Dress: ASOS US | Scarf: ASOS US | Booties: Goodnight Macaroon c/o | Sweater: Forever 21 | Long Necklace: Forever 21 | Hilary Necklace: Etsy | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (on major sale!) c/o | Watch: Kate Spade NY
We’ve all been there. Something looks really awesome online so we buy it thinking it’s going to be perfect, then when it arrives it’s nothing like you expected. It’s so disappointing because you already had to deal with the anticipation waiting for it to arrive, the possible anxiety that it might not arrive before you need it, plus, now you have to figure out if/how you can return it. Why do we even online shop?? Ah, well, because it’s awesome if you figure out how to do it right. Nearly verything in this outfit was bought online from different stores and I was not disappointed with any of the pieces. I have A LOT of experience in this area because of my busy schedule, so I thought I would pass on 4 tips for successful online shopping that I have learned.
First, know your body. As much as I wish I could wear every dress silhouette or every color, it’s just not the case. You have to remember little things like, for example, I have big boobs so unless I can wear a good bra with that dress or top I probably shouldn’t buy it. I also have learned that no matter how much I love them, I just can’t get jumpsuits without trying them on because they are always too short. It’s little things like that that will keep you shopping efficiently because you won’t waste time mulling over too many options that probably aren’t even right for you. I personally have a short mental veto list to keep me from buying something that I really like but that I know deep down won’t look good on my body or that I know I need to try on first. Knowing you body will also help you make good choices on your sizing! Once I have found a store where my size is consistent, I shop there a lot because I know I can depend on it fitting properly.
Second, know the store’s shipping and return policies before you do any online shopping. You should check and make sure they accept returns on sale items, how long you have to return it (Nordstrom gives you 90 days!!), and how long it’s really going to take to get to you (if you order after noon, you should add one more day onto your expected delivery date). I personally am a huge fan of ASOS because they have free return shipping. Not just the kind where you have to go online and request a return shipping label (that’s a pain), the label is included in your resealable package, so all you do it stick it over your original label and pop it in the mail! The packages are also soft, so if you order just one or two things, it will fit in one of those drive through USPS mailboxes, so you don’t even have to get out of your car. AH it’s so easy. Plus, for $20 a year, they also offer free 2 day express shipping on everything, which is amazing for me because I am the most impatient person in the world. LOL I sound like a commercial, but I promise this is just me, they don’t love me enough to give me free clothes. I wish! Also, did you know that you can return Nordstrom purchases in store at Nordstrom Rack? This is really convenient for me because I have a Nordstrom Rack right by my apartment, but Nordstrom is across town. (PS Nordstrom Rack is having their Clear the Rack sale right now and Nordstrom is having their 40% off Fall Clearance Sale!)
Third, read reviews and descriptions carefully. This is one of the best ways to see how real people are responding to the clothes when you’re online shopping. Stores like Rent the Runway and Etsy are awesome because they give customers the opportunity to post pictures of how they look. The shoppers at Forever 21 and Nordstrom are also good at leaving helpful reviews. It’s easy to forget that just because something looks soft online doesn’t mean it’s actually soft. Read to see what material it’s made of (wool = itchy) and if anyone has actually written a review of what the material feels like. Once you have ordered a few things that you have liked, see what they have in common in their materials and try and look out for more like them. I realized that I don’t particularly love 100% acrylic sweaters because they tend to be static-y, so I look for cotton blends.
Fourth, be on the lookout for sales and deals. Not all stores advertise their sales openly, it will sometimes be a tiny banner at the top that has a code you have to enter during checkout which can be easy to miss. Retail Me Not is a really great resource for online shopping that will randomly have coupons for free shipping or discounts, so I always go to them too and see if they have one for the store I’m shopping at. Most stores will also have sales surrounding any holiday (*cough* Veteran’s Day *cough*), not just major ones. A few stores that are having Veteran’s Day Sales are Macy’s, Guess, and J.Crew Factory. If there’s something you’ve been dying to have but it’s just a little outside your price range, check back every day and see if they’re having a deal (unless you think it might sell out, then you’ve just gotta get it then).
Thanks for reading! I hope this will help you out the next time you’re unsure about online shopping. I also wasn’t kidding about ASOS. I’m pretty sure based on how much of it I wear, you know that I really am obsessed.