Reading Reviews

the back of a woman in a tan trench coat that reads AWESOME on it

As someone who has background in theater, I have mixed feelings about reviews. I have friends and peers who avoid them like the plague, colleagues who take every word of every review to heart, and the elusive person who is somehow able to take the constructive criticism out of reviews and forget about the rest. I strive to be like the last person, but honestly? Getting reviewed is hard, especially if it’s a project that’s personal.

So, what does that have to do with fashion? Beyond the similarity that having someone criticize your outfit can be awful, reading reviews is how I’ve recently upped my online shopping game.

I have always loved online shopping-the convenience of buying at anytime from anywhere, it’s like getting a gift in the mail from yourself, and you can avoid dressing rooms (which I have a love/hate relationship with). There are so many good things from online shopping. And yet- there are some downfalls too. Even though I sometimes hate trying clothes on (I know, it’s weird- I think it’s the combo of getting undressed/dressed, body issues, and poor lighting), not being able to see (or feel) what you’re buying in real life can be annoying. And lead to even more annoying returns.

Yes, even though I can hate trying clothes on I do recognize that it is an important part of getting clothes you love and will wear! Part of what I love about online shopping is that I can do the try on in the comfort of my own home!

Usually, my online shopping is on point, but lately I’ve had a few orders that were just off. The size was completely wrong, the material felt so much cheaper that I was expecting, the tailoring was undone. Returns are often annoying and time consuming, and to save myself the pain of that, I have made it my mission to become a better online shopper. How I’m doing that? By reading reviews.

It’s not that I never read reviews before, but I often let my desire for the item be the driver of my purchase. But now? I’m paying attention to the reviews, I’m loving seeing how others react to pieces, and I’m grateful for the input of amazing strangers! While I don’t always go solely by the reviews, I’m finding that there are a few things in reviews that really help me shop better!

Reviewers who post pictures are saints among us. It’s so helpful to seee pieces on real bodies, as sometimes the models have been pinned into the clothes! When I’m looking at pictures, I look to see fit, how the garments drape, if there are any obvious issues. It’s so helpful to see the item being worn!

We’re all different, with different body types, preferences, etc. Naturally, that can lead to varying reviews. However, if I find that a bunch of reviews have the same comment or concern, I take it seriously. Recently, there was a skirt I loved-yet every single review said that the waist seemed to run small in comparison to the rest of the skirt, leading to bunching. It wasn’t just one or two reviewers, but a consistent review. I didn’t buy the skirt, as I trusted all the reviewers!

Often reviews can be incredibly general. Simply “fits great!”. I know it’s so easy to be that general, and I find myself sometimes doing the same thing. So, anytime a reviewer adds details, ie the waist is high, the darts aren’t even, etc I take it into account! Details are incredibly important (And I’ll try my best to add them in here!), and can make or break a garment- or shopping decision!

Obviously, when I’m online shopping I still think about how much I love the item, how I can style it, price, etc- but reading reviews has really helped me in my shopping. Do you read reviews? What do you look for in reviews?

xo RA

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Actress, avid shopper, and a lover of fashion. Hoping to make the world a better place one pair of shoes at a time.