How not to get caught out when shopping the sales this holiday period.
We are a nation of online shoppers. Be it on the commute to work, inbetween playdates at the park or Sunday-night sofa-slouching, if there are card details and wi-fi to hand we can turn it into a bona fide shopping opportunity. Between 2015 and 2016, the average online weekly spend grew 22 per cent, while this year it is predicted that 1.61 million of us globally will use e-commerce, with it taking just six minutes to place an online order.
There is no doubt that online shopping is a wonderful thing, not only for its utility (anything that facilitates the acquisition of new stuff without having to leave the house is saintly), but for its cheering abilities. Who hasn’t found solace on Zara’s sandal page during a particularly crappy day? But what happens when it all goes wrong?
Earlier this month, Dee Lewis caused a Facebook meltdown when she posted pictures of the dress her daughter had ordered online for her prom. What was undoubtedly supposed to be an elegant creation of the Beyoncé 2015 Met Gala ilk turned out to be a badly fitting see-through body stocking with what looked like tissue paper stuck on the bum and a curtain stapled to the hem. Needles to say, it was not as advertised.
Lewis’ shoddy prom dress is just one of many #onlineshoppingfails that have recently been doing the rounds on social media. There is a lesson to be learnt and valued...be careful what you click for.
But while these mishaps undoubtedly have a funny side, online shopping mistakes are incredibly annoying, not to mention it can be expensive. How many items do you have hanging in your wardrobe that were brought in the sale but you never wear?
So, in the interests of saving us all time, money and sanity, I’ve rounded up the best online shopping tips that I divulge with clients on a weekly basis. I want you to be able to shop the sales with confidence and only buy clothes that you love! Happy shopping!
DON’T BUY ANYTHING UNLESS IT’S PHOTOGRAPHED ON A PERSON
I don’t buy anything I can’t see on a model. Even though the model is nowhere near my size or height, it still gives me a better idea of size, fit and proportion than something that is shot flat or on a mannequin. This rule even applies to bags and earrings. Same applies with the next rule...
WATCH THE VIDEOS
I always watch the videos on sites like ASOS, Gap and Matches to get a better idea of how the fabric moves, real-life colour and how something sits on the body. Usually, if I'm dithering over the photos, the video makes my mind up for me.
SHOP WITH A LIST
Always have a list in front of you when shopping in the sales that way you will not over-buy, buy the wrong items and get distracted by shiny things that you do not need. Consider what your wardrobe really needs and then go for it!
SIZE DOES MATTER
When shopping online (or indeed in a shop), do not buy anything that you're going to slim into. You won't. And even if you do, you'll have looked at it too many times and will want something new.
Now is the chance to by those wardrobe staples that you always covert when shopping online but just can't bring yourself to buy because perhaps they are too expensive or they aren't 'sexy' enough. This is the BEST time to buy them! That amazing leather biker jacket will feel so much more stylish if brought in the sales. A pair of new skinny jeans in a different wash, you will thank yourself everyday you brought them. You can never go wrong with buying black Winter boots in the sale, wears per purchase are huge!
CHOOSE THE CHEAPEST DELIVERY OPTION
Read the terms and conditions and only ever buy things that you can return and get your money back on if it doesn’t work. (For example Reiss only give you store credit for your returns). Always go for the cheapest delivery option – if you’ve already spent £20 getting it to you, it can be tempting to think, “I might as well keep it,” even if it’s not right (if something doesn’t fit, send it back before you even think twice). Also, don’t be influenced by tags that say things like “selling out soon”. These are lies that sites use to push you into making a purchase.
Do not do drink ’n' shop in the evenings. A client did just that and bought some yellow culottes which were God-awful in the cold light of day. It is best to shop first thing in the morning, when you have a clear head rather than in the evening with a glass (or 2) of wine in hand!