Buying Women's Clothing Online

Tips for buying women's clothing online. What you need to know before you place your order.

Ordering online lacks the real shopping experience.If you're ordering books, you can't page through them like you can at the bookstore; if you're ordering clothes, you can't try them on.Of course, when you order online you don't have to circle the mall looking for a parking place, hunt for what you want, not find it, pick out something you didn't need, wait in line, and wind up eating a food-court lunch.

With books, movies, and household items, buying online may be an easy decision to make, especially with more and more retailers offering free shipping on smaller and smaller orders.Clothes, though, seem like a special case, because while you know what you're getting when you order a movie, when you order clothes you don't know what you have until you're standing in front of the mirror trying them on.Can ordering clothes online really be practical?

It can, within certain limitations.The ogre of online clothes shopping is, without question, return shipping.If you order clothing from an online retailer and when it arrives it doesn't fit or just doesn't look right, you will be responsible for shipping it back, and you will almost certainly have to pay for the cost of that shipping yourself.(Some online shoe retailers offer free return shipping, but that doesn't seem to have caught on with clothing retailers.)If you're seeking convenience, the cost of return shipping may not be a major issue, but the trouble of repackaging the item and bringing it to the post office or shipping store probably will be!


The trick is to be selective as to what you order online.If you're looking for a cocktail dress and you haven't worn one in ten years, bite the bullet and go to the mall- you won't have a very good idea of what you're looking for, and you'll need to see yourself in dresses.But if you're looking for something very specific, say a red cable-knit sweater or a purple twinset, chances are you can find exactly what you're looking for online, the online store won't be out of your size, and you'll save a trip to the mall.

Buying online can be particularly convenient for women seeking special sizes like petite or women's clothing, as online and mail-order retailers often have a better selection of these sizes than physical stores.But if you're hard to fit, you'll need to be particularly careful what you order online.Most people can order shirts and sweaters with confidence, but if you usually have to try on five or six pairs of pants, for instance, to find one that fits, you could expect to have to take four or five pairs of pants back to the post office if you try to order them.Likewise, if you are (like so many of us) different sizes on your top and bottom halves, ordering dresses online is a recipe for disaster.But if you've already found a brand that works for you, either through online shopping or at a store, stick to thatbrand; you can often find the same brands online that you have previously bought in a store.

If you live in a remote location forty-five minutes or an hour from the nearest mall, online shopping will be godsend, and you'll save time even if you have to take several items back to the post office.But if you do have easy access to a mall, you can maximize your time saved by knowing what to shop for at a store, and what to order online.The best time to order online is when you know what you want, and you're pretty sure it will fit when it arrives.

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