In my last blog, (click here to read that if you haven’t already), I made an argument in favor of online shopping. The way I look at it, who wants to traipse around from store to store looking at what’s on the rack in hopes that something, somewhere will be exactly what you’re looking for?
No, you didn’t try it? Are you thinking that browsing the internet for clothing just adds another layer of complexity to shopping?
Or maybe you did try it – and you were frustrated. Do you feel like you wasted too much time browsing sites that don’t have what you want – or that you can’t afford?
No matter what you decided or experienced last week, you can make online shopping easy and – dare I say fun? – even if you hate to shop.
In fact, most of the women I work with start out thinking they hate to shop.
When they learn how I shop for them, they have a change of heart. They enjoy discovering so many options and getting the clothes they want within their budget.
I’m sharing my tips with you, so you can become an online shopper extraordinaire.
- Start your online shopping on a Wednesday for the best deals and the largest selections. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are the most popular days for retailers to roll out sales and discount codes.
- Make a shopping list and then use aggregate shopping sites to search for the specific items in the sizes and colors you need. You may even find that multiple sites are selling the same item at different prices. Sites like:
- Pay close attention to the stats of the model online and the measurements of the items. A top that falls to the perfect length on a 5’10” model may be way too long on a 5’ 2” petite woman. Similarly, a mini skirt on that model might fit a petite woman just above the knees. And if you don’t love the new cropped pant style, remember the pants may hit you just below the ankle.
- If you really like an item but not enough to pay the full price, try leaving it in your online shopping cart. You can return to it in the future when it may be on sale. Just be sure you can live without it, for it may also sell out.
- The trick to making online shopping work is to treat your own closet the same way you would an in-store dressing room. Order things in more than one size if you are uncertain which will fit, and try them on at home. If you don’t love them, SEND THEM BACK!
Added bonus: You get to see the items you’re trying in combination with other items already in your closet. See how many outfits you can make with a single item!
- I start with Thred-up, my favorite. It is the largest online consignment shop in the world. They have amazing search functionality. The best value is in the designer section where you can find high quality designer clothes often at 90% off with the tags still on the item. They have a full range of sizes from 00 – plus sizes, as well as tall and petite.
- Next I go to the major brand department store outlets: Neiman Marcus’s Last Call, Nordstrom’s Hautelook, and Saks Fifth Avenue’s Saks Off 5th.
- If I can’t find what I’m looking for, I then move on to the more well-known brands that have inventory at higher prices. But offer quality clothes with good customer service policies. I do pay attention to their annual sales however. Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, W by Worth, Carlisle, White House Black Market and Ann Taylor are regular shops I check out depending on my client’s specific needs.
- I also recommend Rent the Runway, where you can either rent an item for a special occasion or try out their unlimited service where you can rent 2-4 items at all times. If you decide to purchase from the unlimited program you can usually do so at a 40% discount.
- Finally Poshmark is worth investigating. It’s where social media meets shopping and individuals or stores can set up an online shop to sell new or used clothing.
- My all-time favorite is Shop It To Me. It’s available online and in the Apple and Google Play stores. Tell the app your size and favorite brands and you will get a daily notification of all items on sale meeting your criteria from a multitude of shops.
- Gilt on the Go is a member-based site that works in a similar manner.
- Rue La La is similar to Gilt but runs sales for just 48 hours.
This final note is something personally important to me, and I am beginning to educate all my clients on it.
- If you care about who made your clothes and how they were paid and treated …
- If you care about the chemicals in the dyes and how they affect the workers and the environment …
- If you care about using natural fibers that will hold up and also decompose when you are done with them …
Then investigate where the item was made and what it is made of.
My Ethical Ensembles™ Encyclopedia provides the manufacturing ethics behind the clothing in well-known brands and stores, and gives you guidance on where to shop based on your personal brand.
I’d Love To Hear From You
But think of it this way.
Online shopping is a great way to search the world for clothing that fits your unique personal brand. You have so many more choices than what you can find strolling through local stores.
So try some of my tips and see which ones make that change a little easier for you. Is there one (or more) that sways your decision? I’d love to hear what it is!
Please comment below so we can all learn from your experience.