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Buying without trying…

Top Stylist tips on buying clothes without being able to try them on!

Buying clothes in our new world when we can start shopping in real life from Monday 15th June will be similar to shopping online as we won’t be able to try clothes on prior to purchasing.

Here are some tips about buying carefully to avoid returns which are costly, time-consuming and ultimately a waste of resources.

Knowing and understanding your Body Shape is a major advantage when buying clothes without trying them on. There will be some styles you can just avoid, for example an Apple Shape would discount short tops and high-waisted trousers and instead focus on long, floaty tips to sit at hip height with a v-neck or draping to allow for their larger bust. (If you are not sure of your Body Shape why not sign up for my FREE Body Shape Guide here!)

Understanding size is difficult as there’s so much disparity between the numbers – you can be a 10 in one shop and a 14 in another for example! There are some brands which come up bigger or smaller so knowing this will be really helpful in working out which sizes to select – look through your wardrobe and make a note of which brands have worked for you in the past and what size works best to give yourself a head start.

Writing a list of what you need/want will be helpful as our new form of shopping may be overwhelming initially so to avoid buyers regret and wasteful returns have a good sort out of your wardrobe and work out where the weaknesses are and what pieces would work hard with your existing clothes to elevate your look. Having a list keeps you on track and stops you buying ‘stuff’ for the sake of it.

Think of three outfits you can create from the clothes you already own with the pieces you are considering buying – if you are struggling, put it back. There is no point in buying a top which ends up not going with anything else in your wardrobe!

Online resources – lots of larger brands and stores now have quite advanced technology to help with size and fit of items so do your research before going and see if they offer it in-store or if they have it available on their website you can find the piece in-store and then use the resource online to advise on fit and size

Look at the fabric and washing instructions before buying to check you are happy – for example if it’s dry clean only and you don’t want the extra hassle put it back. If you’re not sure about the size and the fabric has no elastane it may be too snug and if you get hot in the summer look for natural breathable fabrics like cotton, silk, linen and chambray.

Ask for help! Particularly relevant if you are shopping locally – which we should all be aiming to do, there are some brilliant local independent boutiques and department stores who know their brands, fit and sizing really well. Use their skills and expertise in working out if it will fit, suit your shape and how you could wear it in different ways.

Independent boutiques know their brands really well – use their knowledge!

I hope this has been useful in helping you shop wisely to avoid costly and inconvenient returns and ensure you buy what you love! For more top tips why not sign up for my FREE Style Newsletter for more style inspiration, news, offers and events.

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