There are a wide variety of online clothing stores that you can visit from the comfort of your own home. No more trips to the mall mean you can browse all you like in an unlimited number of stores, find things you'd never be able to find locally and even (usually) easily return items that don't fit or that you aren't happy with when they come to your door.
Online Department Stores
Most department stores and large clothing chains have online shops where you can search for and order clothing. Some shops have websites that will allow you to browse a limited selection of their offerings but that do not enable you to buy online. There is a trend away from this setup, however, because it's more convenient for shoppers not to have to travel to a store, and the shops can sell to people who might not live anywhere near one of their brick-and-mortar stores.
To find your favorite shop online, do a web search or check on the company's catalog. Most big retail stores have web addresses that are the same as their names, such as Old Navy and J Crew. Others are a little trickier, like H&M.
Shopping at the major online clothing stores is usually fast and convenient. The sites are usually well organized and make it easy for you to find what you want and check out. Companies also regularly hold online sales to help you save money on your purchases.
These sites usually have good return policies so you don't get stuck with clothing you don't like or that doesn't fit. They also tend to have good sizing information, however, so the chances of buying the wrong size are reduced.
Other Online Clothing Stores
Of course there are many other places to buy clothing online beyond the retail giants. That is part of the fun of shopping online, that you can find small stores located anywhere in the world and buy items from them just as easily as you could from a larger shop.
One good place to look for unique clothing stores is Yahoo! Shopping. This site connects many small retailers to the wide online world and provides them with ecommerce solutions so that you can be assured that it's safe to deal with them. It also provides comparison shopping on items from big retailers like Neiman Marcus, Target, REI, Eddie Bauer and more.
If you know what kind of clothing you're looking for, such as a woman's size 8 wrap dress, you can simply enter your search term into your favorite search engine and find retailers large and small who offer what you are looking for.
Some other great sites for buying clothing online include:
- Bluefly for deals on designer clothes
- Etsy for handmade clothing and accessories
- BizRate for comparison shopping
Online Clothes Shopping Tips
It's a great idea to sign up for e-mail alerts from companies that you plan to shop with often, because they will alert you when sales are happening or when the site is running a special deal such as free shipping. You should also check for online coupon codes before you buy. Sometimes you can get free shipping or a percentage off your purchase if you have the right code, even if it's not publicized on the website itself. Always check the customer service options on a website before you buy, as well as the return policy of any online clothing store. Many of the larger chain stores have very liberal return policies and will pay for return shipping even if you're just returning something you didn't like. Other stores make you pay for shipping and charge restocking fees for items you return, which can add up to a large percentage of the price of the item still going to the store even though you ended up with nothing.
Online clothes shopping can be a lot of fun because you can do it any time and you don't have to deal with the crowds or pushy salesmen. And if you know where to look you can find some great deals or unique items that aren't available where you live.