Recent years have seen shopping for clothes online become less of a niche option and more of an everyday standard. The largest and most dynamic collections in the world often for unbeatable prices, right there at your fingertips.
But at the same time, there are certain downsides/risks attached to online shopping that need to be taken into account. After all, when you can’t try on or even see what you’re buying in the flesh, you need to have your wits about you.
So with this in mind, here is a quick run-through of five essential tips for anyone planning to purchase clothing online:
- Know your measurements
First of all, you need to know your measurements. Not simply have a rough idea of your dress size on the usual scale – your actual measurements, right now. Almost every online clothing retailer will have its own take on what a size 8,10,12 etc. actually means. As such, you need to know your own measurements as accurately as possible, before taking a look at their size guide/chart. Never assume any two of these will be the same – they rarely are!
- Consult Feedback
You’ll also be able to get a good idea about the accuracy (or otherwise) of any company’s size guide by consulting the feedback of other customers. If there’s anything important to know about the way they size/label their garments, this is a good way of finding it out.
- Read the Labels
Just because you cannot inspect the garment by hand doesn’t mean you cannot and must not read the label carefully. Looks can be deceiving and assumptions can be dangerous – check the label fully for things like materials used, washing instructions and any warnings/information of importance you could really do with knowing.
- Be Flexible
It’s important to be realistic in terms of your expectations and as flexible as possible with what you’re happy to expect. The reason being that it is very difficult to accurately recreate colours and textures online, the same way they will look in real life. Of course, there’s no justification for colours or tones being wildly different when the garment arrives, but you nonetheless have to expect perhaps a very slight difference to that you saw on screen.
- Go Old School
Though it seems to be something of a dying practice among modern consumers, it’s worth remembering that there are still plenty of tailors out there very much in business. Which means that if you do happen to pick something up online which isn’t perfect in terms of size, this doesn’t mean you’re out of look if it’s a design you absolutely adore. Head to a local tailor with just £5 or so in your pocket and you could be laughing.
- Terms and Conditions
Last but not least, the single most important check to carry out when buying clothes online is that of the terms and conditions with regard to returns. Unless there is a comprehensively open returns policy in place that allows you to return items you are not happy with, regardless of the reason, you might want to think about shopping elsewhere. What’s more, you also need to ensure that return shipping costs are covered by the company, instead of having to fork it out yourself.