Trials and Tribulations of Online Shopping

When I was younger, I’d go shopping once a week. A privileged teen with my own car and those hard earned babysitting dollars meant frequent trips to Mandee or Joyce Leslie, where I’d stock up on new clothes for going clubbing, going out, and going to school. 

These days I long for the chance to go to a store and try on clothes before actually purchasing anything. But time is my most valued commodity and my most lacking. I tried shopping on my lunch breaks at work, but it was always rushed, and as of late, I’ve been too busy at work to leave my desk. 

So I resorted to online shopping, but I did not come willingly and I’m still not convinced of it being a long term solution. 

One issue is body dysmorphia. I have a tendency to forget that I can no longer wear certain things and my body isn’t as forgiving as it once was. I long for the days when I had the confidence to show my belly and my legs, but those days are long gone. But I also don’t really dress “like a mom” or whatever that means. So I’m in a weird in between where I need to redefine my current approach to fashion as it is always evolving. 

So in not understanding what would fit me right, I end up making a ton of return when I shop online. What can I say? It looked cute on the model! I forgot I was short. And ugh, I hate returning things. I think it’s such a waste of time, and I really don’t like wasting time. 

But try, and try again I do. So when I learned about this service that sends you clothes to try on based on your custom profile, I thought this was great! Somebody else surely knows what would fit me better than I do. And the best part? You only pay for what you keep after you’ve tried it on!

So I gave this a shot, filled out my profile, and set my preferred delivery date. And I was so excited when that shipment arrived. My excitement was quickly shot down by a completely unpersonalized selection.  I returned everything but I wasn’t ready to give up yet. 

I improved my profile. I built a Pinterest board of the type of clothes I would buy. I put specific notes about what I would want to shop for. Shockingly I asked for mostly dresses. I said what occasions I would need them for, and sent it off. 

They listened! Kind of. I got 5 dresses to try on. The issue? 4 of them were the same brand, so if I didn’t like 1, I wasn’t going to like any of them. And guess what? I didn’t like any of them. They were all these prints that I’d never wear and them all had this elastic belt that is not flattering on a curvy girl. I returned them all. Again. 

Still, I didn’t give up. I gave it another try. Again with the profile. Maybe I’ll adjust my price range? Maybe I’ll be more honest about my size. I’m only hurting myself really. Maybe I need to be more open minded. 

This time, I asked for more dresses and items I could layer for the winter. This box was slightly better. I didn’t keep any dresses or layered pieces but I kept a nice shirt. But it wasn’t anything special. No one would ask “hey where’d you get that?” So I wrote a complaint. Three times? I had enough. How much more could I do? Of course, when you file a complaint, they always give you something free. So they waived my styling fee on the next shipment. One more time. 

I asked for something off the shoulder but they responded that they didn’t have anything like that in stock and gave me a boat neck. It was a nice enough shirt but I’m just completely underwhelmed. 

I’ve heard such great things, people thrilled with their purchases, but then I realized that they only ship styles they are trying to push and if their stock doesn’t match your style you are shit out of luck. And guess what? They just don’t stock my style ever it seems. 

So I’m over that service. I’ve tried other online shops with mixed results. Nothing beats going to the store for me. So I’ll just have to keep searching for the time. 

But let’s be honest. I’ll keep trying online shopping. Because you know what’s better than stress eating? Stress shopping. Except for the whole going broke thing. 

miss you Joyce Leslie

One thought on “Trials and Tribulations of Online Shopping

  1. drchillyd

    Mandee and Joyce Leslie! What a blast from the past. I remember the open dressing rooms at JL. I totally relate to this post. Online shopping is critical, but it’s always a risk!


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