Online shopping affords us the modern convenience of buying almost everything from the comfort of our homes. This saves us the hassle of navigating through the weekend crowds, and the time needed to scour the shops, only to find out, all too often, that what we want is unavailable. But when buying clothes online, how can we be sure that what we see is what we get? Read on for our tips on buying women’s clothing.
1. Know your numbers
Before anything else, you must know your measurements. Details such as the circumference of your chest / bust, waist and hips are crucial, while neck circumference is often needed when buying men’s dress shirts. Take length measurements, including shoulder to ankle (for maxi dresses), shoulder to knee (for knee-length dresses), shoulder to wrist (for long-sleeved tops) and waist to ankle (for long pants or skirts).
You can either have someone help to measure your proportions, or you can measure the clothes you already have. A trustworthy online retailer should have a size chart on its website to help you pick the right fit.
2. Visual stimulation
Any web store worth buying from is bound to have multiple clear images of each product it sells. Photos of clothing items should be taken from the front, back, three-quarter view, and side, preferably on a model to show how it looks and fits.
Not all websites have a zoom function on their images, but if you come across one that does, make use of it so you can view and properly assess the detailing and material of the clothes that catch your eye.
There are web stores that also include their models’ measurements, so you can estimate how well a particular item of clothing will fit you, and whether or not you might need to have it altered should you choose to buy it.
3. Materially speaking
A reputable and reliable online clothing store should provide details such as the materials and composition of each of its items. This way, you can not only determine the quality of the product, but also get a better sense of the best size for yourself.
For instance, a pair of jeans containing elastane, Lycra or spandex will stretch considerably, but one that is 100% cotton will not stretch at all. As such, you can probably size down for the former, but not the latter.
4. View the reviews
Certain online clothing retailers allow buyers to leave reviews of items they’ve bought online. Some websites even give them the option of listing their measurements alongside their reviews, and including photos of themselves wearing the clothing items they’ve purchased.
Reading the reviews and looking at buyers’ photos gives you a good idea of how a web store’s products fare in real life. This will help to further inform your decision on whether or not to spend your money on its products.
5. Colour consistency
One thing that often catches online shoppers by surprise is the difference in colour between their purchases as portrayed in the web store, and in real life. This may not be the fault of the online retailers, as colours that look a certain way on your computer or smartphone screen tend to look slightly different in real life.
This is usually due to lighting: if the clothes are being modelled indoors, such as in a studio, you can expect their colours to look a little different when you get them. Some websites do use photos taken outdoors; the natural light gives a more accurate representation of how the clothes will look when you receive them.
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