Buying clothes online definitely has a ton of benefits – no need to commute to a brick and mortar store, stand in a queue at checkout and even jostle with crowds during the festive season. All the clothes that you want can be picked from the comfort of your couch and received within days. However, there is a flip side to all these too. The killer jeans that you ordered might be a couple of sizes too small, or the fabric of the floral top you ordered might be too rough for your liking.

The problem is often compounded by the intricacies of the return policy of the online store. If they refund the amount into the account from where you made the payment, there should not be an issue. But if you are offered store credits, it will be a setback. You might not like anything else from the same store as a replacement and will be stuck with a “must-buy” situation.

So how do you get things right when you buy clothes online? Here are a few tips to help you on your way.

Be familiar with your measurements

In an online store, you do not have the luxury of taking a quick trip to the dressing room to see how well clothes fit you. Additionally, sizes vary with brand and sometimes even the batch. The best option for you is to take out the good old measuring tape and take note of your bust, waist, hips and inseam. If you are not sure what to do, take a trip once to your local tailor and seamstress and have it done for you. This should be a benchmark for all your future purchases unless you go on a crash diet or put on weight.

Be familiar with the size charts

This can be a bit tricky. It is necessary to compare your measurements with the size charts that are given on the site, but this again might not be uniform in all cases, especially on sites that sell multiple brands. An online store usually has general size guidelines for everything on their website which in reality is not uniform across brands. A good idea would be to go the brand’s website and check out the measurements. Hence, if a site says that you require a size 8, you might see on the specific website that you should opt for a 10. Also, check the size the model is wearing to have an estimate of how long or short the dress is.

Research the materials

One of the reasons why brick and mortar stores are still popular is that people like to get a “feel” of what they are buying before putting their money on it. There is nothing more disappointing than to get a dress that you have had your heart on for long and find that it feels like sandpaper against your skin. To get around this difficulty, check your closet for clothes that make you uncomfortable or itchy and their materials. Make a note of it and avoid clothes that are made of the same materials when shopping online.

Be flexible in your expectation

Do not expect always to get the exact colour of clothes as selected by you. What appears on the screen of your device when ordering a product might not match accurately with what you receive. Be prepared to accept clothes with a slightly different shade. However, if there is a wide variance, you should definitely return it.

Study the return policy

Familiarise yourself with the returns policy before ordering a product. These vary between stores and include such aspects as free returns, time to return a purchase, whether exchanges can be made and the mode of refund. For example, Sculpt Australia has a 21-day return window, and an exchange can be made or refund opted for. Further, shipping charges incurred for the return is non-refundable.

These are some of the tips you can follow to get the perfect fit when you shop for clothes online.