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At a time when all retail storefronts are shut down, the market for online shopping has never been more beneficial. Follow these tips to make your digital purchases worth every penny.

Look at all of the color options.

This is one of the most important tips I can give in the process of picking out clothes. Even if you are set on what color you want, look at the pictures of the other shades it comes in because different details and features may stick out more than they did in the one you selected. You may not have noticed a pocket that doesn’t appeal to you, an odd stitching, or most importantly, the cheapness of the fabric.

Check the store’s Instagram.

Most of the pictures on stores’ websites are of professional models and clothing items that are edited to look as sellable as possible. To see how they’ll really look on a body, go to the boutique’s Instagram page and look under their tagged photos. Here you can check out authentic posts from others who have ordered and wear their pieces. This will show how they look in natural lighting, and you may even find a new favorite outfit to buy.


Know your measurements.

Keep your measurements typed into your phone’s notes so you can compare them to the closest size for that specific store. Every website varies in shape, so these are the basic areas to measure:


bust - fullest part of your breast, around your armpit and back to the front

waist - circumference of your natural waistline. The crease that forms when you bend to one side will show you where it’s at, usually two inches above your belly button.

hips - across the widest parts on your waist

Inside leg - top of the inside leg down to the ankle


Read the entire description and reviews.

Every detail of the item will be in the description that you may not have been able to tell from the picture. Take into consideration the type of fabric and washing instructions. The reviews will also have the unfiltered opinions to decide if it’s worth the purchase.

Try to order as much from one store.

Ordering as many things from the same place makes your shipping fee well worth it, as opposed to paying around $5 multiple times for just a few items. Many online shops also offer free shipping when you spend a certain amount, so this will help reach that minimum.

Sign up for emails.

More times than not, a website will send you a discount code when you subscribe to their emails to go towards your first purchase. Student Beans is also a platform that gives anyone enrolled in school an additional percentage off. Just sign up under your institution and find stores that it supports.

Ally Stegman

Columbia Chicago '21

aspiring magazine writer with a passion for pop culture and fashion
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