Small Rant

Before I rant, how was your weekend?  Mine was pleasant… the fire prevention week open house Saturday went well, and yesterday was simply a beautiful fall day. 

NorthStyle Sweater Dress

Now.  To the rant.  I bit the bullet weekend before last and finally ordered a sweater dress from NorthStyle.  It arrived Friday and I couldn’t wait to try it on. 

Epic fail.  To say it didn’t fit is an understatement.  It was at least two sizes too big, and probably more like three… maybe ten.  Seriously. 

I’m broad through the shoulders and full through the bust, and it hung on me like a sack.  I have very accurate, current measurements, and I rounded down just to be safe, and still…

Here’s the rant.  Shipping was steep to begin with, and now I have to pay to ship it back.  Roughly a third of the price of the garment will be invested in shipping, if I go with a bargain on the return trip.  Even with my gas guzzler vehicle and living in podunk, I could have driven to Richmond or Northern Va and back and still come out way ahead. 


LL Bean Andover Skirt

I shop online a lot, both because I do live in podunk and we lack retail options and because I don’t love to go to the mall and shop and shop.  But seriously?!  I read reviews all the time about how far off the mark clothes are, from all kinds of retailers.  Nearly everyone I know who shops regularly from LL Bean knows to size down a size or two.  Fine.  I can handle that, especially when there are reviews to remind me to do so.  (They also have free shipping and a satisfaction guarantee that I’ve tested – just once – so I know they stand behind it.) 

Likewise, Coldwater Creek’s sizing is inconsistent, but I have a rough idea and their reviewers are always candid…  Then there’s Dress Barn, who just doesn’t offer a size chart, and honestly, I’m beginning to respect that position. 

I know many of you just don’t shop except in person.   That’s just not an option for me, so how do the rest of you do it?  Do you just accept that sometimes things have to be returned and it’s the cost of doing business?

This entry was posted in Fashion.

18 comments on “Small Rant

  1. Nancy says:

    I order online a lot, too, but rarely clothing because of this issue. I’ve been happy with Land’s End clothing in the past; of course, their choices are limited. Mall shopping is a rarity for me since the nearest one is 120 miles from here.

    Free shipping always influences my decision no matter where I shop online.

  2. gMarie says:

    I saw show what you know, shop your friend’s closets – if they are buying LE or CC or whatever, it will fit you the same way it fits them. Look for free shipping, etc. I’m sorry the dress was a bust – It was beautiful – now even more reason to make your own! g

  3. gMarie says:

    hmmm – frantic Monday much? Okay – that should say – I say, shop what you know, brands etc. …..


  4. AlisonH says:

    Tell them what you told us, that you measured carefully, loved their dress, but then when it came it so didn’t fit. That should be their problem, not yours, and they should pay return shipping. Even if they don’t usually, if you squawk they should in the name of customer service, because otherwise why would you ever come back?

  5. Marjie says:

    What Alison said. Squall until someone pays attention. Just because you can afford to pay shipping back and forth, you shouldn’t be required to. That’s a really nice dress; actually, my daughter Kellie has a sleeveless one just like it – pretty much the same color – and it’s gorgeous. You shouldn’t have to be disappointed just because you ordered instead of trying on. (And you know I don’t care for shopping either, and not just because I live 10 miles from nowhere.)

  6. Katherine says:

    First I have to say I am so sorry the fit missed by a mile because that is a super dress! I shop almost exclusively online because I hate to try on clothes in stores and hate to shop in general. This carries over to yarn buying as well! I admit that I do have to return some of the orders and occasionally have something tailored if it is close and I like it.
    I agree with Alison that we all need to tell the online company when the fit is misrepresented. As far as the size charts–worthless!! It depends on the individual seller. Coldwater Creek usually fits me but once in a while they are so far off that I think they have marked the size wrong. In the future I plan to follow through and tell them about it when that happens.

  7. Lately I return more then I keep and yes it adds up but I just don’t have the physical stamina for in store shopping. Right now I am waiting for 4 outfits hoping one will work for the wedding we are attending Friday night, the others will go back and at my expense but its a convenience for having it come to me!

  8. Amy says:

    I have to tell you, as much as I love to shop on line, I also hate it. I never EVER find the right size and always have to send things back. I hate to ship back, almost as much as I hate to buy something and receive something that turns out to be totally different in person.

    The only company I don’t mind shipping to/from is Zappos, because they are quick and friendly.

  9. Walden121 says:

    Honestly, this is going to make me sound so ungirly, but I really hate shopping. In store or online. If I have to go, I prefer to be in person, only so I can try it on. I do not have the patience for shipping things back and forth.

  10. Kathy says:


    My comment got eaten twice, but it wasn’t really important. Hope you are having a good day!

  11. Sue says:

    Yes, sometimes even if I’ve bought from them before, something will be way off. There doesn’t seem to be any standard for women’s clothes. I send things back, but before I do, I’d call and explain and complain. Most companies are hungry for new customers and they may cover shipping to make you a happy new customer.

    I’ve never had a problem with them, but the things I bought weren’t fitted.

  12. Starting with the shipping: The company should pay return shipping and I do use that as a test for whether or not I buy from certain retailers…as Alison said, sqwack loudly to THEM about this. Lovely dress…hope you cn find something you like that fits without too much more angst. I hate shopping for clothes in general…I see things I would like to own, but they are not offered in my size. I see what IS offered in my size and…either I don’t like it or it is unsuitable in some way. Fly out to Gmarie and spend a week shopping with her. Then you can be done for a while. 🙂 And get in a much needed visit, too. Then fly south for tea with me.

  13. Mary says:

    The sizing of clothes for both men and women has definitely taken a turn for the worse. I have been fortunate lately that the three items I ordered from LE have all fit. I find their petite sizing is working for me (at least in tops/coats). An order for a pair of petite pants from Z*ppo also worked, but I had tried them on in a store first (same pants were $15 cheaper on Z and no $ shipping or tax). Frankly, if I have to pay to ship, I think twice (thrice, etc) before I decide whether the risk is worth it.

  14. Barbara says:

    I really, really need to try on in person. Luckily, I can because there are so many malls around here.
    Rarely is anything I’ve purchased online a good fit. I even ordered a pair of shoes (in my correct size) recently and had to return because they were 1/2 size too big. I do have pretty good luck with LLBean though.

  15. gypsyknits says:

    I don’t shop in person or online so can’t help you but I would think the company would pay the shipping for a return.
    That little plaid number is adorable.

  16. Nichole says:

    I’m right there with you on the sizing issues……. the worst disappointment!

  17. Louise says:

    I’m not ready for “one size fits all” so I just don’t buy anything!!! I despise trying on clothes and shopping in general. When I get rich and famous, I’m going to get my own personal shopper. Sorry for you Channon. Can’t offer any advice though…

  18. Bubblesknits says:

    I hate the dress didn’t fit. I’ve gotten to where I don’t order online from anyone that doesn’t do free return shipping if something doesn’t fit, just for that reason. 😦

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