Confessions of an Online Shopper!
As many of you know, I do a decent amount of online shopping, especially since I live in an area where there aren’t a ton of stores. I get questions all the time from how I know what to buy to sizing questions. I must say, it’s been a lot of trial and error over the years! To help you navigate the digital waters, here are some tips that work for me when online shopping:
#1. If it’s not flattering on the model, 9 times out of 10 its not going to look good on you! Just think: these girls are getting paid to look amazing in these clothes. If a piece of clothing looks awkward or not right, don’t think you are going to rock it better than the model. LOL! Of course, this isn’t always the case.
#2. If you like something, don’t wait until it goes on sale! While this rule isn’t for everyone, it’s one that I live by. If I really love something and don’t feel my life would be complete without it, I buy! I exaggerate, but you just might kick yourself for not getting it. So, go for it! It will be worth it in the long run to pay full price rather than to wait for it to sell out on the original site and have to search high and low for it later.
THE EXCEPTION: If you wear a certain size that usually doesn’t sell out quickly, go ahead and wait for it to go on sale because your it will most likely still be available.
#3. Figure out your body type and how to dress for it. Even if you love a certain style of clothing or certain celebrity’s style (*cough* Kim Kardashian *cough*) you need to figure out if that style works for your body type. If not, you can find ways to incorporate the look but with pieces that suit your body type. Trust me! It will look ten times better if you work your clothes to suit you instead of trying to work clothes that aren’t right for you.
TIP: If you are not sure what your body type is, try looking at pictures of celebrities who have a similar body shape as you and see how they dress. If you see any looks that you like, make a mental note of it and style yourself based on that.
#4. Size Charts! It’s impossible to express the grief that size charts give me! They usually provide only very little help because my measurements will match one set of numbers but I actually fall into another set. It depends on what your preference is on the way you wear your clothes, which also depends on the piece that you are choosing. I also take into consideration if the garment has any stretch to it. For example, I usually take a size small or 2 in dresses BUT if I were to go by measurements I would be told to try a 4 or medium. I find that what I think of as an actual hip measurement is different than the hip measurement they use for size charts. The 3 measurements they go by are the fullest part of your bust, the smallest part of your waist and the biggest part of your hips.
Here’s one of my general rules of thumb: if I want something to fit snugly and if it’s made of a stretch material then I order a size smaller than usual. If it’s made of a material that doesn’t have any give to it, I follow the size guide or order a size up (perfect example of this rule is when ordering fitted jackets or denim jackets, always order a size bigger so you can layer underneath!)
Most size guides are based on women with a height of 5’4″ so take that into consideration as well! I am 5’6″ so sometimes with dresses and long coats I need to figure out if the piece will work on me.
#5. When you go shopping at an actual store, try things on! This has really helped me with my online shopping because I have an idea of which styles I like and what they look like on. Sometimes if it’s an unusual shape or cut, it’s hard to figure out if it will work for your body shape. If it’s not something that you can get in store, it will really help if you have tried something on that is similar. You will also know what does not work for you! It ends up saving you time because you won’t end up drooling over a dress that you know won’t flatter your shape.
Those are the top tips and tricks that have worked for me with online shopping! I hope this will help you out. I do find that online shopping is a trial and error experience that will vary from person to person. These are some pretty basic pointers that I wish I had known when I first started online shopping!