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The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Shopping for Stylish Clothes Online That Fit Perfectly

The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Shopping for Stylish Clothes Online That Fit Perfectly

Learn online clothes shopping: measure, read size charts, find flattering styles, best stores, use reviews, plan exchanges, and care tips.-----

Introduction

Online shopping for clothes has become incredibly popular in recent years. According to Grand View Research, the global e-commerce apparel market was valued at $553.1 billion in 2021. There are many benefits to shopping for clothes online rather than in physical stores. The convenience, selection, ability to find deals, and accessibility are just some of the reasons people are flocking to online clothing retailers. This beginner's guide will provide tips and strategies to help you shop for stylish clothes online that fit well and suit your personal style.

In this guide, you'll learn how to take accurate measurements of your body to find proper-fitting clothes. We'll go over how to read size charts, identify flattering styles for your body type, and shop recommended online stores. You'll get tips on using online reviews to assess fit and quality before purchasing items. We'll also cover best practices around allowing time for exchanges and returns. By the end, you'll be armed with knowledge to shop smartly online for clothes you'll love.

Take Accurate Body Measurements

Taking accurate body measurements is one of the most important steps for achieving the perfect fit when shopping for clothes online. Unlike shopping in stores where you can try items on, when shopping online you need to rely on sizing charts to determine what size will fit your body best.

To take your measurements, you'll need a flexible measuring tape. For the most accurate readings, it's best to have someone else take the measurements for you. If taking them yourself, make sure the tape is flat against your body and level all the way around.

According to sources like How To Measure Your Size For Clothing and How To Measure Clothes For Poshmark, some of the most essential measurements to know for fit are:

Bust - Around the fullest part of your bust

Waist - Around your natural waistline, above your belly button

Hips - Around the widest part of your hips and rear

Inseam - From your crotch to the floor without shoes on

Arm Length - From shoulder to wrist

Having these key measurements handy when shopping online will help ensure you select the right size clothing for your body's unique shape and proportions.

Read Size Charts Carefully

Before ordering any clothing item online, check the brand's own size chart. Size charts can vary widely across different clothing brands and lines, so don't assume standard sizing. Comparing the actual measurements on a size chart to your own body is crucial for getting the right fit when buying clothes online.

Start by measuring the body parts relevant to the garment you want to buy - like bust, waist, and hip circumference for a dress. Then compare your measurements against the size chart to determine what size should fit you best in that brand. Pay close attention to the units used on the chart as well (inches vs cm). If your measurements fall between two sizes, consider sizing up for a looser fit or down for a more tailored look depending on your preference.

Reading reviews can provide additional guidance for choosing between sizes, as customers often remark on whether items tend to run small or large. But the brand's own size chart should be your primary reference. While the accuracy of size charts can vary, following them will give you your best shot at zeroing in on clothes that will fit comfortably, flatteringly, and as expected when they arrive.

Determine Flattering Styles

One of the keys to looking stylish in clothes bought online is choosing items that flatter your body shape. Certain styles and silhouettes are designed to enhance or balance different body type attributes.

Hourglass figures can highlight their shape with wrap dresses, sweetheart necklines, and belted dresses or tops. To balance shoulders and hips, inverted triangle or pear shaped bodies look great in off-the-shoulder, boat neck, and v-neck tops with straight leg or bootcut pants. Rectangle bodies do well in clothes that create shape through cinched waists, ruching, peplums, or layering. Apple shaped bodies can elongate with v-necks, vertical stripes, and higher rise bottoms.

Some additional tips include:

- Pear shapes - go for wide-leg pants, A-line skirts, bootcut jeans.

- Inverted triangles - choose necklines like v-neck to draw eyes down and balanced shoulder details 

- Hourglass - define waist with belts, fitted styles, wrap dresses

Taking the time to identify the best silhouettes and necklines for you will ensure you feel amazing in the clothes you order.

Shop Recommended Online Stores

When buying clothes online, it's important to shop at reputable websites known for affordable prices and quality items. Here are some of the top affordable online clothing stores to check out:

DIO KOLLECTIONS - DIO KOLLECTIONS is great for luxury, stylish and trendy apparel. They offer a large selection of collections.

JUMIA - JUMIA offers a large selection and is budget friendly.

ASOS -  ASOS is great for stylish, trendy fashion. They offer an extremely large selection of contemporary clothing styles for men and women.

H&M -  H&M provides fast-fashion basics and wardrobe essentials for affordable prices. It's a go-to for simple, wearable styles.

Old Navy - Known for its budget-friendly everyday clothes for the whole family. Old Navy is terrific for reasonably priced wardrobe staples and essentials.

Gap - Similar to Old Navy, Gap is a trusted option for classic, casual clothes and denim. They regularly have sales on their already affordable apparel.

Uniqlo - This Japanese clothing retailer is acclaimed for its high-quality basics, performance wear, and sleek styles at low costs. Great for timeless wardrobe additions.

Everlane - Everlane emphasizes ethical factories and transparency. They provide a clean, minimalist aesthetic using high-quality, sustainable materials.

Read Online Reviews

Reading online reviews of clothing items and stores can provide valuable insight into how items fit and their overall quality. When shopping for clothes online, seek out reviews that specifically mention fit and sizing issues. Video reviews and blog posts that showcase clothing on different body types are especially helpful to get a sense of how an item will look in real life.

Look for stores that provide detailed size and fit guides, model measurements for each clothing piece, and user community photos. This level of detail from a retailer indicates they want customers to order the right size the first time. Reading multiple reviews of a particular item can reveal consistency or inconsistencies in sizing and shape.

While individual experiences may vary, having as much data as possible before ordering significantly reduces the need for returns and exchanges. Approach online clothing purchases like an informed consumer by reading reviews.

Allow Time for Exchanges

When shopping for clothes online, it's important to review the return and exchange policies beforehand and budget extra time for possible exchanges. Many online clothing retailers allow 30 days for returns or exchanges, but some policies can be as short as 7 or 14 days. Be sure to read the fine print on return shipping costs as well, as you may need to pay for return shipping on exchanges.

To make the exchange process smoother, keep all original tags and packaging materials. Try the items on as soon as possible once received, and initiate the return immediately if something doesn't fit or meet expectations. Select online retailers with expedited refund options, comprehensive size guides, and easy self-service returns portals.

If you need to reorder a different size, check the item page or your account order history to get the correct style name, color, and size details again. Some retailers will provide free expedited shipping on reorders placed because of fit issues. With the right return policy review and preparation, exchanging items purchased online can be simple and painless.

Shop Smart for Sales

One of the best parts about shopping for clothes online is taking advantage of all the great sales and deals. Here are some tips to get the most out of shopping sales online:

Look out for promo codes and coupons. Before checking out, always search the web for any valid promo codes you can apply to your purchase. RetailMeNot and Honey are browser extensions that can automatically find and apply coupon codes at checkout.

Sign up for email lists. Subscribe to the emails from your favorite stores to receive notifications about upcoming sales, coupon codes, and flash deals.

Mark your calendar for big sale events. Keep an eye out around major holidays like Labor Day, Memorial Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday for special sales and clearance events.

Check for sales early in the week.

 New sale items often get added on Monday and Tuesday.

Shop end-of-season clearance sales. Look for deep discounts on items as the season ends, like winter coats in March or swimsuits in September.

Set price drop alerts. Use features on some online shops to get notified when an item you're watching drops below a certain price threshold.

Compare prices across retailers. Use price comparison tools to make sure you're getting the best deal.

Overall, being a savvy online sale shopper means signing up for newsletters, using promo codes, tracking prices, and timing your purchases right as retailers are clearing out inventory. Patience and planning will be rewarded with big savings!

Care for Clothes Properly

Taking proper care of your clothes will help them last longer and stay looking their best. Follow these tips for washing, drying, folding, and stain removal:

Washing

Check clothing labels for specific washing instructions. Sort clothes by color and wash type (delicates, cold water, etc). Turn clothes inside out to prevent fading. Use a mild detergent and avoid overloading the ma