Online shopping: Tips for buying clothes you love online


Without a few tips for buying clothes online, it’s easy to end up with a bunch of clothes you never wear! From figuring out different size charts to finding more affordable versions of things you love, here are some handy tips to ensure your online shopping for new clothes is a success.

Does this sound familiar? You find something you love online, purchase it…but when it finally gets delivered, you feel really disappointed with the item? It’s hard to order clothes online and this could be completely new territory for a lot of you, whilst we are all self isolating through Covid-19. Or maybe you’ve never felt confident buying clothes online in the past because you have had a series of bad experiences.

Here are some of my tips to ensure you avoid any online fashion purchases. I’ve even make a checklist which you can keep handy when making online purchases. Download my Online Buying Checklist. It will save you time, money and make your life so much easier!

tips for buying clothes online

Living for Style’s Shannon Johnson picking up some new items for her wardrobe!

Top tips for buying clothes online

1. Use size charts

It’s really important to know the true size of the garment to ensure it will fit your individual body shape. I would suggest you only order from stores that have size charts available for their products. Also, try to order from stores you are familiar with, so you know what sizes already fit you or can compare.

2. Check fabrics

Remember to read the fibre composition – some fabrics look different in the photo. If you are not familiar with fibres and fabrics, check the clothing labels of the items you have at home and stick to the fabrics you love. Be aware that a dress might look like silk in the photo online, but might really be polyester, so be fabric smart!

3. Check lengths

One of the most difficult things when shopping online is not knowing the lengths of garments. There is one way to overcome this dilemma, and that is to look at the height of the model. The height of the model is usually stated under the key features of the item. Once you know the height of the model, it will be very useful to check the lengths of garments, particularly skirts. Just check your height versus the model wearing it and you will know if the garment will be longer or shorter on your body.

4. Know your body shape

Women's Body Types

Knowing your body shapes (rectangle, inverted triangle, hourglass, apple, pear) can help you

Do you know your body shape? Understanding your body shape helps you to choose clothes that flatter your figure. You can find out more about your body shape on SheKnows.

5. Avoid choosing clothes that need a perfect fit

Always avoid buying items online that need to be a perfect fit. So, for instance, if you know you have trouble buying pants, then avoid buying them online unless you’ve already tried them on in the store.

6. Read customer reviews

Most online stores feature customer reviews, so if you are unsure of a product, read the reviews before deciding to purchase. More often than not, the reviews will detail the fit and quality of the garment. Of course, if you have the time, pay it forward to other confused online shoppers, by leaving a helpful review on the products that you’ve purchased!

7. Shop online where they offer free returns

Be aware of the stores’ returns policies. Try to stick to the stores that offer free returns, which will make it more cost effective to return if the item doesn’t fit. Through this Covid-19 time, most stores are offering free returns as an incentive to buy.

To save you time, here’s a list of some popular stores that are currently offering free returns online. This information is correct at time of publication, but as return policies can change, please check the individual websites for up-to-date policies

Australian Fashion Retailers offering free online returns

If you use PayPal for payments, they are offering a refund on your returns – up to $45 per return and eight returns each year. Just keep your receipt for postage. Find out more about PayPal’s refund policy


Online Buying Checklist

Want more help to shop online? Consider using a fashion stylist who will be more than happy to help you. Right now, Living for Style is offering an virtual-styling service for a more budget-conscious shopper.

Want more fashion & beauty tips?


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  1. Ash

    Thanks for the information!

    19 November 2016 at 6:06 pm

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