In the last few years online shopping for clothes has really boomed. I remember when Asos first launched and they were actually called ‘As seen on screen’, selling clothes that were inspired by what celebrities had been spotted wearing. Now days they are a multi-billion pound global success selling womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories, jewellery, beauty products and a huge range of well-known brands. They continue to grow every year and since then there has been a surge in other online fashion sites such as Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo, Missguided, and Misspap which are also following the same pattern of success.
The appeal of these sites is mainly for the price which tends to be a lot cheaper than the high street stores such as Topshop and they are also very trend led, leading the way with the latest fast fashion styles and marketed in a way that make you want to spend your money with them. They often send out discount codes, newsletters and emails on a daily basis to get you back on their site looking at what’s new. It certainly works for me so they are doing something right in keeping hold of our attention!
These online fashion companies have grown with the help of celebrity collaborations such as Paris Hilton, Kourtney Kardashian and Pia Mia, as well as social media platforms such as Instagram. The rise of the influencer on social media has also really boosted the popularity of these online retailers. Pretty Little thing have even started selling clothing covered with their own brand name which has been selling really well for them.
Image: Pretty Little Thing
However, with the plus points there are also the negatives. Personally, I have been really disappointed with shopping online lately and I have sent back 90% of what I have ordered. This is what inspired me to write this blog post as it makes me wonder if everyone else is experiencing the same as me? Is everyone else spending hours queuing in the post office returning their online purchases or are the clothes working for everyone else and it’s just me finding it a palaver? Here are a few of my biggest nightmares with online shopping:
A lot of the items ordered online seem to be of a lower standard in terms of quality. You can tell as soon as you touch it that the fabric is not going to last long and doesn’t always look or feel the nicest to wear in real life. I find a lot of the white clothing, particularly trousers tend to be transparent and no one wants to walk around with their pants on show – that’s an outfit killer right there!
The item doesn’t match the image online
OK, so I know that the models are there to make the clothes look the best that they possibly can, but so often I see an outfit online that looks incredible and as soon as I try it on it looks nothing like how I imagined which is so disappointing. This can be anything from the colour not matching how you hoped or the fabric being too thick/thin/stiff etc. When you shop in a high street store, though you have the chance to try the clothes on and test them before you buy to see if you look good in them which saves you so much time and money, which leads me onto point 3.
I have literally given up ordering trousers online now as I am not blessed with the longest of legs, but the length of some of these trousers makes me wonder who all these tall people are as I never seem to see them walking around! Also, I find that I can be a size 8 with some items right up to a 12. This is because the clothes are cheaply made and from a variety of factories so the standard of sizing is usually all over the place and often hard to judge.
If you are impatient like I am, when I buy something new I like to take it home with me straight away. Deliveries have improved for a lot with the bigger named online retailers, and they often offer free next day delivery deals, but even still, you need to wait and if you are not home when the delivery man arrives, this could also mean an extra trip to the post office. I think I am on first name terms with my postman and local post office now!
Returns and refunds
This is one of my biggest hater points of online shopping. You might get a good deal with free postage when you place that order, but you will have to pay to return items the majority of the time – apart from ASOS who have a fabulous 28 day return policy for absolutely free.
I also find the length of time you have to wait to get your money back can be frustrating and you could easily forget if you are due a refund if you have had to send a few things back in the month. This makes me wonder how high the return rate is for some of these online retailers. I know that a lot of YouTubers that film fashion hauls do not keep all of the items they order online, and a lot of people are starting to do these type of videos. I personally love watching them and often get really good inspiration for outfit styling watching these.
Talking of YouTube, a lot of the well-known influencers are gifted the items that they show and haven’t had to pay for them. This could also be the reason why they speak so highly of everything they show usually and I would love to know if they really love the items they have received as much as they say that they have.
The high street stores have really been suffering in the UK over the last few years and many have been going out of business which is a real shame. I really enjoy shopping in stores and would hate for that to disappear completely and everything to become purely focused on online shopping.
What are your thoughts about shopping online? Do you prefer it to shopping on the high street now? What do you think about the quality and service you are getting from online retailers? I would love to know your thoughts on this!