Shopping online definitely has its benefits — no need to wait in line, leave the house or even change out of your pyjamas. Yet there are some drawbacks too… like those jeans arriving three sizes too small! To save yourself time and aggravation and avoid no-returns, read on.
1. Know your measurements.
We all know sizes vary, depending on the brand. This is easily navigated in-store by taking a quick trip to the dressing room, but with online shopping, you don’t have that luxury. Measure your bust, waist, hips and inseam with a tape measure.
- Measurements should be taken directly on your body.
- Measure your chest over the fullest part of your bust while wearing a bra that fits correctly.
- Measure your waist at the narrowest point.
- Your hip measurement should be measured around the fullest part of your hips.
- Inner leg length is measured from the top of your inside leg down to the floor.
2. Check the size charts.
Before you head to the virtual checkout, see how your measurements compare with the site’s size chart to help determine what you should be ordering. Another thing you might want to look at is the size the model’s wearing. Her height can sometimes give you an idea of how long or short a piece is.
3. Read the reviews.
Customer reviews are extremely valuable, as they give you real perspective on the piece you’re considering. Scan for comments touching on size, fit and quality of material to get a better idea of whether an item fits true to size, or whether you’ll need to size up or down.
4. Research materials.
The feel of a material is just as important as the size. There’s nothing worse than finally receiving that dress you’ve been eyeing for months, only to find that the fabric feels like sandpaper. As you can’t touch it before purchasing it and often can’t distinguish what the texture of a piece is like just by looking at a photo, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the fabric type.
5. Be flexible.
Be aware that a colour on-screen may not translate the same way in reality. Not only that, but colours can also change from batch to batch. And while you should be prepared for your garment to arrive in a slightly different hue, if
it doesn’t match even your adjusted expectations, send it back.
6. Give the return policies a second glance.
Even if you’ve followed all the above steps, there might still be the occasional disappointment. Familiarise yourself with the return policies before you order. Things to look for: free returns, how long you have to send the product back, whether or not you can make exchanges, whether returns can be made in store and how long it will take for a refund to reflect in your account.
7. Take note.
Keep a running list of online retailers and brands you shopped with, making notes of the sizes you ordered and how they fit. This will make future purchases a lot easier.
8. Befriend your neighbourhood tailor.
Just because something doesn’t fit like a glove, that doesn’t mean you need to send it back, especially if you really like it. Take it to a local tailor or seamstress for adjustments.
9. Edit your cart.
Because you’re not physically carrying garments around a store as you usually would when shopping, it can be easy to make impulse purchases online. To avoid buying things you’ll regret later, ask yourself whether it’s something you need, can team with other items in your closet and would wear often.
STYLIST: SUZANNE SESINK CLEE PHOTO: FOTOLIA.COM