Inspired by a blog post that I came across recently, I feel compelled to share some of my experiences and tips on online shopping. Most of my clothes are purchased online, but I still have friends who avoid online shopping in this day and age.


When I first started to dabble with online shopping, one of my favourite sites was Victoria’s Secrets. Their clothes are unique and lovely, but they feature the most gorgeous models looking fabulous in those pieces. Would I look as hot as Miranda Kerr if I were to wear the dress that she was modelling? No way! It is hard to gauge the actual material, colour and cutting of the wares from VS and without a doubt, there were high incidence of misses when I placed my orders based on the photos on the website.

1. Set a cap on the price of each piece you are buying.

We have to admit that no matter how much we try to game or reduce the probability of mis-adventures, such situations could still occur. In some cases, the return process could be long and unworthy to pursue. This is especially so if we have to fork out the return shipping fee. Therefore, try to avoid impulse or splurge purchases and buy with the mindset that you wouldn’t mind giving the item away if it doesn’t fit.

2. Scrutinise the product details.

Does this item run small? Does the dress look shorter on the model? Is it of a tight material? Know yourself well, and understand which material and cut works well for you. For example, as I am tall, I would either go my actual size or a size up for shorter dresses so that I wouldn’t seem as if I was wearing my little sister’s frock.

Also, read through the user reviews if this option is available. With the advent of style sites such as Chictopia and Lookbook, you should also try googling for images of how others wear this item. This allows you to have a clearer view of the apparel, other than the official pictures from the online retailer.


3. The size for your top and bottom could be different.

All of us have different body shapes. Some of us are top heavy, some have pear-shape bodies. Therefore, we may wear different sizes for our blouses, pants and dresses. Eg, you may be a size 8 but you might need to wear size 10 for some tops because you have a bigger bust. Once again, linking back to point 2, know your measurements well and check if the product details include any measurement that can help us gauge our sizes accurately.

4. When unsure of the size, go up and not down.

No size fits all. So if I am truly in doubt but I really want the item badly, I would go one size up. The result – the apparel could either fit or run too big. If it’s the latter, I will send the item for alterations. This works better than getting a smaller size, only to realise that there is no way you can lose weight or alter the item to fit you.

Relating back to my story about Victoria’s Secrets, I learnt to be diligent by checking for other photos of the clothes other than those glamorous ones produced by the website. I would also search eBay or Google for other pictures of the items before I commit to a purchase there.

Of course, as I have mentioned earlier, mis-adventures do occur when it comes to online shopping but the joy of discovering something new and different is priceless. For me, it opened a plethora of fashion options that were not available in Singapore. With more online purchases, you will gain more experience and the “hit rate” would just get higher and higher!

You may also like: Online Shopping #101, Online Shopping #102, The Ideeli Experience


Image credit: Victoria’s Secrets 

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