Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Things I Bought and Sent Back

The last few months have been particularly frustrating for online shopping.  Despite my valiant efforts to buy things, I've returned quite a bit.  Here are the lovely things that never made it into my wardrobe.


Clockwise: Seamstress of Bloomsbury 'Brenda' dress; Tara Starlet wool mini skirt; Clarks outlet 'Kaz Blues' boots, British Retro gingham dress; Miss L Fire for What Katie Did boudoir slippers; Boden 'Arianna' trousers.

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury 'Brenda' dress (£79) looked perfect, but I was disappointed to find it had an elasticated waist (I can't abide them), and was too short in the body for me anyway.  There was also something odd going on with the neckline, that I'm not sure a press would have fixed.  Such a shame, because those sleeves are glorious.
I tried the Tara Starlet wool mini skirt (£10 down from £60) which after careful measurement proved to be a whole dress size smaller than the size chart stated.  Too tight to tuck jumpers in.  Back it went, and they'd sold out in the next size up.
Clarks Outlet reduced their oxblood boots from £99 to £25, but they came up at least a half size small.  And they also were very dark in real life, they looked black, which defeated the object of buying red boots.  Again there wasn't an alternative size available.

The wiggle dress from British Retro (I think £50ish) wasn't on sale but they had a discount offer.  It was the first dress I'd tried from them and I was curious as to the fit.  It turned out that it fit snugly around my bust but was too loose around the tummy and hips. The dress would probably work better on pear shapes, but if you're hourglass like me then you might struggle.  Back it went!
I was a bit frustrated at all of these attempts to spend money, so I ordered something that's been on my wish list for an age - the boudoir slippers by Miss L Fire for What Katie Did (£79.50).  I was aware of how narrow Miss L Fire are and put off a purchase until one of the WKD staff helpfully measured the width of the front of the shoe for me. I was able to get my feet in their size 8s, but a few other things weren't at all right. Firstly, the back of the shoe was extremely narrow in width, and I would say the shoes run half a size small in terms of length. It felt like the whole shoe hadn't been scaled up properly for larger sizes.  Secondly, the quality wasn't as expected - there were visible wrinkles in the satin covering.  The diamond stitched lining, whilst looking pretty, wasn't actually quilted.  A bit of padding in 'slippers' would have been nice.  If you have petite feet these slippers might work for you, but I would not recommend these for Amazonian ladies.

In a final insult, the Ariadne trousers from Boden (£39.50 down from £89) were a spray-on fit, and in the red I looked like an elf!!
This isn't everything.  There were also the ill-advised skinny jeans from Boden (too long?! and not high-waisted enough), the velvet headband from Monsoon (looked ridiculous), and the Dolly and Dotty jacket (ran a size small and too short).
Overall, this is not very successful shopping, is it?  However, I can only get these brands online, and I like to try things out at home.  In the end, the odds were such that even after all of this fandango I did make two excellent online purchases that were worth the struggle, from House of Foxy, and Betty Blue's Loungerie.  You'll have to wait and see!  I haven't worn either of them yet.

How do you all shop?  Online or in real bricks and mortar stores?  And what are your shopping frustrations?


  1. Augh, what a PITA to have to send all that lot back. Do you have to pay for the postage on it all?

    I'm still prepared to buy garments online, but I am never, ever, EVER buying shoes online again. Most places don't do half-sizes, and I have fat feet, so even when I can get half-sizes it's still no guarantee that shoes will fit (looking at YOU, Clarks!).

    The BBC did a feature recently on 'serial returners' causing problems for shops, though the focus there is on people who wear something once then return it. ( If shops would sort their sizing out, making it easier to get the right fit by mail order, perhaps they'd have less of this problem.

    1. Clarks and Boden have free returns. The rest I had to pay for, except Tara Starlet as I proved the skirt measured differently to their online size guide.

      I send back over half of what I buy due to poor fit. It's not me changing my mind like some serial returners. I did see that piece. What a cheek wearing things then returning them!!

  2. I must say I'm not very much of an online shopper for clothes. I like to try on or at least feel the fabric before I buy. But I guess I'm lucky working in a city centre and being close to all the shops here, including some second-hand ones ... xxx

  3. Well you know me and my regular Ebay disasters, there will be one on the next blog post! I am loathe to try some places because of other peoples blog posts about sizing, but where I have tried I too have found Dolly and Dotty come up small. Lady Vintage and Collectif's sizing vary so much which is such a pain. I order Clarks to my local store and then just leave them if they are no good, that service is also free.

    It also annoys me that for some places the quality is not what you would expect for the price, another downside of having to rely on a picture alone.

  4. I don't buy new clothes so all my on-line shopping is vintage via eBay. In the 16 years of using it I honestly don't think I've had a bad buy, if it doesn't fit I simply sell it on.
    I've bought two pairs of new shoes in the last 6 years, both on-line. I'd worn Birkenstocks before so I already knew my size and the site my ankle boots came from (Schuh) helpfully had a few customer reviews about the size and fit.
    High street shops (other than chazzas & vintage shops) just don't interest me. xxx

  5. I almost never buy things online for this exact reason. Almost every online clothing purchase I've ever made didn't work out, and shipping to Canada is too expensive to risk it. :(
    I'm glad you were able to at least find a few things though, after all the duds! can't wait to see them. . .

  6. I prefer mortar and brick shopping - the idea of browsing through the endless racks is so very appealing to me - specially if I am going thrifting. I admit to shopping on line too and its usually a 2 miss 8 hit ratio. Unlike you I cannot exchange anything because our postal system is practically non existent.

  7. Sorry to hear about all your recent online failures! That is strange indeed about the elasticized waist on the Seamstress of Bloomsbury dress. I would have expected more from them. I hate elasticized waists as well! Also, that is too bad about the Miss L Fire shoes seeing as they've been on your wishlist so long. At least you can take them off your wishlist knowing they are a no. Looking forward to seeing what were the keepers! :)

  8. That's a shame that these purchases didn't work for you, I really hate when that happens.. Especially when you are really excited about something. I have The Seamstress of Bloomsbury dress, I was a little unsure about the elastic waist at first but the tie seems to cover it fine, I would like to find blue shoes to wear with it. Looking forward to seeing the purchases you are really happy with! x

  9. I don't know why, but the title of this post really made me crack up. I'm sorry your shopping adventures have been so unsuccessful recently! I hate it when I hold out such hope for an item that ends up not working out, especially if it's for a great price. Such a pity about those shoes and the SoB dress - they're both so pretty!
    I'd like to shop at brick and mortar shops more, but most of the things that I'm interested in buying are only available to me online. I do try to buy my vintage from local shops, though, since what they lack in convenience they tend to make up for it good prices.

    1. It is such a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin title, I tried a few and got fed up and short of time so just hit 'publish'!!

  10. I buy most of my Hell Bunny dresses from local stockist and winter (and autumn) shoes mostly come from local shops as well, but everything else I tend to buy online. there just isn't enough selection or my style of clothing available in brick stores so I have to buy online, and even then I rarely buy from Finnish shops. I'd love to shop in Finnish shops but they are more expensive than EU and UK stockists, even with the postage fees and don't have the same kind of selection as some bigger online shops have. Luckily I haven't needed to return anything, (except for some ill-fitting What Katie Did lingerie) because the postage fees are insane in Finland, especially when sending stuff abroad. Even if something doesn't fit, it's still probably wiser to re-sell the item instead of returning it, because returns can easily cost around 25-30€ per package :/

  11. You found trousers that were too long?! Who have they made them for?!?!?! What a load of disappointment and some of it is so not ok. Le sigh. I've realised that I don't think I've bought a single item of clothing from an actual shop this whole year. I'm wracking my brains but I really can't think of even going into a shop selling clothes this year - other than to look for the odd thing I'd seen online and failed to find in store. So I think that answers that question... The high street has gone so downhill in my eyes lately xx

  12. Well done for actually sending stuff back if it isn't right. I usually keep it anyway and don't ever wear it. Such a waste. And though you do seem to get some online shopping disaster garments, you also have some fantastic finds too. Can't wait to see some of the ones you kept!


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