Tips for Online Shopping

Online Shopping Tips

I recently wrote a post in which I shared all of my shopping tips for shopping in bricks and mortar stores, here. Since then the world has changed and become a very different place when it comes to shopping. Online shopping has become our new normal if it wasn’t already a big part of the way you consumed fashion. I have put together all my tips and tricks for online shopping in this new and updated post.


Most of the tips in my original post apply equally to online shopping, particularly the tips about preparing for your shop so that you buy smarter. So before you go on to read the rest of this article, I urge you to take a look at it.


Online shopping tips from a personal shopper:

  • Always check the return policy. Will you have to pay the cost and risk of return? Or is there a streamlined return process whereby your parcel is collected from your door? It should be an important part of your purchase decision making process to make sure you can easily return items that don’t fir or just don’t look good in real life. For me, Matches has one of the best in that it is amazingly easy and efficient to return items (and doesn't cost you anything).


  • Read the sizing and fit guidance carefully and have your own measurements to hand. If in doubt, order two different sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit. That way you avoid a situation where the item might sell out while you’re waiting for delivery and dealing with the return process.And if in doubt, always order the larger size. It's far easier to have a loose item taken in than vice-versa.


  • Read the fabric care information. Is it dry-clean only? Will you need to make an allowance for fabric shrinkage? This will affect whether you will get enough wear out of any item (lest it languish in your hand-washing basket or dry-cleaning pile for weeks until you get around to dealing with it).


  • Use the wishlist function. If you hesitate over a purchase, put it in your wishlist. If you’re still dreaming about it a couple of days later, then buy it. It’s also a good way to earmark the items you love and know when they go on sale. And if it is already on sale, in your size and you really can’t stop thinking about it, don’t hesitate too long – sometimes it is better to buy in haste and return at leisure!


  • Shop around. The same item may be priced differently on other websites. A quick google search should give you an idea of whether you can buy it for a better price elsewhere.


  • If your dream dress is sold out on all your usual sites, do your research. There are so many small multi-brand boutiques with online presences who may still have the piece in your size. And they don’t often come up straight away from google searches. There are a couple of small Danish boutiques that I always hit up online for sold-out Ganni items for my clients – a little treasure trove of it-pieces!


  • Also make the most of first-time shopper discounts. Most sites offer them from 10% to 15%.


  • Do sign up for the email newsletters of your absolute favourite brands particularly if they tend to sell out of their most desirable pieces. You’ll be the first to know when new drops happen. And if you are familiar with their sizing, there is less chance of having to return items for the wrong fit.


  • When it comes to clothes, fabric is king. And the best sites to use are Net-a-Porter and Matches, where you can see a video of each piece. In each video, you can tell how the fabric falls, drapes (or not) and moves. This will give you a much better idea of the quality and fit of the item than any photo ever will.

I work with clients every week to ensure that they shop smarter in terms of what suits their body, skin tone, budget and lifestyle. I always approach their shopping in a systematic way to ensure that they are buying pieces that work with the rest of their wardrobe, fit them perfectly (even if that requires some tailoring) and ensure the best cost per wear as well as joy per wear. If you need help in that department, enquire about my personal styling services by clicking the enquire button below.

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