A thought on…online shopping
The Internet has changed our lives in many ways, providing easy access to information, people and items…As expected, online commerce has grown to astonishing proportions enabling consumers to buy products from the comfort of their living room. For better or worse, fashion industry has long established itself as a major player when it comes to online shopping.
So…is it worth updating your wardrobe online?
As most things in life there are pros and cons to online shopping…I believe your virtual shopping experience may be influenced (either way) by a multitude of factors. Based on my personal experience, here is a list of things to bear in mind when buying online:
- Personal style : If you embrace a fitted and trim silhouette, it will be a daunting task to find an item that looks like it was made for you, without trying it on. It’s true that most stores have a sizing chart available, but chances are you don’t know your measures and even if you do, fit is everything and those charts are often innacurate. If you’re not obssessed with a perfect fit and can deal with an item that may look slightly off, online may be an option;
This kind of perfection cannot be achieved “online" (Photo by The Sartorialist)
- Experience : what do you look for when buying a new garment? The item itself or the overall experience of going shopping? I, for one, love going to my favourite store, taking my time browsing through all the pieces, talking to the owner to know more about particular items and listening to the advice they give according to your client profile…if you usually rush shopping because you only need to supress a need for a certain item, order away;
Take pleasure in shopping (Photo from www.prepidemic.com)
- Type of item : depending on what you’re looking for, online may be more or less adequate. A suit is a piece you should get at a store, by trying out different models and having them tailored to your body and liking. In fact, I would say this applies for most items but for some jackets, tees and shirts buying online may serve you well;
A suit should make you feel like a million bucks, have it tailored to your body type (Photo from www.boston.com)
- First purchase or not : since you cannot try on your garments before buying, online shopping works best when you shop for a brand or item you’re familiar with. Doing so will allow you to know how it fits and the correct size, ensuring satisfaction with the final product. On the other hand, an unknown brand may have a completely different sizing and fitting from what you would expect;
Buying a similar item from a familiar brand makes things easier (Photo from photobucket.com)
- Where you’re buying : buying from auction sites such as Ebay may put you through some ordeals. It’s true that there are amazing deals to be had but you may also end up with an item that doesn’t match the description or never arrives in the first place (happened to me a couple of times). Fortunately, Paypal ensures a satisfying customer service and money back warranty. If you purchase from an official online store these issues are hard to come across;
- Shipping Costs and Returns : be aware that shipping costs can represent considerable sums for your order (shipping from US to Portugal can easily cost 50€ depending on the order). In fact, there are few countries where shipping and return costs are covered by the shops and not the client. If for some reason you need to return your item, the costs will be supported by you.
(Logo from http://fedex.com)
That being said here are some websites you should check: