I’m a huge lover of online shopping (even though I’m not a shopping lover!). You can find so many amazing clothes online (more than offline, that’s obvious) and you’ll find inspiration everywhere! No need to limit your choices to “a maximum of three pieces”, no need to get stuck in that small fitting room, no need to hurry because there are loads of people waiting to try their stuff on, no need to see yourself in bad lighting and a magically distorting mirror.
Today, I want to share with you the three steps of how I shop because I feel that many of you don’t really feel comfortable shopping, especially when it’s plus size.
I’m super thankful that I not only get to know new plus-size and all-size (!) brands but also get the opportunity to receive clothes for outfit shoots – sometimes I can keep them, other times I send them back after taking pictures with them, just as magazines do. So please, when you look at my blog and think that I a) must be a shopping addict (no, defo not!) or b) am super rich because I have so many clothes (and again: nope!), don’t forget that this blog is my job and since the main topic here is my outfits (and inspiring you!), new stuff is very important for me, even though I keep trying to show you many different options (always keep your eyes open at the end of every outfit post for “style it differently” ideas!) – I receive clothes to style them my way, to promote brands that I like (I’d never show something that doesn’t please me and/or has no value for you guys!) and to keep everything up to date.
1 • It’s always good to know where you can find stylish clothes. I’ve got a plus-size online shop list → here. It’s definitely not complete (feel free to leave a comment with additional shops!) because there are so many of them. But these are probably the best known – and still, not everybody knows them. Of course it’s always helpful to keep your eyes open on other plus-size bloggers’ blogs and their social media channels because you’ll get to know new stores from everywhere. Well, it’s not always good to see shops from the other side of the world if they don’t ship to your country or if they’re just local stores without an online shop. But usually there’s always a way to get your hands on something that you fell in love with. Be it e-mailing the shop and asking if there’s a chance to send it to you or asking someone from that country if they could go shopping for you and send you a package. If you really want it, you can get it, promise!
Attention: If you shop from other countries: don’t forget shipping costs and customs. You can be lucky and your package will go through customs without any problems, but you can also have very bad luck and that’s why you should always keep in mind how much you can shop without paying taxes or customs duty. In Germany, for example, that’s € 22. Anything above and up to € 150 will be without customs but you’ll have to pay up to 19% taxes. For anything above, you’ll also have to pay customs!
2 • The most important rule is: try stuff on. If an online shop offers free shipping and returns, that’s your chance (even though it doesn’t mean that you have to exaggerate!) – you can order things that you’d like to see on yourself, order stuff in two different sizes, create whole outfits and so on. For example: one of the shops that I really like to browse is H&M. I know that most of the things won’t fit me, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t order them – because there’s a chance to get it somewhere else. But I can order it, try it on and see if it even looks good on me. I can order different sizes of a piece if I’m not sure if my regular size will fit, or if it’s an oversized piece, I can see if I can order it one size down for a regular fit (try that at Zara, when there’s something oversized, it could fit someone who’s plus-sized!). I like to order many different pieces, even though they’re not my usual style, just to try something new – I love trying new things and most times I find something that I really like!
Attention: Not every online shop offers free shipping plus free returns (and sometimes only one of them!) – so keep in mind that you’ll probably have to pay for it, so don’t exaggerate, be reasonable. Especially when you shop from other countries, returns can be pretty expensive.
3 • You don’t want to shop too much or buy things you’ll never wear, so my rule number two is: “Can I wear this at least in three different stylings?” If I didn’t shop like this, I’d end up in a room full of clothes I wouldn’t wear and my money would be gone in no time. First, I don’t buy spontaneously, like “It’s cute, I’ll take it.”. I do actually go into stores or look online without a special plan, but when I find something that I like, I first check its quality. Then, there’s three questions: “Do I really need it?”, “Do I already own something similar?” and “Will I wear it only once or can I do many stylings with it?”.
Another idea to prevent your closet from bursting – for any new piece that you buy, you can at least give away or sell (e.g. on eBay, in a thrift shop or at a flea market) one, two or three pieces. If you set this up as a shopping rule, you’ll hopefully stop buying everything (I know, it’s hard!).
Attention: Quality before quantity. There’s nothing worse than buying something that you only wear once and then you can throw it away because its quality was shitty. Keep your eyes open for good fabrics, good workmanship and if you can easily wash and take care of it. Also, it’s always a good thing to spend a bit more on a special piece instead of buying loads of stuff with bad quality. I prefer thinking ahead, buying versatile classics and therefore special accessories. You can also do it the other way round, it’s up to you! :)
And a bit off-topic: many may think that receiving clothes for free is a super deal, and of course it’s amazing to be gifted with them, but – and even if it may sound ungrateful, I have to say it – they don’t pay my bills. I know that many bloggers “do it for free stuff” and that’s good, but since blogging is also a lot of work, especially if you want to do great posts and are ambitious with it, blogging for free stops the moment you work with brands who want to use your reach and visibility for their purposes – advertisement and marketing, by making the blogger’s readers buy the clothes he or she’s wearing (and which they got from the brand). Of course it’s some kind of payment, but seriously: there’s no other business in which people would try to pay you with stuff or vouchers (which makes me twice as mad – because you get an opportunity to give them your money, so instead of being paid, you even pay them!) for your work (well, at least I hope so!), so, dear bloggers, if you want to do your blog as a hobby, please stop accepting every offer from brands because this is the moment when everything gets commercial, and if you work for them, you should be paid with something that you can use to pay your bills, buy food in the supermarket, etc. – I know this is a drop in the ocean but it’s something that needs to be said: if you want to blog for free stuff, please either let it be altogether (because that’s not the right reason to start a blog!) or do it professionally and stop accepting clothes only (!) as a reward for your amazing work, because it’s definitely worth more than a dress. ♥