Who else has a strategy for online shopping? I do! My shift to becoming someone who mainly shops on t’internet probably has a lot to do with blogging. All that inspiration at my fingertips as well as easily accessible links, can lead to you seeing your delivery man more often than members of your own family.
Over the years I reckon I’ve honed my skills and learnt from my mistakes along the way. I know the quality to expect from certain High Street shops and I try not to take any major risks. I’m looking at you, 90% off oversized top by The Row, that did not turn me into an effortless Olsen twin.
For the first time in ages, I’m feeling excited about fashion again and it’s probably something to do with the change in seasons. Anything goes and I’m sure that my orders will be increasing in frequency, bank balance allowing. These are a few of the stages I’ll most likely be going through…
Make a plan and open all the tabs
Although I love seeing things IRL, sometimes it all gets a little overwhelming. You know, when you go into one shop and see ten things you like, then the same situation happens in another shop and you have to decide whether it’s feasible to spend £2567.
Shopping online means that I have a slightly less emotional response and I can quickly scan pages if I’m looking for something specific. I tend to think more rationally and can assess the gaps in my wardrobe a lot easier when I’m at home. I’ve even got Olivia on the case when it comes to spotting certain items, she knows my style really well and is the best kind of enabling friend.
Save for later (and hope that it’s still there…)
Does anyone else seem to have about 23 items permanently in their ASOS Save For Later section? I prefer to wait before buying something, unless it seems like an item is selling out quickly. Sometimes I mull over things for days, weeks and even months in the case of this mustard skirt. I have a Pinterest board where I save everything, it’s a great visual reminder and if I’m still obsessing over the item, then I know it’s worth investigating further.
Look at the product page for the 212th time
This is the deciding round. I always look at the shape of garment on the model, off the model and if there’s a catwalk function I end up doing a happy dance. This is the only way to see how the fabric behaves, something with a bit of drape will behave far differently to a stiffer cotton fabric. A lot of retailers will pin things to models and if the pictures don’t show multiple angles, you end up filling in a lot of the gaps yourself.
Try and mentally compare garments with your own clothes to get an idea of fit. If you like dresses that are a skater style, then go between the model and mannequin/flat view and check that there’s a distinct difference between the waist to hem ratio. Some sites will even have item measurements, so you can grab a tape measure and see how your own items measure up to determine the right size.
Add to basket
Usually if I’m still unsure and the retailer offers free returns, I’ll order two sizes. This is the only situation in which I’d recommend a credit card, I’ll use it if I want to place a large order but not necessarily have the money come out of my account (always return things in time, pay off in full or set up a direct debit to avoid fees).
It’s always handy if they offer CollectPlus as a delivery option, as it means you don’t have to worry about the random delivery window. A lot of the collection points are open late and you can pick up at your convenience. Simple.
Try on (Bootylicious Style)
This is the fun bit. I much prefer having a trying on session in the comfort of my own home, instead of a dodgy changing room where the curtain doesn’t shut properly (I’m also prone to getting stuck in things). I find that I can get an accurate picture of how something will look when I’m at home, I can switch up undergarments if the bra isn’t right and I can see how the item will work with others in my wardrobe.
My thing is to see if I can style the item in at least 3 different ways to justify the purchase. I would say that I have a ‘One in, one out’ rule but in reality you know there’s a pile of jumpers just waiting to fall on top of me whenever I open the wardrobe.
The final countdown
Time for the dramatic music. Most of the time I know instantly whether I’m going to keep something. If you get a bad feeling or you can only wear it in a certain way, then it’s best to send it back. Make sure you’re definitely happy with the fit, practice stretching your arms and check that you don’t have anything else that’s too similar.
I like returning items at my local CollectPlus point. There’s no feeling of dread when I approach the Post Office and realise the queue is out the door (usually twenty minutes before it closes), it takes a couple of minutes and you can just get on with your life. I’ve never had an issue and it’ll often take the same amount of time, if not slightly less to process my return. Job done.
Do you go through a similar online shopping process as well? It seems like this video with Ella and Wendy was filled aeons ago now! Make sure you have a watch, we chat about our online experiences plus we also filmed another video over fashion week. Can the year stop going so quickly please?
This post is in collaboration with Collect Plus