I always knew they existed — I have seen their chic dresses, sexy heels and cool tops. I am talking about Topshop. I got even more excited when I found out they opened a store in NYC, although I live in Denver, Colorado. I must say, things come around a lot slower around here, and don't get me wrong, there are nice stores here, but it's not to the point where they satisfy my fashion cravings.
This is when the beauty of online shopping comes in handy. My friend Sophie loves to shop online. She says that it's the best because she can buy things anytime, even at two in the morning, not have to worry about driving to the mall, (and not finding anything at the mall!), and in most cases, there's no sales tax, a small shipping fee, and usually, the return and exchanges are easy.
I must say, I was never comfortable with buying clothes online. Shoes and bags, I'm OK with. With clothes, things are different simply because every brand has slightly different sizing and all. Topshop was no exception. It's from the UK, and I know sometimes the equivalent of those sizes can be confusing — look at H&M!
One day, as I was looking through tons of pictures as always — new trends, jackets and coats for Fall and Winter. And there it was. I fell in love with this striped knit jacket from Topshop. I looked at the price, and fell in love with it even more — it's only $80!
I had to go to the store — but wait, there is no Topshop here in Denver! As I envied those folks in NYC, I went online. I quickly navigated myself to look for the jacket and there it was! I want, I want! Pause. What is my size?
Suddenly, I was lost. I usually wear a 2 or 4, depending on the brand. I also have jackets and tops that run rather small or large. While all those thoughts kept going around my head, I looked up on the sizing chart. Hmm . . . I think I am 4, but I don't want it to be too tight since it's a knit jacket . . . oh well, let's just order 6 in case, and if it didn't fit, I'd just exchange it. Before placing an order, it suddenly dawned on me that in case this size didn't work out, I better check on the return policy. Just in case. I'm not sure if that was a sign of something, but I looked. And I discovered many things I did not know. At first, I did not know Topshop's merchandise all ship out from UK. Thus, $15 shipping charge makes sense. Then I realized another thing. What if I wanted to return or exchange something? Sure, you can either return it in person at their stores but that is not my option. According to their website, if you wanted to return or exchange an item, you have to ship it back to their UK warehouse at your own expense. Hmmm . . .
Now I'm determined to make my purchase more "oops wrong size" free. I certainly don't want to go through with shipping the item back and forth till I get it right. It's not only time consuming, but also could end up being costly. I carefully studied the sizing chart, I realized, I needed some real people's opinions. Of course, the chart gives you the idea to narrow down which size you could possibly be, but just in case, to double check it, I did my own research.
I googled the "Topshop sizing review" and voilà! There were a few out there, but one forum was particularly helpful — Facebook. People with the same problems come together and discuss the sizing. Some argue Topshop's sizing runs smaller. Others disagree.
In the end, I ended up getting a 6 — I figured if it's bigger rather than smaller, I could live with it. I haven't gotten the jacket just yet, because I just ordered yesterday, but I'll keep you posted on the sizing. I must say the forum, like the one Facebook, did help me tremendously, sometimes a sizing chart won't do justice. Real people's opinions really do count.
So will I shop online again? Yeah, sure. But do some research beforehand, and read the fine print in case you don't like it, or it's too small or too big, or it's not what I thought it would be, or whatever the reason may be. As for me, for now, I'm waiting and hoping that all the research and reading will pay off.