So, you have you’re eye on a new pair of jeans or a dress for a special occasion and maybe some matching shoes? Online is the way to go but you’re hesitating because you’re unsure which size to buy?
Here are a few of my tips to help you with your first time purchases…
1. Read the details
Many good online stores provide detailed information on each product as well as many pictures and modeling shots at different angles (don’t get me started on some Australian online stores – that’s you Witchery!). Read all the information on there – that includes fabric and care details, sizing and fit, the model’s dimensions and what size she is wearing and any additional information that is posted. Some stores are better than others in telling if shoes run half a size small than standard or the dress is cut tight around the bust area, etc which I find are really helpful in determining whether I should buy it and what size I should buy.
2. Read the reviews
Again, the good online stores have useful reviews by customers who have purchased the product. Obviously the more popular products get the most reviews and they can serve as a useful tool in determining which size to buy. The reviews will usually tell you whether the customer liked the product and how it looks on them as well as how it fits on them – was it too short, too big or didn’t sit right – and that’s very useful information when buying online.
3. Utilise online chat
A lot of stores have a live online chat service where you can instant message the sales assistants with any questions you may have on the product to further help you with your purchase. I have yet to see Australian stores adopt online chat, but then again, that isn’t really surprising given they barely have sales assistants instore! Make the most of it as its a free service and there to answer your questions.
4. Know your body, know your size
This is a more general fashion tip – you should know your body and what type of clothes suits you and what makes you look wrong. It’s even more relevant online as the pictures will always look good and the model will always look good in it and its easy to be swayed by this. If you have no boobs, the Herve Leger dress might not be for you if you’re not going to fill it out. If you have large thighs, then perhaps the Vince sequined mini skirt isn’t the best choice.. Be realistic, be true to yourself and be smart.
If you’ve followed all the above and still end up not liking your online purchase, you can always return it – and the good thing is, most stores I know have generous return policies with 30days being the norm and some even up to 90days! The returns process for online purchases is very simple these days and the only ‘hassle’ will be getting to the post office.
Good luck and happy smart shopping!