I am not sure about everyone else but I am not a big fan of online shopping.
Advocates will disagree: yes I know it’s convenient, yes I know it’s open 24 hours (quite a bonus for someone like me who is living in Perth), and yes I know it’s fast. But from my perspective most of the good points about online shopping is really skewed in favour of the retailer: they stand to make more money with lower costs.
For me the very reasons why I’ve never been a big fan of online shopping is, well, the fact that it is online. I can’t touch and feel the fabric. I can’t inspect the clothing for finish and quality. I can’t try it on and see if it fits. And all these things are quite important to me, especially the last point: fit. Everyone who has shopped will know sizing varies, even within the same brand. Take for example my favourite label CUE: I have a white shirt in size 6 that fits me perfectly, and in fact my other white shirt in size 8 is tighter than that first size 6 shirt – and they are both fitted and both from the same label CUE! My collection of dresses from CUE range from size 6, 8, and 10. So it goes without saying that clothing sizing charts are pretty useless.
And then there’s the delivery. The wait can be painful, especially it’s something I have been eyeing and wanting for ages. What if it doesn’t arrive? What if it sends to the wrong address? We all know Australia Post is pretty useless these days… and oh did I mention online retailers charge for postage? And if it doesn’t fit I will have to mail it back, and yes you guessed it, pay for postage again. So all in all you start to see why I am never a big fan of online shopping… even if the retailer accepts returns you’d be worse off by $20 (assuming $10 postage both ways), without the product!
So why have I suddenly taken the plunge in 2017? Honestly, I don’t know. The only thing I know is that despite being hopeful, I think I am going to regret when the clothing arrives.
So here’s what happened: I keep noticing a particular shirtdress from the Rhodes & Beckett retail shopfront. In fact I think I must have spotted it already sometime last year, but the typical high prices of that label kept putting me off. I keep seeing it pop up whenever I go past the shop. So sometime in late January, when the post-Christmas Sales descended to the point whereby sharp discounting can be found to get rid of unwanted and left-over stock, I found myself accidentally browsing at Rhodes & Beckett’s online store. I wasn’t intending to buy online: just like CUE’s online store which I look at regularly, I was only wanting to know what they had available. And usually when I found something I liked I’d go into the shop and try to locate it and try it on (like how I shop Cue).
I found the shirtdress that I was eyeing online, and it looked really good on the online pictures. And it was discounted to $149. I walked into a Rhodes & Beckett retail shopfront the next day, but they didn’t have my size (they only had 2 size 12s!). When I was at the shop I could actually feel and see the fabric, and I am sad to report that the dress in the real shop didn’t quite look as well made and as polished as the online pictures. With doubts now in my mind, I did a bit of googling and found that Rhodes & Beckett doesn’t really have that good reviews – in fact most of the reviews seem to fault their quality and online customer service. More doubts in my head now as to whether I should part with $149 for a discounted Rhodes & Beckett dress, because I know for the same money I could pick up a discounted made-in-Australia CUE dress.
And so I sat on making a decision for an entire week. At times my mood swung towards buying it online because it seems only the online store had my size, but at other times the doubts really sank in. In the end, I decided that from the same dress I felt and touch in the retail store, the actual dress will look nothing as polished as the online pictures. Which meant I won’t look as good in it as I think I would. And just when I thought I would walk away from it, I browsed Rhodes & Beckett shirts and blouses and came across their white shirts.
Those who know me will know fitted white shirts and blouses are indispensable as part of my office wardrobe. For a really polished and classic look, I usually stick to the clothing label CUE: CUE shirts not only fit me really well, but also for a slim and tall woman like me the sleeve lengths are actually correct and not too short. I just looked in my wardrobe and I can report I have in fact 4 almost identical white long sleeved fitted shirts from CUE, and that doesn’t include the short-sleeved and coloured shirts! (I also suddenly realised CUE has rally made a lot of money off my over the years, damn you!)
The problem though with CUE is their designers seem to have an incessant need for innovation. Which isn’t a bad thing sometimes, but for something like a classic white shirt IT’S A BAD THING! So all I want is a classic white long sleeved buttoned down shirt from CUE to wear with my pencil skirts and skirt suits, but what I get every time I am inside a CUE retail shop is white shirts with strange straps and flaps (looking like straight-jackets from a mental hospital) or white shirts with cut-outs front, back, side, or in every imaginable place (seriously uncool to wear with a skirt suit). So now that my 4 almost identical white long sleeved fitted shirts from CUE are starting to turn grey with age, I am forced to look elsewhere…
And now back to Rhodes & Beckett: unlike CUE their shirts and blouses are classic – like the way I like them to wear with my pencil skirts and skirt suits. And they were on discount with Rhodes & Beckett online store. I did have my doubts, because the same dress I felt and touch in the retail store looked nothing as polished as the online pictures, but in the end I gave in and decided to give it a try.
So here it is: my long-winded way of how online shopping for fashion became a first for me in 2017. What about everyone else? Are you a fan of online shopping or are you, like me, still prefer to go into a physical retail shop? Leave a reply, send me a message, or email me what you think!