Are you exhausted by the repetitive offerings at your local shopping hub? Do your unique proportions seem incompatible with the options available in your vicinity? Are you discontent with the prevailing fashion trends? Perhaps your inner fashionista yearns for the allure of goth, vintage, twee, normcore, or boho styles that elude the grasp of local stores. Have you ever contemplated the vast realm of Online SHOPPING? This Beginner’s Guide to Online Shopping will be the right thing for you!
Now, you may ponder, “But how can I experience the joy of trying things on?” Fear not, dear reader, for solutions abound!
This guide caters specifically to beginners and those who feel apprehensive about delving into the enchanting world of online shopping. While seasoned online shoppers may not unearth groundbreaking revelations here, my aim is to demystify the process by presenting it in easily digestible steps.
Let’s establish some fundamental principles of online shopping that you should embrace wholeheartedly:
Perfection is not guaranteed.
Similar to physical stores, there will be instances when your online purchases fail to meet your expectations once you try them on or receive them at home. Online shopping entails a degree of uncertainty. Do not pass judgment on the entire experience based on a few letdowns. With more experience, such occurrences will diminish.
Embrace your tailor or acquire basic sewing skills.
We are not all confined to standard sizes, and that is splendidly alright. At times, you may need to wield a needle and thread to customize a garment or seek the expertise of a local tailor.
Make peace with the realization that tailoring possesses the magical ability to metamorphose a piece of clothing into an exquisite creation that truly reflects your unique style.
Unlock the secrets of online shopping with this step-by-step guide tailored specifically for beginners. Discover the key to finding your perfect fit and navigating the world of fabrics and sizes. Let’s embark on this exciting adventure together!
Step 1: Know Your Measurements
Say goodbye to ill-fitting clothes by getting acquainted with your unique measurements. Utilize a tape measure or even a string to accurately measure your bust, underbust/chest, natural waist, hips, and inseam. Keep a record of these measurements for future reference, ensuring a seamless shopping experience. Remember, re-measurements are essential after any weight changes or annually, as gravity takes its toll.
Step 2: Start with Your Favorites
Begin your online shopping journey by selecting a few of your favorite clothing items, such as shirts, pants, or dresses, preferably in different styles. Lay them out and measure their circumferences using your trusty tape measure or string. Note down these measurements as a reference point. This exercise helps you understand your preferred fit and provides a tangible comparison when exploring size charts. It’s all about those “Oh, this will be slightly tighter than my favorite shirt, A” moments, offering invaluable insights.
Step 3: Dive into Fabrics and Weaves
Familiarize yourself with the world of fabrics and weaves. A woven cotton shirt with a 34″ bust might feel restrictive and limit your movements, while a knit shirt with the same bust measurement might lack the desired snugness. Recall the fabrics used in your favorite items and differentiate between woven and knit fabrics (stretchy or non-stretchy). Expand your knowledge by exploring informative posts from experts like you/materialsnerd. Understanding fabrics ensures a harmonious blend of comfort and style.
Step 4: Harness the Power of Size Guides
Bid farewell to traditional sizing norms found in brick and mortar stores. Online shopping has its own unique sizing standards, varying across continents. Embrace the size guide on every website you visit, as this will be your beacon of light. Keep in mind that Asia tends to run small, North America leans towards larger sizes, and Europe finds its place in between. Your size may vary from L to XL or 14 to 18, depending on the website and country. Embrace the size guide, and let it be your trusted companion on this shopping voyage.
Step 5: Decode Descriptions
Pay attention to clothing descriptions, as they hold the key to unlocking hidden details. Not all descriptions are created equal, but watch out for terms like stretch/non-stretch, knit/woven, fabric types (often listed as percentages), and fabric weight (lightweight, midweight, thick, etc.). These descriptions provide valuable insights into the fit, texture, and warmth of the garments. Let your preferences guide you, as you unravel the mysteries of these descriptions and make informed choices.
With these essential steps in your arsenal, you are ready to conquer the realm of online shopping. Embrace the convenience, variety, and limitless possibilities it offers. May your fashion ventures be filled with perfectly fitting clothes and delightful discoveries!
Step 6: Delve into the world of customer reviews (if available).
Unlock a treasure trove of insights by carefully perusing customer reviews on certain websites. Look out for reviews that provide additional details such as weight, height, and measurements. These valuable nuggets of information help assess the fit of an item. Pay particular attention to reviews from individuals with similar proportions and measurements, and follow their recommendations for a more informed decision-making process.
In the absence of reviews or if they lack substantial information (“Love this!” or “Fits great and comfortable!”), fear not. The size guide, fabric type, and description still hold valuable clues if you approach them with critical thinking skills.
Should you encounter multiple reviews suggesting a need to size up or down, give serious consideration to this advice, especially when their measurements align with yours.
Step 7: Demystify the Return Policy
Let’s talk straight. No seller likes returns and for buyers it means most times a hassle. Truth be told, I rarely return items due to the associated costs and efforts involved (especially when dealing with specialty vintage-style shops).
Many of the retailers outside Europe don’t offer free returns, and considering customs duties, it often doesn’t make financial sense. Instead, I opt to gift, donate, or consign items that don’t quite work, allowing me to recoup some of the cost. In Europe the seller has to offer you by law the option of return, but have some conditions connected to it. And lets be fair to the sellers who provide us with our options to buy things online.
HOWEVER, numerous companies boast generous return policies, including free shipping labels or the option to return items to local stores. The key lies in reading the fine print. While some places may have less favorable policies, others are more accommodating. Take the time to comprehend the rules and make an informed decision.
For online shopping novices, I wouldn’t recommend starting with expensive or challenging-to-alter items.
If you find yourself unable to return items, consider exploring local consignment shops for their policies or local clothing swaps.
Step 8: Decode the Displayed Price: Customs, Taxes, and Shipping Costs
Please don’t forget to consider that there are additional prices to the item price such as shipping costs and eventually if it get shipped international the customs fees. But the displayed price of an item may already include customs and duty fees when you make the purchase. Please clarify in the description or with the seller upfront. Alternatively, you may need to settle these fees directly with the delivery person or at the post office upon the package’s arrival. Factor in these costs at the time of purchase to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road (like that $20 dress you snagged on sale suddenly costing $35 due to duties).
I personaly had good experiences in the past with online shopping, but mostly I ordered national. It is clear to have an eye on seller reviews, number of sold items and trust in the offering shopping platform.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
What is your experience with Online Shopping? Do you like more to buy offline in a brick-and-mortar store or do you prefer the simplicity of shopping online? Let us know in the comments below?
Wishing you joyous and successful shopping endeavors!