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:
- Know your measurements.
- Know your body type/shape/challenges.
- Read size charts AND reviews, with your own body in mind.
- Stick with merchants you have had success with previously.
- 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.
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?