When you live in a place that has limited fashions to choose from buying online is essential. These days I find there is much variety shopping on the Internet. Sometimes I find fashion by accident either by scrolling on Instagram or they follow me on Social Media. My mother was a catalog shopper back in the day. It was taught early on how to shop long distance. Plus, I learned to sew when taking home economics in high school, knowing all of my measurements in order to make fashions for myself was important especially, when buying patterns. Buying online is something I have to do most of the time because some of my favorite designers and stores I can only buy from online due to their location. Finally, I found that when I do go in store they do not have the same benefits as they do online.
Know your measurements. I basically know my bust, underbust, waist, hips, and inseam when shopping online. Sometimes you might need measurements for other parts of the body especially for custom fit. You also need to take your bodytype into account. This is why some brands fit others differently and why sizes vary. For example, everyone’s waist and hips are in a different area and most go by the smallest part of your waist and the fullest part of your hip. You can find plenty of information on how to measure and some stores will have their own way. Considering myself as an example some will say go 8″ down from my waist. Due to the fact that my waist is considerably high if I go 8″ down to measure my hips, it isn’t going to be the fullest part of my hips. Another tip I use for my waist is to measure the area that bends when you lean to the side. If I went at my belly button it would not be accurate. If you are doing this yourself to stand in front of a body length mirror to make sure the tape is in the right location.
Eventually, when buying from a designer or brand often enough you know how their items will fit your body and which do not. I find most stores go buy an hourglass shape. My shape is a between an apple and a pear which means that not everything is going to fit like advertised. The model in the advertisement has different measurements, they have the item pinned on them, padding added on, or they could have been photoshopped, or the fit model that they made the design against is not my shape.
It is important to read the size chart! I cannot stress this enough. If they do not have one, I am not going to buy from them. Trust me they are out there. Just because they list the size you wear does not mean it will fit. This is why I cringe when fashions are promoted for selling ALL sizes when their size charts say otherwise. What I learned stores that cater to trendy looks will be different from a store that cater to classic looks. Usually, stores have Junior, Junior Plus, Petite, Tall, Misses, Women, or Plus Size. An item that is Junior will have smaller measurements than an item that is Women. Plus the length of clothes such as Petite or Tall are going to have different measurements. If I buy clothes that are Tall I find they fit bigger so I might have to size down. Some have their own measurements especially, if it is from an independent designer.
All these tips can also be applied to men too!
Sometimes the right unders can change the shape of your body to make things fit correctly such as bras, corsets, shapewear, or hosiery. I know that some of my pin up style dresses I need to wear a corset in order to get it over my waist. Or, the dress that is too big on the top works well with a push up bra. The plus side of buying lingerie is that most stores will measure you for the right fit!
However, do not go too tight…
Shopping online does not have to be expensive. If I want the item right away because I know it will be sold out I will buy it full price. Sometimes waiting for a sale you could lose out but, I have other priorities in where my money goes which I am sure other do too. Most of the time I take advantage of sales when I buy something. Signing up for sale notifications by opening an online account or email with the store also can have priority over people who do not use this feature. Another way is to follow the brand on social media. Many will post upcoming sales in their thread. It helps to have a credit card with a store too because they give even more discounts. Thrifting is another option where you can save. I know I donate my used clothes to Savers. When you do they give you a coupon to buy from them at a discount. You can even thrift online such as Etsy or Facebook Groups.
Following fashion bloggers with your similar body shape or measurements can be a benefit because they will post outfits or clothes that they enjoy wearing. Some will post what they did or did not like about the item. Although in the blogging world bad reviews are cringed upon and some are paid to promote products. Lately, some bloggers have been designing their own fashions and even designing for other brands.
You could Google about the brand to see what others experienced or you could read reviews of the item. However, I purchased some expensive yoga pants that claimed they did not roll when exercising and that they were made for all body shapes. Unfortunately, it was not true. My review was not posted all the positive ones were. I also have bought from an independent designer in which I received the item months later. Does not help when you order something in the winter and it arrives in the spring where it is already 80 degrees here.
Online shopping for your fashions does not have to be a negative experience. Just like any online shopping if you educate yourself it can be a positive one. Sure there will be some bumps in the road. Make sure to check out return information because some do not accept returns, you end up paying the shipping costs to return, and some will take a percentage. Learning how to sew can help because you can tailor it yourself if there are mishaps. Of course if you really want the item you can always bring it to a seamstress or tailor.