Ordering clothes from the comfort of your bedroom – what could be better? Online shopping is quick and convenient, and you can score some great deals. But clothes shopping online has a dark side. Fly-by-night sites can steal your hard-earned cash, and unlike at the mall, you can’t try before you buy. The good news is that online shopping can be fun and easy, provided you follow a few simple rules.
1. Only buy from reputable sites
This one might seem obvious, but when you’re eyeing a brand-new, designer tee for $10, you might be tempted to give your precious credit card information to a sketchy site you’ve never heard of before. The cold, hard truth is that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Not only will you likely receive a subpar product, but your identity could be stolen!
Instead, look for established sites with posted privacy policies and solid reputations.
2. Know your measurements
Reputable retailers (see above) will usually post a size chart. By comparing your measurements against the chart, you’ll be able to determine what size you are in that specific brand. Don’t fret if your measurements don’t precisely align – few of us are perfectly proportioned. Here’s a tip: a fit-and-flare dress should match your bust measurement, and ideally your waist, but it’s okay if the hip measurement is off. A fitted sheath dress should fit the largest part of your body – you can have the rest tailored to fit!
3. Plan ahead
Need the perfect dress for a wedding or work event? Be sure and order it at least a month in advance. You’ll want to leave time for it to be shipped to you and for you to try it on, consider it, and send it back, in the event you want to return it. That’s not including the alterations you may need to ensure a perfect fit.
4. Order from a single retailer to cut down on shipping fees
So you’ve found a dress you love, and you also need a new tee and some high-waisted shorts. Try to order them all from the same site, if possible. The shipping cost to order several items at once from the same site is nearly always cheaper than ordering the individually from different online locales. Some retailers (including Pink Martini) even offer free shipping within the U.S. and Canada when you spend $100 or more – the savings alone make buying another item a sound financial decision.