We acknowledged in the first part of our series about clothes shopping that we, as men, do not like it, or at least that it’s inconvenient.  We also pointed out that its necessary at some level.  That being said, another strategy to minimize the pain and get closer to defining your style, is to purchase clothes online.

This is not an easy task by any means, but it can be done and it can be a huge time-saver as well as save you some cash.   The problems is that you can’t try the clothes on or get a real sense of the material or color.  These are big problems.  Even when we can try clothes on, we buy ones that do not fit and/or we do not like.   Then they sit in our closet for 2 years and end up at Good Will.  So one way to look at it is to say, “Hey, Im gonna make mistakes anyway, why not save myself the hassle and time and get the goods delivered to my pad. “.   When you know you suck at something, you suddenly have a lot of options because all other options can’t be any worse than the first.  Sucking at something actually fosters creativity and unconventional thinking, (except in the movie Rudy).  Follow me Grasshopper?

Buying clothes on the internet is NOT an easy task.  Here are some guidelines to help maximize your chances of success when shopping for clothes online.

  • Stick To The Basics – Start buying basic items, socks, boxers, t-shirts.  Then work your way into some casual dress, like a pair of shorts, or a pullover casual shirt like a henley.  You pretty much need to stop there, with casual dress.  Do not try to buy jeans online.  I repeat, do not try to buy jeans online.  You have about a 3% chance of success, if that.
  • Return to Sender – This is the best part.  When you buy clothes online they send them to you in a nice box with a return (paid for) shipping slip.  So when you don’t like them, you just place them back in the box and drop them in the mail. It’s handy to identify a good private mail service near your home. Post offices have become like the DMV, which have become like soup kitchens.  Best to go private, like everything else in this country lately … unfortunately.  They will tape the box up for you, attach the shipping label and you are done.  Be sure to check the merchant’s return policy before you purchase.
  • Utah, Gimme Two! – Often times when making clothing purchases online it makes more sense to buy two sizes. If you are a tweener, say between a Medium and a Large, or between a Large and an XL, then just buy both as long as you know the merchant pays for return shipping.  Or you can do what we do and send the gear that is too large to your Fat Bastard friends.  (Fat Bastard is actually a size on the Dropkick Murphy’s website . We’re not mean … we’re  jocular).
  • Size Matters – Remembering your size within a brand will also increase your odds of keeping those deliveries.  Buying dress shirts for work or underwear are good examples.  You should know what size you are for a Banana Republic dress shirt, as well as a banana hammock from Jockey.  Those are low hanging fruit that you should always buy online.
  • Get Paid To Shop – We agreed that none of us like to shop.  Buying clothes online allows you to get paid while you shop, if you are one of the many that inch down the freeway in your metal coffin [cult movie reference].  Why not take 30-40 minutes out of your day to make sure you look good at work.  After all, Mr. Hand, If I’m here and you’re here, doesn’t that make it OUR time?

In addition to these strategies, buying clothes online relieves the pressure of making a decision on the spot.  It allows you to try on clothes in the privacy of your own home with proper lighting.  You can ask your (more stylish) friends for advice.  You don’t have some annoying dude in skinny jeans hassling you while you are half naked in some closet.

Here are some recommended online merchants where you can get quality threads often at a discount  – Gilt, JackThreads, Hautelook & Zappos.

Good Luck Lads!

Thanks For Reading !

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