We’ve all been shopping at home more, or shopping safely in a store like Target, but I’ve heard from more and more women about the frustration of buying clothes without trying them on.  Not only is it difficult to choose a size and a fit, but if it arrives in the mail or we bring it home and it’s NOT a good fit – then there’s the return!  And who likes to make returns?  Not me!  A friend and I were just visiting about this very thing…so I thought I’d share my own experience and what’s working…or not.

If you’re shopping online…

  • Look for styles that you’ve worn before that fit you.  For example, look in your closet at pieces you love and how they’re styled (neckline, sleeve length, bodice, etc.) and shop for similar styled pieces.  This ensures a better fit.

  • Look for stretchy fabric.  I ordered a couple of knit dresses this summer with elastic around the waist – a better chance of them fitting – and they did!

  • Check the return policy and the shipping (where it’s coming from).  If there’s no contact info or return info, and if you’re buying from a foreign country, expect delays, possibly being stuck with your purchase, and/or your item taking forever to arrive.  I ordered a pair of sneakers that took two months to arrive, but they were great.  However, I ordered some office supplies that arrived in three shipments, one item was broken.  Notes taken…

  • Watch out for the pop-ups on social media that demonstrate unbelievable prices on cutesy things.  Again, check out the shipping, contact info, return policy, etc.  Those are huge – if they’re not good at customer service – don’t buy!

  • Order locally, if you can. Support small businesses.  Several coffee shops in my town are offering food packages or pastry boxes, etc. for pickup and they’re delish!  I have a friend that sells a line of clothing and she lives in my small town, so I like to support her.  Another friend is an artist, so I love purchasing her work on all sorts of mediums!

  • Pants are the worst, but I’ve found some good luck at Walmart, on line.  They have some really cute jeans that are of the elastic type denim, and the wide leg option is in style right now (with an elastic waist!) 

  • Read reviews…see what others have said about the sizing of the piece you’re considering…does it run small or true to size?


If you’re shopping in the store…

  • Wear the right clothes so you can try on shirts/jackets in the store itself, without going to the fitting room that is most likely closed.  (Some stores won’t even allow you to try on in the store, but many don’t notice).  Wear a tight tee (under a sweater for cover up if you wish), and then try on tops in front of the store mirror to see if they fit. 

  • Purchase brands you’ve bought before that you know fit in that certain size that you wear.

  • Unbutton or unzip that skirt and put it around your waist!  I did that recently, even though I was wearing jeans, just to see if the skirt was going to work.

  • Change your styles to fit this crazy season.  Opt for comfortable but cute, instead of stiff and crazy stylish.  Look for cute details, but a comfortable fit, i.e. stretchy or knit material.

  • Consider just shopping for accessories this fall, to brighten up what you already have: a new scarf or a hat, a cute bag or some new sneakers, dangly earrings or a pretty necklace!  You might be surprised how you can revive a plain combo into something snazzy!

  • Purchase long cardis or comfy jackets to go over graphic or plain tees that you already have.  These are easy to slip on, to see how they fit.

  • If you don’t mind returning the items, then pull whatever you want, take it home and have yourself a great time trying each piece on!

  • Shoes – you can still try these on with ease!  So find the deals and enjoy – I recently snagged two pairs from Nordstrom Rack for $17 each!


There’s no reason to stop enjoying the hunt for a new outfit…even at home or in a big box store…without entering a fitting room.  It is a bit of a challenge, but a fun one!  It will certainly get your creative juices flowing…

And if you find a good deal, share!  Or if you’re still looking, ask!  All of us are in the same boat, in the same sea, swimming around for those great deals that fit, feel good, and look fabulous!


Savvy Shopping
by Marcy Lytle

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