Love shopping online but hate that occasional awkward moment when you realize the item you ordered is all wrong (and, ugh, final sale)? We tapped Michelle Goad, a former luxury fashion buyer and cofounder of the personal shopping app PS Dept., for her pointers on how to shop online like a pro.
Photo: Adam Katz Sinding, All Other Photos: @psdept
Look At What's Coming Next
Ever feel like by the time you've decided to splurge on something, the trend is already on its way out? "Look at what designers are showing next season, which won't ship for several months," advises Goad, who believes that knowing what trends have staying power helps you be more satisfied with your purchases.
Find The Best Price
Nothing elicits buyer's remorse like seeing an item you've recently splurged on in the sale section. To feel more confident in the price you've paid Goad recommends using this trick: "When it's getting close to sale season, try putting 7 units of something in your cart. If there are more than 7 available in a single size, it will most likely be getting marked down."
Know Your Sizes...All Of Them
Fact: Knowing your measurements and international sizes can hugely determine your success rate when shopping online. Goad advises doing a bit of leg work on the brand too. "Typically, a designer's fits are consistent in every piece in a collection. Even if a retailer doesn't carry the particular item you're eyeing, look at their sizing notes for clues on how a brand fits."
Find A Celebrity Fit Model
In order to avoid buying things that are ultimately unflattering, Goad advises looking at celebrities with similar body types to see what types of clothes their stylists are dressing them in. "You'll start to notice their formula for dressing," she says. Plus, you'll get ideas on how to complete the look so you're not scratching your head once your online order arrives.
Focus On Low-Risk Purchases
When it comes to online shopping, there's a big difference between buying a handbag you've seen IRL and splurging on a swimsuit from a brand you've never even heard of. "Sunglasses, shoes, denim and swim are the items with the highest return rates," says Goad, "so these are things you either want to buy multiples of—or wait to buy in-store if you're really unsure."
Look Past Art Direction
Ever buy something that doesn't quite live up to the hype? Goad recommends doing a quick Google Image Search or Pinterest search of the item in order to see it on a non-sample size person or photographed in a different way. For a quick shortcut, Goad praises PS Dept., pointing out that "one of the best parts of the app is our ability to send customers unretouched photos from in-store."