The Mancunion

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Loving & Loathing: online shopping

Don’t we all have a love-hate relationship with online shopping? Find out exactly what Sarah Kilcourse loves and loathes about the online market

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It’s safe to say that I have a complex relationship with online shopping—we’ve shared some turbulent moments. There have been great days, like when I got my beautiful black velvet wrap dress for the Christmas ball last year, but then there was my sixth form prom…A completely different story. I ordered five dresses online, and none of them fitted—typically! Here is a run-down of the reasons why I love and loath online shopping.

Loves:

ASOS: There is pretty much anything you could ever want or need on ASOS. They photograph the models from so many angles, and give you a runway video for the full 360 effect. If you like what you see: Free postage! If you don’t like it when you get it: Free returns! Plus, online only retailers like ASOS, Missguided, Boohoo et al charge less for their own brand products because it’s so much cheaper to run an online shop. What more could you ask for?

Preparation: This may sound a tad strange, so bear with me. Looking at clothes online allows me to know exactly what I’m looking for in each shop if I brave it into the outside world. It makes shopping quicker and easier. I hate traipsing around Manchester when it’s raining, looking for my dream pair of Chelsea boots, only to discover that I don’t like any—or even worse, that they don’t have my size. Thanks to the internet, I can plan where I’m going to look, and some websites, such as Topshop allow you to check stock online.

Trends:  It doesn’t matter how many times you read Vogue, Elle, or Cosmo—nothing gives you a better understanding of what is on-trend than looking at the clothes in shops. I’m not a die-hard follower of trends, but I like to be aware. Looking at the ‘New In’ section gives a swift overview of what is fashionable right now. You can quickly gather that, this winter, we’re all expected to be wearing a lot of velvet and lace.

Loathes:

Models: I get it—they’re all very pretty, slim, tall girls, and I have no issue with that. However, saying that the model is wearing a size 10, when she is clearly a size 6, does not enable you to understand the fit of the item. It is also slightly heartbreaking when you realise how fabulous the model looks, while you’re left feeling a bit… meh in your new dress.

Jeans: This is part of a wider rant I have about trying on jeans. It is horrific. There is no consistency across any brand or within any brand for that matter. I think they might as well not be available to purchase online because the fit is so hit and miss.

Returns: The real flaw in online shopping is if you need to return an item. Fortunately, many companies do offer free returns or collect plus, but it is still a complete faff. Worst of all is the 2 – 4 week wait to get the money back on your return, especially if you have already spotted another pair of shoes that would look absolutely incredible…