I was having this conversation with my friend who was visiting from India, who told me that she hated shopping in public with a passion and always preferred online shopping, from the comfort of her own home. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that she was right, being able to browse through clothing, accessories, interiors and food from your own house, makes much more sense than scrambling through the crowds, fighting for that top you saw on Instagram, only to find out that they sold out 10 minutes ago, not cool. And don’t get me started on the struggles of shopping on boxing day, as you push and shove other customers out of the way to grab that £1 handbag that was originally £50 to start with. Or how you end up leaving disappointed and stressed because the only thing that was remotely exciting about your shopping trip was watching the locals fight about who has the best hair colour (spoiler alert it is blue of course).
But online shopping however or even shopping through catalogues are much soothing, as you scrawl through the latest fashions, without being escorted out of the shopping mall because you had the cheek to ask as to whether something that was ‘sold out’ would be coming back into stock. Apparently there is this unwritten rule that you should never ask a shop assistant whether sold out items are coming back as it will have them quite literally raging. I think its more to do with the fact that they have had to deal with complete idiots all day long, shouting at them so its little wonder that they get stressed out. So why not do these poor sods at the shopping malls a favour and just stay home instead. After all I know I am not the only one who finds it quite therapeutic to lie in bed or during a steamy bath and browse through an endless supply of online shopping magic, even though I am broke and cannot afford anything. But window shopping from your home is far more fun than pretending to be one of the mannequins in Westfield isn’t it?
That being said Online Shopping has its own obstacles as well: from having a ‘Tinder issue’ with the clothing that arrives, which looks nothing like the picture online ( you see even in fashion there is such thing as catfishing) to buying that dream dress that you had always wanted but not having enough money in your account and when you go back to buy the dress a few days later, it tells you that the page cannot be found. This actually happened to me the other day, I spotted the most stunning blue floor length kimono from LOTD, only to find out that it had sold out within a few hours of me putting it into my basket for later. Let me tell you something that was an emotional experience, especially when I was told that the kimono in blue would not be coming back in stock, although I did get it in black. But I digress, learning how to navigate the online shopping world can be a minefield but I have the tips that will make your experience much less stressful. From using catalogues, to shopping via mobile apps, there are a multitude of ways to turn online shopping from drab, to fab in a matter of steps. Question is, what is your online shopping addiction.
Shopping Via Catalogues
Shopping via catalogues are a great way to find designer styles, save and find specific articles and styles of clothing that you can’t find in department stores. It also allows you to choose from more variety, more brands and find greater discounts. But, with so many catalogues, how do you choose the right one to do your shopping with? Hmm good question, as someone who is somewhat of a bargain hunter (AKA I am cheap) when it comes to being thrifty I am 100% your girl. Here are key steps to using catalogues that will make your online shopping experience a much more sophisticated affair, without having to fight some ponytailed girl for the last designer coat that you have been lusting after since you were 12.
Choose a specialist
It goes without saying that specialist catalogues i.e. coats, hats, women’s clothing and men’s clothing will hone down on your choices, based on what you are looking for. Its like shopping online, without the bright white lights making your eyes bleed (metaphorically speaking of course). For women, choose a catalogue which specializes in women’s clothing, although if you are like me, you might be partial to the odd menswear item like a shirt that you can transform into a dress or a slogan t-shirt that is totally badass. You’ll find more to choose from, you’ll find the styles you want to wear and best of all you will find far more selection in terms of colours, prints and materials as well than you would in a shopping mall as well. Catalogues can either be ‘budget’ or ‘designer’ so go with the catalogue selection that gives you exactly what you are looking for. It is important to note that you shouldn’t limit yourself when you are catalogue shopping either, so although you might start with a specialist selection i.e. menswear, you might find accessories in a womenswear catalogue like a straw fedora hat that is right up your street. The guide linked above will
Shop Via A Mobile App
Sometimes we have the urge to shop while we are in the bath and that is ok, after all spending money is therapeutic, especially when you work bloody hard for your dosh as well. Which is where a mobile app comes in, meaning that you don’t have to drag your 15 inch screen laptop into the bathroom and risk getting electrocuted to death, which obviously would not be ideal by any means. So for example you decide that you want to browse through New Look, while you are having some bathtime fun, then simply just go to your Apple Store or Google Play and download the chosen app, ready for unlimited shopping disposal. I mean do you know what would be even better? If you could actually get sent free money through the app, but that is probably an invention for another time.
Think About The Store You Are Buying From And How Their Sizing Chart Works
All too often we are guilty of creating impulse purchases only to find out that the products- whether they be clothing, food or interiors are not what we imagined them to be. For example you might have spotted the most incredible jumpsuit only to try it on and realise that it does not suit you or you had ordered the wrong size. For me it can be quite frustrating as I am quite petite when I order something and it look like I have just entered the sack race for school’s sport day in secondary school, when in actual fact, we have to bear in mind that different clothing outlets have different clothing requirements. For example I am a UK size 6 and 8, so depending on what store I shop from, my size will vary, especially in places like H&M and Topshop, who seem to have the oddest sizes going, as I have clothes from them both in smaller and bigger sizes that seem to fit, even though they are not my actual size. Some online shops will have a sizing chart, which is especially helpful if you are buying clothing from American retailers like Nordstorm where I would be a size 4 and 2 or shoes from Europe which as a UK size 6 I would be a 40 in European size. Always check before you buy, as you don’t want the hassle of returning an item back.
Do You Need The Purchases You Are Going To Make?
Think about the necessity of the purchases you are making. For example if you are planning a holiday to somewhere warm like Italy, chances are you wont need to look at jumpers and knitwear, whereas a trip to Iceland will mean that you should opt for cozy and comfortable layers that will keep you warm. But it is not just thinking about buying things for occasions that will determine the relevancy of your purchase, but you should also bear in mind your budget, especially if you do not earn a lot like myself and are constantly monitoring anything that comes in and out of your account. I would suggest making a checklist of items that you need and the reasons why you need the items, although don’t be afraid to treat yourself just because. Now more than ever we deserve a treat so screw what other people think. But if you are shopping for a particular occasion then here is a helpful scenario to help you make valid purchases. Lets say you are planning a holiday to somewhere warm like the Maldives and you live in the UK, chances are you will have a lot of knitwear and coats and not a lot of clothes that are suited to warmer climates.
In this case therefore your checklist would involve sandals, flip flops, mules, swimwear like bikini’s and one pieces, towels, jumpsuits, playsuits and cotton dresses that are specifically catered to a warmer climate. So stray away from buying that cute jumper, because that is not the purpose of your online shopping browse today.
Don’t Jump The Gun Unless You Are 100% Sure That You Want Something
I will always browse through every single section of a website if I am not looking for something in particular and open them up in tabs, before saving each link in my Facebook Messenger. Then a few days later I will come back to the pages and know that if some of the items are now out of stock, it was because I was not 100% sure that I wanted something. However there is a rare exception to that rule and that is if you know that you really something, which was the case with the blue kimono that sold out before I could purchase it and trust me I was upset. So make sure that you actually have the money to spend (which I didn’t) otherwise your dream product might be gone when you come back to look. By leaving your items a few days to mull over however it gives you a chance to decide as to whether you really want the products you have in your basket.
If It Is Clothing Think About The Outfits You Will Put Together
I am someone who is not ashamed to admit that I am very pedantic when it comes to styling clothes, which you can tell by my need to colour co-ordinate every little detail and if something is not matching, I will feel like there is something off about my outfit. So for example lets say I spotted a green dress, I might wonder as to what I would pair with it, as I don’t have a lot of green in my wardrobe meaning that automatically it will be a harder colour for me to shop (although I actually have more green clothes coming as we speak so that will change, whereas colours like blue, pink and red are the easiest for me to ‘create outfits’ out of, as my wardrobe is accentuated and defined by those colours. So lets say I found a red top, I would then make sure that I can create an outfit out of it to validate me purchasing it. Especially as when you have little money, you want to make sure that you get as much wear out of a product as possible, so it goes without saying that you should always be aware of your limits.
What Are Your Online Shopping Tips?