When it comes to large retailers, I really only like to shop online. While I love shopping locally at boutiques, I easily get overwhelmed at the big box stores. I love the fact that online retailers allow me to filter what I am looking for by designer, item type, style and size when buying clothes. In addition, it is a much more convenient and less time-consuming way to shop!
Despite the convenience, I still think there are useful tips for making the most out of your online shopping experience. I want to share some tips I find helpful when buying clothes online!
How to Shop Online for Clothes
Protect Your Purchases
Use Credit, Not Debit.
It is always a good idea to use a credit card when shopping online. Credit cards simply come with better consumer protections against fraud. Many credit cards even offer zero-liability policies with your transactions, keeping you even better protected.
The one exception I make in using a debit card versus a credit card is if the transaction is done with PayPal. Just about every purchase I make online is through a PayPal link. PayPal helps keep your transactions secure by not sharing your full financial information with sellers. They also offer purchase protection on just about anything you buy!
Check for the “s”
When you do put your credit card information in, make sure the page’s address starts with https:// rather than http://. The extra ‘s’ indicates the site uses an encryption system to scramble your information. The “s” doesn’t necessarily guarantee the transaction is 100% safe, but it’s a fast and easy check that can give you another layer of confidence.
Check for a seal
Again, this isn’t a perfect guarantee of a flawless security system, but it can help you feel better about your purchase. Most legitimate websites will carry some sort of seal of approval from an organization like McAfee when checking out your purchase. This lets consumers know someone has taken the time to verify the trustworthiness of the vendor.
Always Double Check the Website Address
Now more than ever, I bet we will see a large increase in website scams as more people move towards shopping online. So always double check the website address. In fact, my husband just got scammed this week by clicking on a fake “DeWalt” website advertising a huge sale on DeWalt tools. When I went to go double check his order, I realized they added a few words to the web address and we immediately had to call our credit card company.
Subscribe to your Favorite Retailers
The best way to stay on top of designer launches, sales and on-line promotions is to subscribe to your favorite retailer’s email list! Retailers often offer VIP access or early access to sales for their subscribers before informing the general public.
Know the Return Policy
I like to have the confidence in knowing that if I purchase something on-line and it doesn’t work out, that I am able to return it. Online stores that offer free returns with pre-paid return shipping labels to the post office or other delivery service is even better! Also make sure you know the timeframe of your return. Some retailers only give you a short window to receive full credit!
Know Your Measurements & Reference the Size Charts
It is no secret that sizes vary depending on the brand and even the batch the products were made in. It is certainly easier to find that perfect fit in a store versus online. If you are not familiar with a brand’s fit or your own measurement on an item, get out the measuring tape and take note of your bust, waist, hips and inseam. Once done, utilize each online stores or brand’s sizing chart versus a general one for more accurate measurements. And remember, on websites like Net-A-Porter and with brands like Golden Goose, you may have convert your sizing from European to US.
Read the Customer Reviews
You can save a lot of second guessing about the quality or the sizing of an item you want to buy online by simply reading the customer reviews. Customer reviews are extremely valuable pieces of information since they give you an honest and real perspective on the piece you’re considering.
Where I Shop Online for Clothes
If you have been following me for some time, then you know Nordstrom is my go-to retailer. Not only do they carry all the clothing brands I love but they always offer free shipping and free returns. Besides that, you can sign up to join the Nordy Club for additional benefits-like earning spending notes for each dollar spent, priority access to style events and access to beauty workshops. The Nordstrom credit card comes with even more benefits like earning points 3X as fast toward Nordstrom Notes and early access to their epic annual Anniversary Sale!
For everyday basics I always turn to Everlane. And because their basics stay consistent, it is easy to hone in on your sizing for continued purchasing. While they do not offer free shipping beyond your first order, they do offer transparency on all of their pricing and business practices so you can be confident you are getting a great product without the traditional retail mark-up.
Shopbop keeps me up to date! I think they have the best on-line curated collection of clothes and designers. I also like how they break down shopping categories on their homepage to align with items that are currently on-trend! Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member, then there is no shipping cost on your order with Shopbop!
I have used Amazon Prime for most of my general shopping needs for awhile now. It was not until recently that I started turning to Amazon for clothing purchases as well! I mentioned in this post here and here some of my favorite recent finds.
*Amazon is currently in overdrive now because of COVID-19 and delivery times are longer than normal due to increased demand. However, under “normal” circumstances, Amazon Prime members enjoy free two-day shipping and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, audio series and kindle books. In some cities (like Chicago!), you can even have access to Prime Now, exclusive two-hour delivery from establishments like Whole Foods.
For the luxury brand market, I rely on SSENSE strictly for the fact they often run sale specials on my beloved Golden Goose sneakers.
This is an online retailer I have newly become addicted to! The RealReal is a luxury consignment retailer offering thousands of authenticated items in like new condition. Not only are you saving on the cost of full-price luxury goods but consignment purchasing is always a more sustainable way to shop.
Rag & Bone
Even though my favorite designers are well represented at Nordstrom and Shopbop, I still subscribe to a few individual designers that I love. I turn to designers like Rag & Bone for not only style inspiration but also to stay on top of any in-house promotions they might offer as well!
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