Fit, feel and drape

I really don’t like buying clothes online. As yet another massive fashion retailing website goes online this week – Google’s Boutiques.com – I find myself wondering if I’m in a dying breed or real-world shoppers. It’s ideal if you have no problem finding clothing that fits and if you’re permanently at home to await postal deliveries, but how many people do you know who are like that? Teenagers in their academic vacation time perhaps. Even if you find something that looks gorgeous and you’re willing to risk a poor fit and a missed delivery, how can you tell whether or not the garment is worth the asking price until you see it in real life? How can you tell if the fabric feels cheap and the seams look dodgy? Maybe this doesn’t matter so much to fashion-conscious teenagers as it does to me, but it is an issue. No hassle-free online returns system can make up for the feeling of being back to square one in your search, when the garment that looked so stylish in the photo turns out to fit badly and scratch your skin.

Of course, some times you have to buy online as there is no alternative for the product you want, but I really don’t get how buying fashions that are available in-store can be anything other than a massive headache and/or potential disappointment if done over the internet. They say the camera never lies but, in the case of fashion photography especially, that’s a load of rubbish. Any cheap nasty outfit can look good if you photograph it well and, even with a trained eye, it can be tricky to spot something that will look bad in real life. My suggestion is to use the internet to browse and the stores to buy, and only purchase high street clothing online if your size is out of stock. Mind you, I’ve always had a bit of a thing for the feel and drape of fabric.