A few weeks ago, I polled you guys on IG asking if you’d be interested in a ‘How-To Online Shop’ guide. Too many people get frustrated while shopping for clothing online, and I think that’s because they just don’t know how/where to efficiently shop. With COVID interrupting your typical in-store shopping experiences, I think it’s important (and fun!) for everyone to know how to properly navigate the online world — especially when there’s no other option.

I’m breaking up today’s post in two different categories, with various pointers/tips: Where To Shop and How To Shop. Do keep in mind I’m no online-shopping expert; I’ve just had some practice and a lot of it is trial and error. But that’s why I’m here! To help prevent you from making as many mistakes as possible. To be as helpful and concise as I possibly can, I’m going to break up the categories into a few subcategories for easy navigation.


Often times finding where to shop can be the hardest part. With so many online retailers, it can become overwhelming and a main reason why many people give up on their search so early on.

Because I typically prefer to shop for clothing online, the whole process has become like second-nature. But when I first decide I’m going to do some shopping online, I think about what I’m looking for. Do I need something specific? Or am I just browsing to see what speaks to me? When you have a game plan in mind, the overwhelming sea of online retailers becomes a lot easier to tackle.

To help, I’ve added an alphabetical list of my personal favorite online clothing retailers*, and why:

  • Abercrombie and Fitch | affordable, can return in-store, user-friendly site, offers tall
  • Amazon | affordable, free 2-day shipping with PRIME + free returns, user-friendly site
  • DSW | affordable, can return in-store, user-friendly site
  • H&M | affordable, free shipping (over $40), can return in-store, user-friendly site
  • Gap | affordable, can return in-store, user-friendly site, offers tall
  • Mango | affordable, free shipping (over $50), free returns
  • Nordstrom | affordable to luxury, something for everyone, user-friendly site, free shipping + returns
  • Revolve | more expensive, free 2-day shipping + free returns, user-friendly site
  • Shopbop | more expensive, free 2-day shipping + free returns, user-friendly site
  • Zara | affordable, free shipping (over $50) + free returns

I aim to shop at retailers who a) offer free shipping + returns or b) are located in-town for seamless returns. I really try to stay away from companies that require a return fee. To find whether or not a retailer requires a return fee, you can locate their return policy at the bottom of their website. 

Tip! Bookmark your favorite retailers websites. Even I forget about some of my favorite stores, so by bookmarking them as I go, I’m able to reference my favorites list when my mind goes blank.

*My favorite online retailers are constantly evolving, so I will try to share any new retailers I find with you all!


Once you’ve narrowed down where you want to shop, aim to make the actual process of shopping as easy as possible. Below, I’ll list a few tips on how I personally shop efficiently and effectively.

  1. Narrow down your search
    • Every site gives you the ability to filter your search down to what you’re looking for. This means, narrow your search to your size, the style, color, price point, etc. The more filters you can apply, the better. Even if you’re simply browsing, always narrow down your search to your size! Why look at stuff that won’t even fit? And if you’re unsure of your exact size, click a few different size options; something is better than nothing.
  2. Know what the product is made out of
    • When you know what fabrics bother you, this helps refine your search as well. While you may not be able to filter your search down to the exact fabrics, every site will list the products composition (what it’s made of) in the details. I know that I personally can’t stand wool, so when I see it listed under the product composition, I know it won’t work for me. Even if you don’t have any fabric sensitivity, having brief knowledge on common fabrics is essential. For example, if I see that a pair of jeans are 100% cotton, I turn a cheek. I prefer stretch in my jeans, and I know that 100% cotton = 100% stiff. Over time, you’ll find which fabrics work for you and which don’t! This is step is often trial and error. Tip! Check the tag of your favorite top/pants that you currently own to see what it’s made out of and take a picture of it. Use this as a reference next time you’re online shopping!
  3. Look at the product information
    • Retailers specifically put a variety of product information for each product to help you — so take advantage of it! Most retailers will list model information, a feature I greatly appreciate. Use the model measurements as a guide. This goes for inseams, height, waist, bust, and hips. I especially use the model information for bottoms/dresses where I’m unsure if the item will be long enough or not. Tip! Have a favorite pair of denim, but unsure of the inseam? Grab a tape measure and measure from the inside of the crotch to the bottom of the leg. Reference your favorite inseam when shopping online.
  4. Read and write reviews
    • Reviews are a great resource for online shopping because they’re coming from people like you and me! So chances are, if a lot of people like a specific product, you probably will too. Even if a product has low stars, read the reviews to find out exactly why. Sometimes people’s complaints are small and won’t apply to you/your concern at all. And if you get the chance, be a reviewer. I always aim to write an honest review on products I’ve kept, but also on products I’ve returned. Any information you can give others will be beneficial!
  5. Shop on a desktop instead of your phone
    • Maybe it’s the old soul in me, but shopping with a computer and mouse is so much easier than using your phone. You can easily navigate multiple windows, tabs and toggle between various products. Keep the phone for Instagram impulse buys, and stick with the computer for serious online shopping.
  6. Create an account
    • Most retailers will ask if you’d like to “create an account” after placing your first order. If it’s free to sign-up, I always opt for this option. When you have an account with a retailer, all of your order history is saved in one place, making tracking orders/returns a breeze. Often times you can also sign-up for order updates via text, and this is the handiest feature! Most people neglect to check their emails for their package whereabouts, so having a simple text sent right to your phone is a small, yet convenient pleasure.

Even with all of the tips I’ve shared, sometimes you will still have a downer online shopping experience where stuff just doesn’t work out. I online shop quite frequently and I still have to make trips to the post office for returns! However, knowing what I’m looking for, narrowing down my search, and understanding the product information has helped tremendously with my online shopping experiences.

I hope you found this guide helpful! Be sure to bookmark this page for easy reference next time you need an online shopping refresher!

Thanks so much for reading,


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