The SINGLE GREATEST HACK so you can KOSS (Keep Online Shopping Simple)

Shout out to the cutest little photo-bomber!

Shout out to the cutest little photo-bomber!

Some people avoid shopping online like it’s 1999 and they're afraid the dial-up connection will tie up the phone line all day. It’s a new dawn, people! Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need to try-on, touch and feel the clothing you plan on investing in. But the truth is, retailers recognize the power in their online inventory and they are beginning to invest more time and money into it. You will see more and more items available online that won’t be found in-store. There are great deals waiting for you online, and you’re leaving them on the table!

Online shopping is great if you’re trying to plan out a capsule wardrobe, find a specific item of clothing, or if you’re sick and tired of wearing what everyone else is wearing. I have incorporated a good mixture of online and in-store shopping, but I am mostly an online shopper, now. The selection is just better. If you can dream it, then you can type it into Google and have it delivered to your door.

If you’re ready to give online shopping one more try, use this life hack to get you started. I used it to snag this dress from the online retailer - SheIn. It’s not from the plus-section, but I knew I could make it work based on these tips.  

Hack = Create Your Own Style Guide

Ok, so style guide sounds a little fancier than I intended, but what you really need is something you can refer back to when you’re shopping. Open a new note in Evernote, grab your favorite notebook, or open Notes on your phone and start jotting. Title it, “My Style Guide” and keep track of your favorite stores, fabrics, types of outfits and most importantly - YOUR MEASUREMENTS. Let’s do a breakdown of what you should have in your Style Guide and why:

Measurements

This is new for some and review for others: You need to know your measurements and start checking size charts. Buy a tape measure and check out my Know Your Numbers Guide to get started. Your online shopping success rate will instantly improve once you’re able to put those size charts to use. 

Take measurements of everything - from your head circumference to your foot length - and update every once in a while because we are humans and our bodies change (which is normal and nothing to fret over). 

Along with your body measurements, go ahead and make note of the length of your favorite skirt, pants, or dress. You obviously like it for a reason, and figuring out the numbers behind it will help you understand what you like about the fit. 

Fabrics

SheIn is based in China, and their straight-size clothing is often cut small and narrow. Because of this, I have to look at the fabric type and cut of an item to see if it will work for me. I saw this was Jersey, so it would be forgiving in some areas (and perhaps not so forgiving in others - but I could make it work). Find what fabrics do and do not work for you so you can replicate looks. You can do this by:

  • Looking through your closet. Find some pieces you feel good in. Look at the tag. What is it made of? How thick or thin is the fabric? Anything else special about the fabric? Write it down.
  • Now pull out two or three pieces that don’t feel great against your skin — they’re scratchy, itchy, or stiff. Look at the tag. What’s it made of? Make notes.
  • Pull out two or three pieces that don’t wrinkle. What’s it made of? Make notes.
  • Pull out a couple of pieces that do wrinkle. What’s it made of?

You get the idea. You could do this with pilling, stretching, and shrinking too.

Always check fabric content, reviews, and other notes about fabric.

The dress is made of a thin-jersey knit.  

The dress is made of a thin-jersey knit.  

Brands/Stores

We all have our favorites. Sometimes there are so many, we forget to head back to the classics. Make note of what brands you like and why. When you’re ready for explore, just type into Google, “Stores like (Insert Brand Here). 

A list of what you want/need

I’ve found that keeping a list of what I need for work, or play can help keep my spending in check AND keep my closet from expanding out of control. The list is also helpful when you’re trying to plan out what to buy. I know I needed a semi-casual LBD to add to my closet. 

There are definitely some drawbacks to online shopping. The wait, shipping costs,buying sight unseen- but, there are plenty of reasons to make it a regular part of your style building. If you’re still hesitant to try, I’ve got an incentive for you. Keep reading to find it!

I hope this guide helps you tackle online shopping. I'm trying to find new places to shop all the time, so tell me your favorites in the comments!

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