Online Shopping Success

Coldwater Creek

Coldwater Creek

Podunk is growing, but I still have to drive an hour or more in any direction to get to “real” shopping venues.  Add in that I don’t love to shop and I’d rather spend my free time outside or reading or knitting or… not driving somewhere, and I do most of my shopping online.

Still, I rarely send anything back.  I only shop a few retailers, so I generally do well guessing how something will work on my body.  And I think that’s one of the keys…  I spent a lot of time in dressing rooms after I lost weight, and I know my measurements and my body, thanks to a brutally honest friend who would say, “Um…  I liked the other one better, unless you’re trying to accentuate your shoulders?”

For instance, some say boatnecks are universally flattering.   With my wide shoulders and ample chest, I look like a linebacker.  Likewise with strapless anything…  I know to stay away, no matter how tempting it might be.

So, here are my tips for online clothes shopping success:

  1. Know your measurements.
  2. Know your body type/shape/challenges.
  3. Read size charts AND reviews, with your own body in mind.
  4. Stick with merchants you have had success with previously.
  5. Know what styles/cuts look best on YOUR body.

See the dress at the top of this post?  It had mixed reviews.  Some reviewers reported that the lining hung below the hem of the dress on-body.  Well… while Coldwater Creek does have less consistent sizing than most of my favorite vendors, I’ve had pretty good luck when there are more than a couple of reviews.  And see tip #2…  I happen to know that with my body, my “front to back” hourglass shape will generally lift and raise any linings.  Hem.

Coldwater Creek

Coldwater Creek

It fits almost perfectly.  Even if I used a tailor liberally, I don’t think I’d take this dress in for any alterations.  In contrast, this orange dress just won’t work for me.  Pity; I really am into lace this summer and could wear this orange-red.

See those gathers at the neck?  Yeah…  Might as well be a boatneck.  I don’t need any extra bulk up top!   I’ve learned that the hard way, and had to replace my red sheath this winter with one without extra fabric at the neckline.

Also, the deeper pleats at the waist wouldn’t accentuate my slim waist.  I generally go for straight skirts, but I do have a few dresses with narrow pleats or gathers just because fuller skirts are more fun and variety is nice too.

Do you have a strategy for online shopping?   Do you know what you like best on your body?

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This entry was posted in Fashion.

9 comments on “Online Shopping Success

  1. Katherine says:

    I agree, the gathers at the neck of the orange would make me look like a pioneer woman, but the pink dress is gorgeous and I wonder how I missed it! I’m a BIG Coldwater Creek shopper and gobble up the new dresses when the catalog comes.

    Thanks Chan, your online shopping advice is right-on and number 5 is s-o-o-o-o important!! Online shopping is a way of life for me. I just don’t have time to hang out at the mall and I have good luck online, so why not.

  2. Sue says:

    I love that pink dress too. Your shopping advice is excellent. I tend to read the reviews because I can save myself time and grief.

  3. Since I’m in dire need of new Jeans, I may have to succumb to online shopping at some point. Not something I want to do. I would much rather start my online shopping experience at one of the spice places everyone writes about. Since I can’t remember their name I guess shopping online is still as far away as the nearest “real” shopping mart!

    Thanks for sharing, Channon. Have a wonderful, dry, weekend!

  4. gMarie says:

    I love both of those dresses. I do wish I could find some fabulous lace yardage and not the navy I bought years ago for the Lilly inspired sheath. The dress I wore to the wedding had the same neckline – and although it feels high on me, I don’t think it makes my shoulders look any wider than they are. I need photos of you in the PANK dress. Glad you pulled the trigger and that it works. g

  5. Nancy says:

    I shop online a lot at vendors that I’ve used repeatedly. I usually mark something of interest, wait a couple of days and return to see if it still catches my eye and my heart. If so, consider it ordered.

    I prefer to shop for clothing in a brick and mortar store, but in my area that is not possible.

    Large box pleats and gathers do not look very good on my body. Boat necks or ruffles – nada! I do not like cap sleeves or sleeves that have a band-cuff.

  6. Ruth says:

    So far, my best online shopping strategy is….never buy pants online. Skirts and dresses are usually ok with a known retailer…shirts are pretty iffy. And yes, for the most part, I know what flatters and what won’t work….by now,you’d have to hope so. 🙂

  7. kathy boyer says:

    MY strategy is to stick with designers I like: calvin klein for one.
    I found a dress in my closet for zach’s graduation today!! and the shawl I bought from Grace last year is a perfect accent.

  8. AlisonH says:

    My rule is, where does it lead the eye? And is that the effect I want?

    I’m always looking for long, flowy skirts that don’t make the waist huge but give room to take a brisk walk in without constricting my steps. And long enough to stay graceful when I take a tumble, because with my balance I do.

  9. Barbara says:

    Online shopping is tough. I really feel the need to try on and look. But then, I have convenient shopping areas. We’re fortunate around here.

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