The Internet has significantly changed our way of living, from how we connect with one another to how we shop. All modern conveniences are right at our fingertips. Amazon has been one of the first online stores to pop up during the Internet’s formative years. It rapidly grew into a one-stop shop where people can find almost anything and everything on there, whether it’s DVDs or shoes. Amazon has since grown and expanded over the years to include much more, like groceries and an online streaming service. While I’ve been largely skeptical for some time to purchase most of my clothes online, I’ve come to be more and more open to the idea of selecting and buying them with a click or tap of a finger.
There are some things I’m particularly old school about. I’m one of the few who still prefer to use a digital camera to capture significant moments in my life over whipping out my phone. I still want to listen to music on an iPod instead of my phone and will carry both instead of consolidating my music into one device. And I sometimes rather go to department stores to find my clothes. Slowly but surely, some of my old school habits have made way to get with the times, at least in how I buy my clothes.
I resisted taking advantage of most online bargains for clothes because I didn’t want to waste my time buying something I’d only wind up returning if it didn’t fit me right. Shoes has been the one exception with online shopping. I’ve always bought a large majority of my shoes on Amazon since the beginning and very rarely had to return them. Clothes, on the other hand, came with a bigger risk. Not everything you try on will look good on you, as your size and shape differs from person to person. What looks fantastic on one person looks awful on another.
I know there’s always the option to simply buy, try it on, and then return it if the dress or shirt didn’t fit exactly as I expected it to from the picture I saw. But to have to keep buying clothes online only to return them later at my local post office or shipping center seemed too tedious of a task to have to do it frequently. Amazon has now given Prime users the option to try before they buy. This doesn’t take away the slight inconvenience of having to repack and return the item within the allotted amount of time, but at least you don’t have to file a request for a refund or credit at the store.
What I liked about the old way of shopping for clothes is the ability to scrutinize the item I’m considering to purchase and try it on in the fitting room on the spot. There’s no waiting for the article of clothing to be delivered to you and I can walk out of the store without having bought anything. Some online stores don’t have the same option that Amazon Prime now provides to users. You largely have to buy the item you like based on the picture and then wait and hope you don’t have to return it once your package arrives. As adamant as I have been against purchasing my clothes online, the lure of fantastic deals and how gorgeous a top or dress looked on a model eventually cracked my resolve little by little.
I have since then purchased a jacket, top, and dress from places like Amazon, American Eagle, or H&M with great success. However, there have been at least two or three misses. It’s as I feared when I hesitated buying any of my clothes online at first—a dress either looked too matronly on me or a top didn’t hang in the right places. I always dread when I have to process a return for Amazon, but at least returns for American Eagle and H&M have been absolutely painless because I can return them at the store themselves. And it pays to live very close to a shopping mall that has an H&M and an American Eagle store.
After making a few purchases online, I’m a cautious convert at doing half of my clothing shopping online. I say cautious because there will always be the part of me that will be holding with bated breath on what the verdict will be with my new purchase. What can I say? I dislike the inconvenience of returning things. On the flip side, I have also seen the benefit of doing more of my clothes shopping online. Aside from the obvious convenience of having all your options laid out in front of you in one page out of 20 or 50 possibilities, you also have exclusive online discounts or sales, and you can browse and shop in your pajamas without setting a foot outside your home. I mean, you can shop at your local mall in your PJs if you really wanted to, but why would you rub elbows with annoying mall crowds when you can stretch out on your couch and lazily scroll through every single item on your computer or phone? Quiet and all the personal space you can want for the win!
I still believe online clothes shopping can’t completely replace the experience of going to an old fashioned brick and mortar store, especially when you can touch the fabric and try it on in real time, but there’s nothing wrong with doing a little of both as it suits your needs. Online shopping is a godsend for the holiday shopping seasons when you can skip the crowds and the lines for easy and stress-free shopping. Who can argue with that, right?
Do you shop for your clothes online or do you prefer shopping at a physical store? What do you think of buying most of your clothes online?
4 thoughts on “Work It: Fashion And Online Shopping”
I worked at BCBG Max Azria for 3 years… almost all my clothes and accessories are from the store. I still prefer to shop physically. Online, I notice the colors are kinda misleading.
Makes sense, especially if you’re used to the styles at that particular store after having worked there. I haven’t experienced any issues with the colors looking misleading online. The only times I’ve returned clothes I purchased online had more to do with the fit. The colors pretty much look exactly as I see it in the picture.
I don’t shop as much as I used to anymore, but I am a strong supporter of subscription services like Stitch Fix and Rent the Runway. I’ve never been big on clothes shopping in person since I find the whole experience of browsing racks and trying on all the clothes tiring and irritating. The subscription experiences takes all of that out and companies like Stitch Fix make is so easy to pick and choose what you like without much of a money sink.
I just recently dabbled in Amazon but have been too scared to go any further. I’ve only gone as far as underwear. There’s just something about their clothing that screams seasonal to me, like Forever 21 or H&M. I’d rather invest in quality pieces that’ll last me for years, but perhaps I need to try Amazon out before deciding!
The exception to this is actually the opposite of you: shoes. I prefer to try my shoes on in person since sizes vary so much from brand to brand, and I don’t find the whole process of trying them on as annoying as with clothes. Similarly, I prefer to try on pants since they can be less forgiving than tops.
I’ve been wanting to try Stitch Fix for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I do like the idea of having a stylist choose and send some pieces they think you’ll like based on your taste and budget preference. I’m hoping to try it out later in the summer.
I find that when I shopped for the few clothes I did on Amazon, I found specific cuts and styles I’ve been looking for that the department stores didn’t seem to have. I’m not completely convinced in shopping for all my clothes online, but I do see some advantages to it.
Yeah, that is interesting that you prefer to go to the store for shoes while I’m okay with getting them mostly online. I don’t think I’ve bought shoes at a store in years. Almost all my shoes have been online. I guess I don’t feel the need to try them on on the spot because I trust that the size I see and purchase online will be a perfect fit. It has luckily worked out for me on that front!