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Advice! And a huge giveaway! And pretty things!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


As someone who's perennially on the road (and constantly connected to a computer/iPad/smartphone), I shop online a lot. A LOT, a lot. Usually, it's hassle-free and easy to do. Usually. Then there was the time I bought the pricey Dries Van Noten electric blue heels in a fit of shopping excitement on final sale, only to realize upon arrival that they were a) too small and b) too tall and c) absolutely unreturnable. Those shoes are sitting in the closet. I'm thinking of turning them into an art display.

So when AmEx Membership Rewards (client and sponsor) asked me to blog about my worst online shopping mistakes — and also prove how savvy I could be, now that I've suffered these unfortunate mishaps — I jumped at the chance.

Oh, but that's not all. Those Dries shoes are among my biggest shopping pitfalls. But what I really what to know is: What's your biggest online shopping mistake? Leave it in the comments, and I'll be picking one lucky commenter to win $250 in gift cards (to Saks, Zappos.com or Neiman Marcus) or some cool fashion finds.

To enter the contest, all you need to do is leave a comment here with your worst online fashion shopping disaster. We'll randomly select a winner to get the $250 prize. It's open to everyone. So spill: What (too small, too tight) skeleton tees do you have in your closet?

*The above Alexander McQueen shoes have nothing to do with this, other than they strike me as something you might buy and regret later due to impracticality. And the fact that you could have gotten, like, a car instead.

47 comments :

Crystal said...

There was the time when I wanted to buy two of the same dress but they only had one at the store, so I went online to buy and they only had it in petite. I ordered it anyway hoping it would work and it was so short you could see my bum! Learned my lesson there.

Brandy said...

I bought vintage necklaces and bracelets on eBay. Turns out they were horrible plastic. Buyer Beware!

inspirationfiles said...

I bought a "women's size Medium" Lacoste polo on ebay only to receive it and learn that it was a children's size XL. It was very short (think midriff baring), very wide and the seller was very unresponsive. It went to Goodwill.

Ruth Barzel said...

I bought several final sale sweaters at jcrew.com because the prices were so good. When they arrived, none of them fit! So much for the great deal. I gave all of them to my daughter. She was happy, but I learned my lesson. No more final sale purchases without trying them on first!

Carrie said...

I once ordered eight pairs of shoes at the same time and they were all terrible. Luckily it was Zappos and they were cool even though I felt like a total jerk returning all of them.

CaitieBird said...

Yeah, I once bought a dress online on "final sale," so non-returnable, which of course didn't fit. But the kicker was that I had very stupidly and mistakenly put two in my online shopping cart, so then I had two identical dresses that didn't fit and I couldn't return, because I am apparently a moron.

allison said...

once, after a bad break up, i brought a beautiful, too-expensive marc jacobs dress on gilt group to help make myself feel beautiful again. turns out, i ordered it one size too small and then totally missed the return deadline - so not only did i have a dress that made me feel bigger rather than beautiful, i was stuck with it! totally my fault, and i ended up donating it - so i at least hope someone else enjoyed it... lesson learned: never online shop while broken hearted.

DWJ said...

I am a fashion girl, not a sports girl. I wanted to buy my husband a gift, great tickets to see Carmello Anthony against the Wizards, really expensive tickets. Yeah I bought them for a game in Denver...not DC. Oops!

Krista said...

I couldn't decide between three different bags. I ordered one, but it was backordered. When it finally arrived, it looked ridiculously huge on my short self. Despite being wide, it wasn't very deep & didn't zip when my stuff was inside. While on an airplane, my wallet & cellphone fell out of it and I didn't realize this until I walked past those darn security doors. As you might imagine, it is very difficult to go back through those doors without a photo ID or boarding pass. The cursed bag has been sitting in my closet ever since.

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

anything with final sale..that always makes me weary! i bought a pair of shoes that didn't fit at all..luckily was able to sell at 2nd time around!

Kiki said...

One holiday season I found this crazy red sequined dress on eBay. I figured with the right accessories I could make it work, but when it arrived I realized it was simply doomed for the Goodwill pile.

Imagine my surprise when the next year one of my best friends shows up to my holiday party wearing THE EXACT SAME DRESS. She was so excited to have found it at the Goodwill, and she managed to pull it off.

ceceUNedited said...

Well... I was in a shopping craze on ideeli.. and I bought these shoes in a red tag sale.. Non returnable of course.

I was like OMG I must have them!! I get them in the mail... wear them out too! Few days later... my ex (bf at the time) comes over and is like... YOU DIDNT TELL ME YOU GOT THOSE!!!

Why did he also buy those shoes for me... Final sale... same color, size and style. SMH

FAIL!

-Chelsea

Lauren said...

the one, and only, time that I bought a dress from ebay (cashmere, cowlneck perfection). It was a brand I'm familiar with but it fight like a junior's item. not. pretty. Now I avoid final sales like the plague unless I can try on the item first.

D'Rae said...

I love boots, but find it nearly impossible to find a pair that fit my muscular calves. (17 inch diameter!) I feel in love with Fryes boots! I ordered a pair, knowing full well that they wouldn't fit my calves and took them to a cobbler to stretch the shaft. Well, it didn't work. They still didn't fit and I was left with a pair of $250 boots that I couldn't wear or return!!!

Virginia said...

I have six (yes, SIX) too-small final sale dresses hanging in my closet still with tags! If they weren't such gorgeous pieces I'd happily sell them but instead they are my motivation to trim down a bit AND to be sure it will fit BEFORE hitting the submit order button!! (I look at the size guides on EVERY website I shop now - we all know not all sizes are equal!)

Heather M. said...

Every single time I've bought myself a pair of shoes online I've had to return them . Every time. My feet are picky about shoes, so it's not a size thing. Just really picky feet. You'd think I'd learned my lesson after enough tries, but I keep looking and trying. Maybe once it'll work out.

Abby said...

I ordered a few skinny jeans on sale from a store that won't be named. I thought I was buying the same style and size I already have, but when they arrived, they were definitely not. Jeans are usually too wide and long for me, but these were way too short and slim! There's nothing more uncomfortable and worse looking than skinnies that are too small. They went back.

Mary-Kate Hopkinson said...

Pretty much any designer-Target collab item, but specifically: The Erin Fetherston bunny-print dress. So freakin' cute. Alas, cut without those with breasts in mind. Shame! But not my fault. I am otherwise a MASTER online shopper.

Brooke said...

I just recently bought a swimsuit on jcrew.com in a size too big because I loved the color that was sold out in my size. Of course when it came it is way too big. It was on sale so I can't return it. I went back and bought my size in a different color. It fits great, still not sure what to do with the big suit.

Joanna said...

I'm guilty of ignoring sizing charts and just getting what I think would work. That strategy sometimes works if I know a brand well, but usually is not a great idea.

Katie said...

I found an incredible deal on a pair of dress pants on eBay. Favorite designer, similar to a pair I own, etc. The only problem: they were one size larger. I figured I could easily have them tailored with the savings and still come out ahead. When they arrived, I tried them on, only to have them completely fall off; they fit a good 3-4 sizes too large. I've been wary of eBay for clothing purchases since and stick to purchasing accessories.

Hyperchondriac said...

i bought a ticket to Brussels on a whim, a NON refundable ticket I might add. only to find out later that I had to work and that there was no getting out of it. sigh. bye bye brussels.

Melissa said...

I've fallen victim to J.Crew final sale twice. The first time I was able to give the items to my younger and thinner sister. The second time I got stuck with special sizing swimwear. It's been two years and that bikini is still not OK to wear in public.

fa said...

If I'm buying something online, I'm usually desperate and in a hurry. Never a good mix. The worst of the worst happen when I get suckered into a big brand name on one of the online deal sites. Always too young, too old, too tight, too short.

Ach-Attack said...

A few months ago, I bought this awesome hardcore "motocross" dress off of Gilt. It was this great dark green tweedy color (my fave!) and would have been perfect for winter with tights and boots.

Its one of those dresses that has a full length zipper down the entire back. I ordered my usual size, tore into the box when it arrived, only to discover I could barely zip it over my butt. I'm fairly petite, so I'm not sure if it was sized for jr high girls or what. Needless to say, it was a huge bummer.

FutureLint said...

I bought a really cool marching band jacket from 1922 a few years ago but I'm scared to wear it (I don't want to wreck it!) So it sits in the closet, an unworn work of art... maybe I should hang it in the hallway so at least it gets seen by someone other than me...

Sabrina und Paulina said...

A shopping mistake I have committed several times is buying shoes that don really fit. I always think I'll wear them til they're comfortable, but no. i just don't wear them, BECAUSE they are so damn uncomfortable.

Lesley said...

I was obsessed with the Lanvin for H&M faux fur coat last fall. I bought one on ebay, only to realize it was too big. I loved it so much though that I bought another in the correct size, planning to resell the first one. It's still sitting in my closet!

Mami2jcn said...

My biggest online shopping mistake was using my debit card to make a Paypal purchase. My Paypal account was hacked into and my checking account was raided. Credit cards are protected, but sadly, checking accounts are not.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

osaka said...

so cute!

SDWrenn said...

My sister bid early on a tiffany item for me on ebay for xmas. A few days later she won ... of course she won, she hadn't realized she had moved the decimal point over. whoops.

Elena said...

My online shopping mistake was to press "buy" button three times by accident. My card was charged three times, and I had to call the bank a few times to resolve this issue.

elena150980@yahoo.com

Thu said...

I searched online forever to find my boyfriend the perfect bag to carry to work. I bought it for him for Christmas, well ahead of time, and was pretty proud of myself for finding something just right. Came Christmas time, and his mother had bought him the SAME EXACT BAG. I had to send the bag back, but I couldn't find the packing slip. Thankfully, the site had a generous return policy. Still, I was left without a Christmas present for the dear boy and a boat-load of embarrassment.

Karen U said...

Sigh. I bought Hunter boots from Zappos only to find out that they didn't fit over my calves. I then had to buy the short ones that were made for "athletic calves" which... since I'm not athletic, is code for chunky. Sigh.

Allison said...

It's one that I didn't even know that I made! I was home for Christmas and going through old clothes with my mom when we found a prom dress contestant that I had ordered online back in 2004. It didn't make the cut, but it didn't make it back either- $100 down the drain for basically a rayon slip dress!

MC(B)Y said...

My biggest mistake was buying a super cute final sale mini-dress despite reading reviews that it was a narrow cut (I am not and will never be narrow). I spent $30 attempting to have it let out at all the available seams, added Spanx, and still couldn't get it to go over my hips. It's sitting in my closet waiting for spring to roll around before I give it to Goodwill.

miss garlic said...

i shop online way too much to have one moment. was it the time i somehow subscribed to receiving a very expensive and completely stinky body wash once a week? or the time that i ended up buying three of the same necklace because? who knows. i'm sure my best story is yet to come...

Catherine said...

Mine? Ordering a skirt that looked mustard yellow online but definitely ended up being a disgusting shade once it came in person.

pablohoney@gmail.com

Marnie said...

Oversized overall shorts.

livinginlancaster said...

Ugh, did not notice that the eBay seller was a smoker and the dress I got stunk up my living room as soon as I got the box open. There was no redemption for that garment. :(

Andi Cunningham said...

I bought what I thought would be a beautiful vintage leather blazer on eBay, only to see that it looked like super cheap vinyl once it arrived. No returns of course, and lesson learned on vintage eBay purchases!

Lisa said...

Every time I buy rain boots online, they end up being too big. But by the time I realize this, I've worn the boots too much to return them. So here I am, sitting around with two pairs of boot warmers in my too-big wellies.

S said...

I ordered a vintage dress on ebay that had a gorgeous print. However it was washed incorrectly by the seller and the linen skirt shrunk way above the lining and was lopsided. Now I'm trying to figure out if I can salvage the fabric to make a pillowcase out of it or something instead :)

cw said...

I bought a whole bunch of clothes without looking at the sizing guide (I normally always wear a 12). Everything was way too big and I couldn't return it....argh

Anonymous said...

On a chilly day recently I bought 10 pairs of beautiful wool socks, but now I know that there's no way I'll ever where most of them.

shannoncarman at yahoo dot com

CassK said...

Combining pain killers for an illness with a day of combing through etsy led to a million delightful little packages arriving at my house the next week, all charming but neither needed nor affordable. Oops.

BM said...

I bought a top on ebay. The seller forgot to mention that is was a youth size! I was shocked when a minature version showed up!