I spend a good deal of time looking for treasures on the internet. The internet is great because you can wear your pajamas and hunt for goodies and no one can judge you. NO ONE!
If you know me, you know that I actually never change out of my pajamas ever, so being able to wear my lounging clothes isn't the main pull for internet shopping for me. What I love about it is that you can have millions of items right at your fingertips. Sometimes, I'll be on a kick of a specific item. Right now, I can't get enough 60s mini/shift dresses. I haven't been able to find any stellar ones while I've been thrifting, so I've turned to the internet. While the prices are usually higher than what you'd pay at a thrift store, sometimes its worth it for the most perfect item.
But buying online is scary, right? What if it doesn't fit? What if the color looks horrible? What if the clothes have bed bugs embedded in them? (The last question is probably asked by no one but myself, and its sad that I actually ask that same question, every time). Today, I'm just going to talk a bit about how to make buying vintage items online a bit more manageable.
If I find something I'm super into, I always request more pictures. Since you can't actually hold the item in your hand, its nice to see it from a lot of different angles. If the seller notes that an item is damaged, but doesn't show a picture of the exact damage, ask for a shot of that, too! 'Slight underarm discoloration' on a dress could actually mean the fabric is discolored for a few square inches, or that the dress has actually lost the design on its fabric. Descriptions online can sometimes be misleading, as we all know from hours of scouring online dating websites. Just me? Either way, all I'm saying is that before you make that purchase, make sure you know the item as best you can! I promise you the seller won't mind to take a minute to snap some photos for you!
Measure, Measure, Measure! It really grinds my gears when a seller lists a clothing item as 'Size Small'. Sure, I've worn a size small before, but there have also been times when I've worn a large, medium, extra small. I've run the gamut of sizes, especially in the vintage world, so I need measurements! Send them a message asking for measurements! Don't be afraid to get specific! Have broader shoulders? Ask them the arm opening measurement. Also, its so important to know your own measurements! This really helps when buying. A store that I buy from online has their dresses separated by waist size: 21"-25", "26-30", and then the rest. This makes it easy for me to pass over the large grouping of dresses that won't fit!
Continuing on with this, sometimes its okay to buy items that don't fit! I have often found myself lusting after a dress that is too big. Too big items are always easier to buy than too small items, since it is often easier to take in than to let out. My rule for buying a too big item is that it has to be inexpensive enough that when I go to get it altered, it hasn't made the dress a huge investment. For me, buying an expensive dress and then paying $10-$50 more to have it altered to fit my body just isn't worth it. Seeing as how I only have five dollars in my bank account, I couldn't even come near this feat, anyhow.
Following in the same vein, remember, hemming is easy! There are so many dresses that may be unpractical long, but perfect short. Hemming is relatively cheap at a tailor, and if you fancy yourself a seamstress, you can easily do it yourself! Don't pass over an article of clothing just because its too long. If the ladies of the 20s can raise that hem, you can, too!
Now, to colors. What happens when you find an article of clothing, but you're not sure if it'll look good on you? The first thing I do is try to find something I already own thats around the same color. Hold that up to your face. If you don't immediately grimace, chances are, that color works for you! As a rule, I know that pinks and pastel yellows make me look like a pile of cat sick, so I avoid those! Know what colors work for you. Many online stores do not take returns simply for the reason that 'the color looked different online'.
Heres the most important rule: If you are hesitant for some reason or another, and sending a message for more information on the item doesn't move you more in favor, pass. The only reason I say this is because as I stated earlier, most online stores ONLY do returns if they have 'grossly misrepresented the item'. This means that it not fitting, the color being off, or just disliking the way it looks on you is not a reason for return. Its a real bummer, but its just how it is.
Those are just a few of the tips I have for buying online. I hope that helped some of you in your internet purchases! Have you ever bought something vintage online and it was complete night and day from the description? I wanna hear about it!
Until next time...