I’ve had a lot of people ask me about where I buy my clothing. Once I mention that it’s almost exclusively through online shopping, people are generally skeptical about ordering online for themselves. So, I’ve decided to write a post about certain tricks I’ve learned along the way, as well as budget-friendly tips you can apply to get the wardrobe of your dreams!
Always Buy from Trusted Sites and Companies
This is very important, since you want to ensure you get good quality for what you pay. I do an inordinate amount of shopping through Modcloth.com, as their customer service is exceptional. They also carry a number of different brands from around the world, including Sunny Girl, Collectif Clothing, Voodoo Vixen, Closet Clothing, Stop Staring, Tatyana Boutique, etc. That means that I can order things that I would want to get from these individual retailers all through one site. PinupGirlClothing.com is also another vintage-reproduction site that I’m very fond of, since the designs and quality are immeasurable and they have a very good reputation in the Pinup community. Beware of sites that advertise clothing for very cheap prices. They often copy the designs of the more well-known companies, using bad quality material and stitch-work. If you shop vintage-reproduction, you want it to be great quality so it can last for many years.
Make Sure to Frequently Measure your Bust, Natural Waist, and Hips
Since buying from online vintage-reproduction retailers is a much different experience than buying in-store, people are a little uncertain about sizing. You can’t just try on several different sizes and be able to determine what will fit in the traditional way. Instead, it is exceptionally important to be aware of your body; it’s shape, and size. Size charts are often provided alongside online designs so you can find the size that best matches your measurements. But in order to do that, you have to be aware of what those measurements are! To measure your bust, use a cloth measuring tape and wrap it around the widest part of your bust (generally the middle of your breasts). Next, measure your natural waist. If you are unsure of where this is bend over to the side and see where the indentation appears. Lastly, to measure your hips, standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of your hips. Make sure you keep these measurements written down somewhere for easy access, and re-take them periodically. It’s good to re-measure yourself at least every six months, and following any weight fluctuations to ensure they’re accurate.
Specific Tips on Sizing
-Different brands, and different designs will fit a little differently on you. Make sure to educate yourself on this through reading reviews (which are often provided on the site). The reviews provided on Modcloth are very helpful since reviewers often leave their measurements to let you know how they fit on them. You can also look for people with similar body-types and measurements and see which sizes they bought for a particular brand or design. International sizing might be a little confusing at first, but often these sites provide conversions in their size charts so you can best determine your size.
-Most vintage-reproduction sites provide online chat, calling, or email to help you figure out sizing if you have any questions. Modcloth has ‘Modstylists’ which you can IM with during the day, or email to make an appointment with later on. Simply provide your updated measurements, the item(s) you are interested in purchasing, and they will help you determine the best fit! Pinup Girl Clothing has a different size chart for each item available, which is infinitely helpful since each design could fit a little differently.
-If in doubt, it is better to order a size up, than a size down. If you’re between sizes, and are dead-set on buying a particular design but unsure of it’s fit and have tried everything else, then this is the next thing I’d recommend. If it’s a size up you can always get it fitted to you by a tailor, but if it’s too small you can’t really work with it. I wouldn’t recommend doing this consistently since that would be very costly, but in situations where something you’ve been coveting is about to go out of stock forever, and you’ve already tried other avenues for best determining fit.
–If your size is unavailable on one site, then search around to see if it could be available elsewhere! I’ve done this before when purchasing a lovely dress for my mom on Modcloth, realizing it was out of stock, and then buying directly from the retailer (Tatyana Boutique). You might also be able to find discontinued designs on Ebay or through the Facebook Group, ‘Pinup Girl Clothing Swap.’ Of course, make sure you practice safety and caution!
–Wait to buy until online sales in order to get the most bang for your buck. Popular retailers always have regular sales, especially at the beginning and end of each season, before and after Christmas, before Halloween and Valentine’s day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can generally get full-priced items at a discount between 15-50%. Pinup Girl Clothing has its online Yard-Sale where most items are discounted by 50%, and Modcloth always has new deals advertised each week. To keep up with the sales, make sure you subscribe to emails from your favourite vintage-reproduction shops!
-When you regularly shop from these sites, you’ll often receive coupons tailored to you through email. Every few months I get an email from Modcloth for 20% off my entire purchase, and I just received a coupon from Pinup Girl Clothing after my last purchase. Make sure to be aware of when these codes expire so you can plan accordingly.
-Since I live in Canada and most of my online shopping occurs in the US and the UK, there’s often a steep duty/import tax, and shipping costs on my orders. Some companies, like Modcloth, will offer you specific deals in order to supplement those costs. If I haven’t received a coupon in a while, or there isn’t a sale but I really want to buy, I will ‘Livechat’ Modcloth and ask for a coupon. And almost always I’m given a 10-20% off coupon for my next purchase. It pays to ask.
–Familiarize yourself with the return/exchange policy. Sometimes I’ll receive a product with a defect, like discolouration, stains, a rip, etc. Companies like Modcloth are exceptionally helpful in this regard! When this happens, I pop on live chat, provide my order number and explain the defect (be prepared to provide a picture of it). Often I am sent out a new item, free of shipping! However, it is important to note that Modcloth and other popular vintage-reproduction sites, do not do this for issues with mis-sizing!
-Lastly, save money by never purchasing something online that you could easily get at store nearby.
I hope these tips have been helpful, and if you have anymore questions please leave a comment below. See you next week, dolls!