5 Tips for Shopping for Clothes Online

Endlessly browsing clothes online is one of life’s greatest simple pleasures. But it’s not a pleasure when the fruits of your digital shopping efforts arrive at your door and the sizes are all wrong. Here, five easy methods to ensure you always shop successfully.

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Always Check The Size Charts

Just because you’re a size eight at one retailer doesn’t mean you’re the same size at another. Measurements matter—and it will save you a ton of time if you click over to confirm the size of your bust, waist and hips against the store’s sizing charts. FYI, in most cases, there’s a link to them right next to the item you’d like to buy. (And bonus FYI: Measure yourself once and keep a note saved somewhere on your computer so you always have a reference.)

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Keep A Running List Of The Sizes You Typically Wear

If you frequent the same set of stores (brick-and-mortar locations or online), it’s worth jotting down a list of the sizes you most commonly wear. And, again, keep a note on your phone or computer. That way, when you spot an adorable midi online, you can confirm in an instant that you’re a 6P.

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Always Read The Customer Reviews

Most online retailers leave an area for shopper reviews. That’s where you’re likely to get the real deal on how a garment actually fits. Of course, with all online feedback, you should take it with a grain of salt. But if the general consensus is that the embroidered marigold cardigan runs a tad small, heed the advice and size up.

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Peep The Online Return Policy Before You Buy

You meant to get to the post office this past Saturday and send back those returns, but life happened and you didn’t make it. Now you just found out returns are allowed only within ten days (the worst). Even if you’re fairly certain you’ll make a swift decision about your purchase, take the time to browse the return policy just to be sure you know all the ins and outs. Some policies (we love you, Nordstrom) are more liberal than others, of course, but it’s better to have all that info before you put your credit card down.

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Leave Items In Your Shopping Cart

OMG, you just found the best-ever pair of block heels. Too bad they’re a little out of your price range and you can’t find an online discount to save your life. If you don’t mind waiting a couple of days (and you’re confident they won’t sell out), try this: Create an online profile with the retailer and leave the shoes in your shopping cart for a day or two. It’s a tiny bit creepy, but online retailers now have the ability to keep tabs on your shopping activity—and may just ping you with a 20 percent off coupon to encourage you to buy (and save).

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Rachel Bowie

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...
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