How to Shop Online

If you’re like me, you do most of your window-shopping from your couch, yeah? And every time you add something to your cart a wave of anxiety rushes over you: “I don’t wanna deal with returning this. I should just drag my ass out into the snow to a store. But they don’t have my wine at the store! What if it’s final sale? WHY is it final sale?” and so on. Well, without knowing what sites you shop, your style or fit, I know a few tricks to help you zero in on good buys and increase your chances of getting something you love from the postman. You may want to print this out and tape it to your computer:

Look at how the model is posed

I learned this one from my aunt who was a model: check out if the model is standing in a weird way or holding onto some part of the item. If, for example, she’s like sneakily yanking down one side of the dress, or is jabbing her butt out and holding onto the belt loops of those jeans, or has her hands in the cardigan’s pockets and is holding them waaaaay out to the sides, chances are something is up with that piece and you should avoid it.

For shoes, follow the models

If a pair of shoes shows up over and over on different models throughout a site or catalog, those things are comfy and a crowd favorite at the shoot. Buy them!

Read reviews!

If a site has reviews, for god’s sake, read them! You’ll find out if something runs a bit small, how long it really hangs on real people, if the green is really blue-green, and often there are photos of the item on the reviewer. Tons of sites like Anthropologie, Bluefly, and ShopBop have reviews. Read them.

Always click the “details” box

This is usually a tab next to the description of the item, and it’s important to check it out so you know exactly what you’re getting. Here’s where you find out if that “silk” top is “silk” or silk. Nahmean?

Check for underthings

Zoom waaaaaay in. Is that a bra or careful photoshopping of what should be nips through that sorta sheer top? Or is it totally see through? Does it come with a slip? What’s holding her tits up? Etc.

Have any shopping-from-afar secrets?

Previously: Black & Yellow: Your Teeth?

Jane Feltes is a VERY CLASSY LADY and produces the radio program “This American Life.” She can be seen regularly on stage at The Talent Show in Brooklyn and also blogs about cooking awesome meals for that special someone — herself — at ReadyMade.