11.01.2009

Style Secrets: Online Shopping Uncovered

“I don’t shop because I need something, I just shop for shopping’s sake.”
Cat Deeley

Darlings, like the game of love, online shopping is an art, one in which the object of the match is getting the goods you desire at the price you can afford. There is no reason you would forfeit a perfectly good trip to the mall if you were in the market for something that you could pick up at the corner store. Non, the fact that you have turned to the world wide web to satisfy your style cravings is because you’re looking to obtain the unobtainable. Perhaps Forever 21 was out of your size in the tulle skirt you were eyeing; or maybe you’re craving an affordable replica of the Marc by Marc Jacobs Stam. Going Online is the perfect solution to either of these predicaments, as long as you’re armed with the ins, outs, ups, and downs of virtual shopping.

The Power of the Coupon I have seen one too many people cringe and duck for cover when they see others pull coupons out of their handbags at the store – in fact, I’ve done it myself. When you’re shopping Online, however, it is essential that you keep in mind the power of the coupon. I have saved countless amounts of money due to coupon codes that gave me free shipping, twenty-five percent off, and more. Therefore, search before you click. Don’t purchase anything until you’ve done at least a little bit of looking for a coupon code. Store websites often will not provide this information to you, which is why it’s your own responsibility to search for coupons that apply to what you want to buy. I recommend visiting RetailMeNot, Coupon Cabin, Current Codes, and Coupon Code. I have had wonderful experiences with all of these websites at one time or another. While you can never guarantee that a coupon code will work, these sites provide them to you in an organized manner that will help you get the most for your buck!

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.”
Bo Derek

Measure, Measure, Measure! You most certainly don’t have to be a fashion student to own a decent measuring tape. Please do yourself, and your wallet a favor by perusing it before buying anything Online. Unless you’re buying jewelry or other accessories, knowing your measurements is essential before shopping on the web. The typical measuring tape found at hardware stores is not accurate for this specific task – to properly know your shape, you need a tailor’s measuring tape. I recommend the Tape Measure in Ascot Pink Jewel from Aspinal of London. It’s $30, but it comes in a handy case, so you won’t have to worry about misplacing it. Once you have this in your possession, measure four parts of your body:

Bust - Wrap the tape around the upper part of your body, right under your arms, and over the broadest part of your chest.
Waist - Wrap the measuring tape around your natural waistline – no sucking in, we need accuracy!
Hips - Wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips.
Inseam - The easiest way to measure your inseam is by using a pair of pants that you already own. Lay them on a flat surface, and measure the distance between the lap of the pants, and the hem of the leg.
Tips - When measuring, stand up straight and tall, and allow a little slack with the tape so you don’t end up with anything too tight.

Consumer Chit Chat Even when you know your measurements, it can be difficult to buy Online, because each store’s sizes are different. Some run big, some run small, and some are just right. I fall right on the cusp of two different sizes, so I always find myself debating for hours upon hours regarding which size to go with. What I’ve found to be the best method of choosing sizes, or simply learning more about a store, is to seek out the feedback of fellow shoppers. During a Chanel sample sale, it’s no surprise to find yourself in competition with other consumers; but when you’re shopping Online, they are your best friend. Yahoo! Answers is one of my favorite sites. Post a question about a particular store, and you will get answers from fellow fashionistas, all relaying their own experiences. Something I’ve just recently discovered is YouTube – or rather, the fashion/make-up gurus who post videos about “hauls” on YouTube. These people are, essentially, showing off their loot from Forever 21, AMI Clubwear, and other shops; but they’re also more than willing to provide a little insight into sizing, and their shopping opinions if you send them a private message.

Take It Back! Whether shopping Online or at an actual brick and mortar store, there is nothing I despise more than a bad return policy. While you may not pay much mind to a return policy when shopping in-store, however, it’s extremely important to read every bit of information regarding the store’s return policy when buying Online, because it may determine whether you want to shop there or not. Many stores don’t allow returns on accessories; others refuse to take back anything that is bought while on clearance, and similar scenarios. You must also take into consideration that, should you decide to return an item, it is at your expense – meaning you will have to pay the return shipping, which can often be pricey. While I recommend primarily shopping at Online stores like Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, and Wet Seal – places that allow you to return Online purchases in-store, as long as you have the receipt – even I can’t resist spending a little cash at places like Urban Original, Shopbop, and AMI Clubwear – Online retailers with amazing prices, and an even more amazing selection of items to buy. Use your best judgement when taking the purchasing plunge so that you end up satisfied in the end!

For Your Listening Pleasure I love a soundtrack when shopping. A handful of feel-good songs that put me in the mood to create a look du jour for a special occasion or simply snag a sassy top for a night out with the girls. Here are a few of my favorite songs to shop to. Enjoy!

Shoes - Tiga
Labels or Love - Fergie
Fashion - Lady Gaga
Short Skirt, Long Jacket - Cake
These Boots Are Made for Walking - Nancy Sinatra
Material Girl - Madonna
Look At Me - Geri Halliwell
New Shoes - Paolo Nutini
Supermodel - Jill Sobule
Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend - Marilyn Monroe


“I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet.”
Carrie Bradshaw

Happy shopping, darlings!


Fashionably yours!


Thanks to London Evening Standard, Lilies and Grapes, and Being a Girl Books for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter the No Foundation Foundation Giveaway for your chance to win No Foundation Foundation from Perricone MD.
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44 comments

Marian said...

those are great tips honey, love this piece on savy shopping
xx
marian

meraldia said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing!! I do love online shopping! I rarely have time to go shopping.

Melissa Blake said...

You just sent me to heaven!!! I am bookmarking every one of those links!! xoxoxoxoxo

Belle de Ville said...

Great post. Online shopping can give you a great opportunity to price compare, use coupons and avoid impulse buys that you will regret later.
Just make sure that you are buying from stores that have return policies that benefit the customer and not the store.

Leila said...

Great Post! Very informative and accurate. I love online shopping. You recieve instant gratification twice, once when you click "buy" and twice when you receive the package on your doorstep.

Leah said...

Very informative post... I love to do online shopping a lot.

Girl With The Bow Tie said...

I've never shopped online, but maybe I should give it a try. Definitely see a lot of things I'd love to buy, but never do! And I love that Carrie Bradshaw quote. Hah. Definitely something okay to live by!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
girlwiththebowtie.blogspot.com

Stephanie said...

Great tips!!! I find myself shopping online, because I find it easier than the hassle of having to drive into town and look at clothes when I can do it from home. Sad but true. :)

Jacqueline said...

I love online shopping! Great post. It is much easier to track prices online than go to the mall and fight the crowds and swine flu =) haha

www.FashionSnag.com

Meg said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Fabulous said...

These tips are pricless. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes online shopping can be SO frustrating. Sigh.

Luinae said...

I haven't delved into the world of online shopping, but I think I might have to!

Winnie said...

I love listening to music when shopping...fine if we're online but if I'm in a store it never works...the stores music is always too overpowering!

Kristin said...

Thanks for the PSA!! I only knew about Retail Me Not. I totally used Oprah's coupon at Payless this weekend! Liz hooked me up. : )

Ediot said...

Hi-thanks for the comment. about the tee :) i will be listing a similar tee soon..

i love shopping. such fun. and great therapy. but bad for my economy :)
hope you had a great weekend xx

Elizabeth Marie said...

Yes! I used my first online coupon this weekend and then forwarded it to Kristin hahaha...BUT that was in store, so I'm totally off subject...where's my coffee?

I'm surprisingly new to online shopping and still learning the ropes, so this is being bookmarked! thanks love! XO

Rina said...

Love your post, information so great!

nookie said...

great tips!I'll try to remember them:)

Emily said...

I've never been much of an online shopper, mainly because I love the feeling of going to a store and being able to physically see and touch the items. Plus, I most always have to try something on. However, on the rare occasion that I do order something offline, these tips will be helpful!

Diane said...

lately i have been doing so much online shopping. with my limited amount of time available to go out shopping i love the convenience of shopping online.

Sherin said...

Great advice. I really am awful when it comes to online shopping. I just don't know where to start! Thanks for sharing.

S.Elisabeth said...

This was so incredibly helpful! I love all the tips, and am definitely going to have to refer to this page! And the soundtrack=amazing

Eri said...

I love the shopping quotes you have choosen, they just make me want to shop straight away!
Very effective. LOL

jess said...

These are great tips. I'll be checking out the coupon sites.

wreckedstellar said...

Fabulous tips! I love your soundtrack idea- should totally do that since I shop online all of the time!

x ws x

lamodedejuline said...

I like those little sites as well, and I was recently viewing someone's shoe haul on youtube, there are so many. Also, thanks for the coupon sites. Great post!

Closet Cravings said...

This is a perfect little post - shopping. I love a deal, discount, and a coupon! I'm not ashamed. ;-)

Your shopping soundtrack is perfect. Supermodel always makes me laugh. I tried to find it the other day to add to my playlist - no luck. =)

jenbabe said...

great great article.

ko0ty said...

Great post! I do most of my shopping online because it's convenient, I know my sizes and there is so much more stuff available right at your fingertips. Totally not good for my credit card though. =S

Valencia Lia said...

Yes yes,its always so so good to know your measurements and keep them updated if there is ever a need:)

That's the most important about shopping online!

And coupons always helps so so much<3

Adore online shopping ahhhhh. heeee

michelle_ said...

thanks so much for these tips !
i myself have been addicted to online shopping . There are sooo many young local designers here who just open a blogspot shop that deserve more customers !

glistersandblisters.blogspot.com

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Great tips! They are things we may know, but don't always remember so nice to have them in 1 place! I ALWAYS have to shop somewhere I can return things! You never know until you can decide at home!

Etrapar said...

nice post and informative ^.^
kisses

Rachel Scarlet said...

Thanks for the shopping tip! I never knew such thing existed until I read your post.

By the way thank you for the wish :) I hope it will turn out well.

Keith said...

Hey Erika. Wow. These are some really good tips. I could definitely put some of them to good use. Thanks. Enjoy the new week. Cheers!

Little Red said...

Fantastic post! This is all really great advice!

I agree about bad return policies. That always bothers me. I hate paying to send things back. When it comes to Forever 21, I always return things to the store. But of course, they won't just give you cash back... You have to buy something in the store or you get a gift card. Which reminds me, I have a gift card from there I need to use. Good excuse to shop, I suppose!

daisychain said...

Thanks for sharing these great tips

daisychain said...

Thanks for sharing these great tips

Couture Cookie said...

Love those tips, Erika! One thing though, shouldn't hips be measured at their fullest part, i e the seat? That's how we models get measured and it sucks! :D

On another note, I am an avid online shopper and I tend to spend way too much once I sit down with my credit card in front of the computer. What to do, what to do...

The Blonde Duck said...

I LOVE these tips!

MissNeira said...

Awesome tips girlie! I agree with the measure, measure, measure! and sometimes it sucks because all designers give too much give in some measurements.
love the post!

FabBlab said...

Erika! You are my ultimate online savior. For freakin real, lady!
I love online shopping (though I have a strict no-jeans-online policy. Jeans HAVE to be tried on in person before purchasing, I feel) but considering I live in India, the shipping tends to be more than the price itself! That's why I adore shopbop. They have low shipping rates for international shoppers!
Thanks for the links to the helpful coupon websites, this page is getting bookmarked for future help, for sure!
And I lovelove that bo Derek quote. Remember B Waldorf incporating it? ;P
And yeah, a measuring tip is imperative.
I have been using Yahoo! Answers since FOREVER and it. is. the .bomb.

Also, I have seen countless make-up hauls on Youtube but wasn't aware there were fashion ones, too? Must investigate.

AND omg, I have ALL of those songs on my playlist! Sisterrr!

Love the Carrie Bradshaw quote :P

Love, love, love,
A*

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Awesome, awesome rundown! I totally need a tape measure, too. I've just been guessing, based on my bra size. Is that weird? Anyway, thanks!!

Muthu Kumar said...

Very great post for Online Shopping secrets

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