Now before I get started, in no way am I hatin’ on my skinny friends. I’m only pointing out an annoyance of mine, or jealousy if you want to call it that, on how online clothes shopping can only truly be successful 100% of the time with the size 8 and under crowd. Allow me to explain.
With the growing number of young people online and on social media constantly through the waking hours, the bombardment of advertising is apparent and unavoidable. The ads on the side of my Facebook page catch me every time and I WILL have a Swagger Wagon one of these days. ONE OF THESE DAYS!
Marketing wins more times than not with me because I can appreciate the psychology and tactics and I allow it to win. So when I see the ad peeking out at me from zulily.com telling me I can get those knee high tan boots I’ve always wanted for 70% off I am clicking faster than I ever thought I could click. Once you get past the “membership” sign up that comes with most clothing websites these days, this wonderful world appears on my screen with beautiful products for me to just throw in a cart and shop away to my heart’s content. Wonderful, great prices, quality items, love it. Until I go to checkout. Then the doubt sets in.
Let me go back a moment, and examine again why the allure of online clothes shopping is so gravitating to women. First of all, it’s a quick fix. Instant gratification to browse hundreds of items on a whim without clocking out for lunch. We can compare and contrast prices with other retailers, search online promotions, redeem coupons and gift certificates and all in one place. So not only are we saving time we are being thrifty!
Multi-tasking….a woman’s real best friend.
Secondly, online clothes shopping eliminates the depressing, crushing realizations that meet every woman in the dressing room when trying on clothes. “It says X size, but why does it not even fit over my calf?” No matter what size you are, this has happened to every woman. Being able to indulge in the illusion online that the sweater I just put in my cart “looks like it’s going to be perfect” is more comforting than standing in front of a well lit floor to ceiling mirror in public. This being said, it leads me though to the “Doubt at Checkout” that happens with online shopping and why only certain body types can really shop online.
So here I am, I’ve gone through the website, I’m super excited about the items that will be arriving at my door and all I had to do was get online. I’m about to hit SUBMIT when it hits me.
“Wait wait wait…are you SURE that sweater looks perfect?”
“…..and what about those shoes. Sure it’s the size you wear, but with that heel, I wonder how they will really feel?”
“Hrmmm… that one shirt looks a like it falls short, I wonder if it will cover up my muffin top.”
“That fabric looks a little clingy, is it going to hug my boobs? Do I need a new bra for this?”
(Don’t even get me started on online bra shopping. How does THAT work?!)
And that’s the beginning of the “Doubt at Checkout”. The reality of the real world showing up at your doorstep and these items not fitting right is more than likely what’s going to happen if you have any kind of shape or junk in your trunk to brag about.
Take this example: My mother and I may share the same shirt size but when I purchase clothing I have to make sure the shirt is long enough for my torso. Result…we can NOT purchase the same size or even the same material for that matter because of our differing body shapes. This has led to many an awkward moment on Christmas morning. “Well it fit me in the store and I thought it was cute” She now knows not to buy me clothes. So I need that time in the dressing room, as miserable as it can be, there is no hope for me shopping online.
So how are these sites so popular and flourishing?! How many “invitations” do we all get from friends ranting and raving about how great this new fashion site is, or that new idea is? How many times have we thought, “Ok, maybe I can find something on THIS one.” Enough times to drive me crazy that’s for sure!
The best kind of sites that I have come across lately are the “Netflix For Clothes” kinds of sites. What happens is you complete a type of profile or questionnaire about your fashion choices, and based on the results an outfit is shipped to you once a month. Keep it as long as you want, then return it when your done. What comes to you is a shirt, bottom (or dress) a handbag and an accessory. Great concept, but really? So it arrives and it doesn’t fit right, or it’s something you wouldn’t ever really wear anyways, or come to find out, your not as fashionably adventurous as you thought and now your out the cash. Now you have to ship it back and hope the next package has something you would actually wear. Again, great concept for some small little gal who can get away with that sort of thing, but not my cup of tea. To each their own I guess…
There are just way too many fabrics, sizes, styles, designs to even gamble purchasing things online without ever trying them on. For a more plus sized individual clothes shopping is more difficult and a more precise science. We can’t leave anything to chance!
Now again, I’m not hating on the skinny peeps. It goes along with the same jealousy of those women who can get out of the shower, brush their hair and walk out the door. (Witchcraft I tell you….witchcraft!) When you are a certain smaller size, the small and medium clothing options just…FIT. Not to generalize everybody (I’m sure the hate mail is coming) but in my experience those friends of mine who are in those sizes can purchase just about damn near ANYTHING and it is going to look good. It only really becomes really obnoxious when you hear “Oh this is just too big…” Shut your face.
This post isn’t even about weight or self-loathing either. I’m proud of my assets and everyone needs improvement somewhere, but I’m not 300-lbs and wondering why the jeans don’t look good on me either. So that’s not what this article is about. It’s just more a commentary than anything.
There is something to be said about dressing for your shape and making clothes work for you. Being able to try on and prance around for a bit can save lots of money and hassle in the long run when you are trying to ship back those oh-so-gorgeous boots that yup, ended up really hurting your big toe.
Bottom line, not everything is going to work for everyone and some things will work brilliantly for a few. It just might work better to shop around in person than to risk that designer blouse that is 90% off and build up the excitement to find out the sizes run smaller than normal and now your stuck with a tube top.
Just my 2 cents.