August 8, 2022

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Online Sales Pitfalls: “Always Big the Seams” |  money

Online Sales Pitfalls: “Always Big the Seams” | money

Many online clothing stores have sales. But those who shop online are entering into a minefield full of clever selling tricks and unwritten laws. Do you suffer from bad purchases and do you often have to return packages? Then these tips will help you avoid the usual pitfalls.

Online shopping is not easy. Am I buying the right size? How would this tissue feel in real life? And what the hell does this dress look like on my body? Sometimes it feels like you have to gamble online. But if you have this feeling, you are lacking the right knowledge. Because there are actually quite a few smart techniques to make your online shopping journey more successful.

1. Use filters

Catherine van den Brucke is a personal shopper and stylist at La Patka in Ghent. She often makes online purchases for herself and her clients. “I love that you can shop online more specifically,” says Catherine. “Suppose you are missing a red blouse in your wardrobe. Then, you can apply the filters in the search function that all online stores now offer. Filter by blouses, your size, budget and color, then you can often filter by sleeve length, physique, chest, etc. This way you get the perfect item faster.”

“In order to apply these filters intelligently, it is important to first know which part of the body you want to highlight and which part you prefer to camouflage. If you find that your calves are a little heavier, look for a dress that reaches your ankles. If you have a fuller bust, filter the V-neck T-shirts The deep round or neckline, because it’s more flattering. The better you know your body, the better you can use these filters for you.”

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Personal shopper Catherine van den Brucke. © rv

2. Juggling sizes

When you find the perfect item, you still need to choose the right size. It’s not easy, as van den Brucke knows. The best advice I can give for this: Get to know the brands. Each brand has its own size chart. For example, a German or Dutch brand is often broader in scope than a southern European brand. This is why it is useful to shop primarily from brands that you already know and wear. You often know about these brands how their sizes work and whether they fit well with your body.”

Are you still shopping with a new brand? Then, it can be a smart idea to order an item in multiple sizes and get to know the brand’s sizing chart better.

“Try to have a basic knowledge of fabrics,” Catherine tips. This way you can better predict how the piece of clothing will feel. “Know that wearing natural fabrics like cotton and silk is more fun. And know that the amount of stretch in a clothing item (referred to as elastane in composition, ed.) indicates how comfortable it will be. And if you’re shopping for synthetic fabrics, know that viscose breathes a little more than Polyester and therefore will feel more pleasant.”


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Be very critical of pictures with models. They often adopt a pose that conceals the item’s true suitability

Personal shopper Catherine van den Brucke

Want to shop for off-sales deals? Then Catherine recommends that you specifically browse the websites of your favorite brands. Many brands have a permanent “Sale” tab on their site, where they list last season’s items for sale. You can still wear sweaters or sweaters from the winter collection in the summer. This is also a good way to shop for brands that are otherwise out of your budget.”

3. Be embarrassed for the photos

Catherine’s last tip: don’t just rely on the photos on the site. “Often, these models have the perfect shape for a particular piece of clothing or they take a pose that makes the element flatter them. For example, in those long dresses that are now hip, models often put a foot forward, showing off a piece of the leg. In this way They may hide that the dress is shapeless.Then it is important that you take an extra critical look at all the photos, even of the item without a model, and check the exact fit.Check if you can find pictures of normal people wearing the item on Pinterest.Or wander in a window Shop the brand in town to see what its items look like in real life in terms of color and fit.”

Journalist David Defferendt, 40, has been writing about fashion for thirteen years. He still prefers shopping in a physical store, but has years of experience buying clothes online. He asserts that you should be very critical of images of a piece of clothing. These models all look great, they are paid to make the clothes look great and often the brand also knows which models exactly fit their clothes. Plus, oftentimes they do a little retouching in the ensemble to make the item fit better and of course there’s also perfect studio lighting.”

4. Always read reviews

Always read reviews, maybe they say “now I know why the model put his hand there” or any other response that offers perspective. Look especially for a photo of the model standing in the front, arms next to the body, so you can see how the dress fits naturally.” If this photo doesn’t exist, look for the item on other websites – those of the same brand or major retailer. Else – or check if there is a video of a model wearing this item.The video always shows better how the dress would look in real life.

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Fashion journalist David Defferendt.

Fashion journalist David Defferendt. © rv

5. Keep track of your own size

David also keeps a close eye on his sizing and recommends that everyone do the same. Know the circumference of my chest and hips and the length of my sleeve and name it what you want. With your specific dimensions, you can better define the specific sizes for a particular web store. There are also apps that can help you with that. Many large web stores now offer a similar service on their website.


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Try mindful shopping. Shop local, watch videos of a piece of clothing, consult your friends: this is how you approach your offline experience

Fashion journalist David Defferendt

6. Enlarge the seams

To evaluate quality and suitability, David always studies the photos carefully. I always enlarge the seams. Especially if you bought an item with a print, it’s smart to check if it flows well at the seams. If there is a picture of the back, take a closer look at it. Who knows, you may find hidden flaws there. You can then better judge the quality of the material in a video, if any. In it you can see how the material moves. What I always do: Look at the dress in other colors. Sometimes photos of the same shirt in a lighter color better show the fit or how the item falls to the body. And of course check the exact composition of the fabric.”

7. Don’t make rash decisions

David has smart advice for impulse buying. “It’s very easy to click piece by piece in your online shopping cart. But then take a step back. Leave items in that cart for a day or more, ensuring you can remove some of your impulse purchases the next day. It also helps collect Screenshots of clothes in a document. Then you see them in a completely different place and that gives a new perspective.”

Sometimes literally waiting helps. “I already have a brand that sent me an email reminding me of my purchases with the discount code,” laughs David.

Above all, he hopes that fewer people will fall into the “buy to own” trap online. “Although the internet really discourages it, try to shop carefully. Online retailers know all the tricks to getting you shopping. But try to limit yourself to items that fit well with your wardrobe or the style you want to evolve into. And try to emulate Offline experience. Shop local web stores, they will give you better service. Watch the dress’s videos, which simulate how you look in front of the mirror. Send screenshots to your friends or partner for social aspect, who knows, maybe their opinion will be helpful” .