.preciouspeg.com and www.hiFashion.co.nz.
What About Sizing?
It’s really best to whip out a tape measure and note down the following measurements:
• Hip – The widest area, usually around the upper thigh and buttocks, not at the hip bone.
• Waist – You’re natural waist, not just wherever you sit your jeans. If you’re not sure where this is, bend towards the left at the waist and where a natural crease is will also be your natural waist.
• Bust – You’ll need to be wearing a non “enhancing” bra for this but do wear one.
Other handy but not essential measurements are:
• Inner leg – handy for jeans
• Back – tells you where a garment will sit on you
• Foot length – handy for when US vs. EU sizing get you down or a designer runs their shoes small.
• Ring size – Well, you never know. . .
Hide the measurements somewhere if you have to but note them down and keep them for future reference. You won’t always want to buy forgiving spandex/elasticised things and when you want a perfect fit, measurements are crucial if you don’t want to be packaging up a return.
How Do I Shop Around?
If you love a bargain and consider it essential to shop around, you can still do this without going to three different suburbs or all the stores in the mall to get the best price. There are a couple of ways to shop around online, if you have already searched amongst all the stores listed above.
The first is using fashion search libraries. Polyvore and Lyst allow you to search by colour, garment type (e.g. mini vs. maxi dress), designer, price and much more. Tumblr and Pinterest have personal online pinboards of nearly everything.
The second is to Google it, seriously. The best way is if you’ve got the designer name, garment name, garment type and colour. Type it in and scroll through the pricing options.
Is it more than one season old? If so, look it up on a second-hand auction site, someone might be sick of the same garment you wish to own, and you’ll get it for a super sweet price.
Will It Look Okay?
When measurements aren’t enough, you need to have other strategies at the ready. Tumblr and Pinterest are great for seeing the item you want worn on a real person in real daylight, not a teen model with studio lighting.
Similarly, Chictopia also has you favourite fashionistas modelling items and providing style inspiration by wearing them in ways you might not think of right away.
Try Google again, only this time; search in images. Just don’t image search for lingerie (or even leather pants for that matter) while at work though will you?
Remember you can always play it safe the first time round and buy online from a designer whose sizes and quality you are familiar with.
Don’t forget that shopping online is wonderful. Sure you may have to wait a few days for the order to arrive but it’s like Christmas whenever they do. You might find it scary to enter your credit/debit card details online, but you do that at stores when you swipe it anyway. Something may not fit the way you want it to, but re-selling it or returning is always an option and so are tailors. Happy shopping!
Sarah Smith | www.therationaldresser.com