Shop Smarter Avoid These Online Clothing Shopping Mistakes


The allure of online garment shopping is undeniable. Browse from the comfort of your couch, access a wider selection than any brick-and-mortar store, and potentially score amazing deals. However, the ease of clicking “buy” can also lead to frustration and wasted money if you’re not careful. Here are some common mistakes to avoid for a smoother and more successful online garments shopping experience.

Mistake #1: Relying Solely on Model Pictures

It’s tempting to assume that if the clothing looks fantastic on the model in the picture, it will translate perfectly to your own wardrobe. But that’s not always the case.

Video Source

Models often have specific body types, and the clothes might be tailored or styled to flatter their figure in a way that won’t work for everyone.

Here’s how to be a savvier shopper:

  • Look Beyond the Model: Pay attention to the details of the garment itself, such as the cut, drape, and fabric. Can you visualize how it might fall on your body type?
  • Size Charts Are Your Friend: Don’t just rely on the size indicated by the model. Many online retailers provide size charts that detail measurements like bust, waist, and hip circumference. Take your own measurements carefully and compare them to the chart to find the size that should theoretically fit you best.
  • Model Height Matters (Especially for Length): If you’re petite or tall, the model’s height can be a crucial indicator of how the garment might fit you. For example, a dress that appears knee-length on a tall model might hit you mid-calf. Look for information about the garment length in the product description. If it’s not available, consider contacting customer service to inquire.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Design Details

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but when it comes to online garments shopping, it’s not always the whole story. Sometimes, seemingly minor design details can significantly impact the fit and overall look of a piece.

  • Inspect from All Angles: Look at the pictures of the garment from all sides: front, back, and sides. Pay attention to features like pleats, ruching, or cinching that might affect how the clothing drapes on your body.
  • Beware of Volume Creators: Details like large ruffles, puffed sleeves, or voluminous gathers might look great on the model but overwhelm your own frame. Consider your body type and how the garment’s volume might translate to your figure.
  • Think About Tailoring Costs: If you see a garment with a design detail you love but that might not flatter your figure, consider the possibility of tailoring it after purchase. However, factor in the potential tailoring cost before making your decision.

Mistake #3: Forgetting About Return Policies

Let’s face it, online garment shopping can sometimes involve a bit of a gamble. Even with careful measurements and research, there’s always a chance the item won’t fit or look quite the way you envisioned. A return policy is your safety net, so make sure you understand it before hitting “buy.”

  • Know the Return Window: Most online retailers have a specific timeframe within which you can return an item. Be aware of this window and factor it in when placing your order.
  • Check Return Costs: While some retailers offer free returns, others charge a fee. Knowing the return cost upfront will help you make informed decisions, especially if you’re unsure about sizing.
  • Read the Fine Print: Return policies often have exceptions or limitations Be sure to read the fine print to avoid any surprises when it comes time to return an item.

Mistake #4: Material and Care Instructions: Don’t Be Fooled

The quality and feel of a garment can significantly differ from what appears online. A picture can’t always convey the weight, texture, or drape of the fabric.

  • Material Matters: Pay attention to the fabric composition listed in the product description. Familiarize yourself with different fabrics and their properties. For example, polyester might look flowy in a picture, but it might feel stiff and uncomfortable in reality.
  • Beware of Unrealistically Low Prices: If a complex or trendy garment comes with a suspiciously low price tag, it’s a red flag. High-quality materials and construction come at a cost. A low price might indicate the use of cheap fabrics that won’t last or drape well.
  • Care Instructions Can Be Telling: Look closely at the care instructions. A garment requiring extensive dry cleaning or special handling might be more high-maintenance than you bargained for.

Beyond the Basics: Building a Successful Online Shopping Strategy

Developing a successful online garments shopping strategy goes beyond simply avoiding mistakes. Here are some additional tips to elevate your experience:

  • Wishlist It: Many online retailers offer wishlist functionalities. Utilize this feature to save items you’re interested in for later consideration. This allows you to compare options, monitor price fluctuations, and potentially snag deals during sales events.
  • Embrace Sales (But Don’t Be Impulse-Driven): Sales can be a great way to score savings on online garments shopping. However, avoid impulse purchases during sales. Stick to your wishlist and only buy items you genuinely love and need.
  • Sign Up for Emails: Many retailers offer email subscriptions with exclusive discounts and sale alerts. This can be a great way to stay informed about upcoming promotions and snag deals before they disappear.
  • Invest in Staple Pieces: Building a strong foundation of high-quality staple pieces is key to a versatile and long-lasting wardrobe. Look for classic silhouettes and neutral colors that can be easily mixed and matched.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment (Within Reason): Online shopping opens doors to a wider selection than you might find in local stores. Use this opportunity to explore new styles and trends within your budget. However, avoid going overboard on trendy pieces that might quickly go out of style.

By following these tips and avoiding common pitfalls, you can transform your online garments shopping experience from frustrating to fun and rewarding. Embrace the convenience and variety that online shopping offers, while staying informed and making smart purchasing decisions. Happy shopping!


Leave a Reply