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Should I Buy Lingerie Online?

Updated on November 16, 2014

Are You Ready to Buy Lingerie Online?

There are several reasons why you might question if it's a smart choice to buy lingerie online. Finding the right fit is a big enough problem without the added hurdle of not being able to see the products in person. On top of that, shopping for bras, panties, and other lingerie online presents a number of additional challenges:

  • It's hard to judge size, fit, and color online, meaning that you can't always be sure that you will like what you order. Sizing can vary from brand to brand, making it even harder to be sure you're making the right choice.
  • If you don't like something, it may be very difficult to return it. Many sites will expect you to pay for return shipping, and some won't accept returns at all due to the intimate nature of the products.
  • If you fall outside of the typical size ranges, it can be very difficult to find a website that caters to you for a reasonable price. This is particularly true when it comes to bras.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and the potential pitfalls are enough to scare many women off despite the increasing number of online lingerie shopping options available.

But don't run away just yet! I think that by following a few simple steps, almost any woman will be able to have a hassle-free experience when shopping for lingerie online.

Nothing is more important than knowing your size!
Nothing is more important than knowing your size! | Source

Online Lingerie Shopping Tip: Know Your Size

If you have any doubts at all about your bra size, you are not ready to buy bras online. Your own uncertainty combined with the inconsistency of sizing between brands means that the chances of getting a bra that doesn't fit you comfortably are high, potentially leaving you to deal with the aforementioned difficulty of returning lingerie bought online, or else waste money on something that doesn't fit. To help you get a better understanding of your body, try some of these steps:

  • Measure yourself. All it takes is a simple tape measure to get you a step closer to knowing your bra size. Start by putting on a bra that fits you comfortably with no bulging. Then, get your band size by measuring just under your bust. Your cup size can then be calculated by measuring around the fullest part of your bust and subtracting the two numbers. A difference of 1 inch is generally an A cup, 2 inches is a B cup, and so on.
  • Check with your brand. Some brands vary from the measuring technique described above, and may have you round numbers, add extra inches, or take additional measurements. If you already have an idea of which brand you are most interested in, be sure to check their specific measuring guide to get the best fit. Most brands have this information available on their website.
  • Try a variety! A number of things affect the fit of a bra other than the size, including the cut, style, and type of fabric. Everyone's body is different, so you might find that balconette-style cuts don't suit you, or that you need to adjust the size for strapless bras. One thing that will help you to identify the styles and sizes best for you is to try on a variety of bras. Visit a store with a wide variety, and take a number of different sizes, styles, and brands to the fitting room to refine your fit.
  • Getting measured by a professional can also be very helpful, but try to go to a specialty store or lingerie boutique to get the most accurate results. If you don't have one nearby, a shop that sells a variety of brands such as Nordstrom or Macy's is also a good choice. Victoria's Secret will also suffice for many women, but their limited sizes mean that women with outlier sizes should look elsewhere; some fitters will "round" you up or down (sometimes by several band/cup sizes) to try to fit you within their range.

Figuring out your bra size is 95% of the trouble; it's much easier to determine your size for panties and other lingerie, and it rarely takes more effort than knowing your height and waist measurement or pants size.

Once you're confident in your size, you'll be a lot closer to being able to easily shop for lingerie online. The next step is knowing where to look.

How did you find your perfect bra fit?

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It's almost time to shop!
It's almost time to shop! | Source

Online Lingerie Shopping Tip: Find Your Site

Online website has grown in popularity very rapidly in recent years, and despite the difficulties, this trend applies to buying lingerie as well. The rising number of online lingerie stores available means more options and better prices for women, but it can also lead to confusion as you try to find the site that is best for you. Here are some tips to help you narrow it down:

  1. Size comes first. There's a reason it was so important for you to figure out your size before getting started. Not every site caters to every size, and you don't want to waste time browsing styles and designs you like only to discover that the website doesn't offer your size. To make things easier, check the size range before browsing the selection. If you have a hard to find size, searching Google for "[your size] bras" can help you find some options.
  2. Filter search results. Even after finding a site that carries your size, it's important to remember that the size ranges for individual products may vary. Use the search/filter by size options to streamline your results.
  3. Check the return policy. Before placing your order, double check what the return policy is. Some websites allow returns on bras and intimate apparel, while others have stricter rules about which items can be returns. Additionally, you should check who is responsible for return shipping. If the website also has retail locations, you may be able to return items in store.

By no means should you feel obligated to limit yourself to one website for buying bras and lingerie online, but following these steps should help you to find a good place to start that will help you to be more comfortable with the experience.

Comparison of Popular Online Lingerie Stores

Bra Size Range
Return Policy
Band: 30-40, Cup: A-DDD
Return by mail and pay for shipping, or return in store for free. After 90 days, refunds are issued as store credit.
With many retail locations and high familiarity for many women, Victoria's Secret is a nice place to start buying lingerie online.
Band: 32-38, Cup: A-DD
Unworn, undamaged and unwashed items can be returned for free by mail within 30 days. Panties must be returned unopened.
Despite a limited size range, True&Co is notable for their unique size formula which takes shape into account, and their Home Try On boxes which let you try a variety of bras at home and only pay for what you keep.
Band: 28-58, Cup: AA-N
Unworn, unwashed items can be returned by mail at your expense within 30 days.
With an expansive range and "universal sizing" to help convert between brands, Her Room is great for those hard to find and hard to fit sizes.
Band: 28-48, Cup: A-K
Returns by mail or in store will be handled "fairly and reasonably" on a case by case basis.
With a wide range of sizes and many retail locations, Nordstrom seems to have the best of both worlds when it comes to convenience.
One benefit of shopping for lingerie online is saving money.
One benefit of shopping for lingerie online is saving money. | Source

Online Lingerie Shopping Tip: Shop, Don't Drop

Flattering, well-fitting bras and lovely, lacy lingerie can be expensive, especially if you wear an uncommon size or style. Utilizing a few simple techniques can help you to stretch your lingerie dollar further, whether you're shopping for everyday essentials or something sexy to slip into for a special occasion.

  • Check for discounts. Before you check out, make sure you do a quick search on Google or your favorite deal sites. Taking a few seconds to search for "[site] promo codes", or checking the websites social media pages for special offers can save you a pretty penny. If you can, be sure to take advantage of other discounts, such as free shipping and newsletter sign-up bonuses as well.
  • Shop the sales. Just because your buying lingerie online doesn't mean you can't still browse the clearance rack. Most websites will have a sale or clearance section where last season's undie styles will be reduced in price. If you have a favorite site, try to learn when their seasonal or semi-annual sales are, as this is usually when the widest range of products will be marked down.
  • Care for your products. Your new lingerie set might be expensive, but if you treat it well it will be a good investment. Follow the care directions listed on the tag or website carefully to make your lingerie last longer and save money in the long run. Don't be afraid to hand wash and air dry! Repeated rounds in the washer and dryer will lead to more wear and tear.

By making the most of your money and taking care of your lingerie, you can save a significant amount of hassle when shopping for lingerie online.

Should You Buy Lingerie Online?

Now that you've got all that knowledge under your (garter) belt, we're back at the original question: should you buy lingerie online? Well, if you've followed the tips above to find the size, style, site, and price that is just right for your needs, there's no reason why you shouldn't!

Shopping for lingerie online gives you access to a wider range of items than you'll be able to find in most retail stores, which is particularly useful for those who already have a hard time shopping for bras and lingerie. Hopefully this guide has made you feel more comfortable with the idea of typing instead of swiping for your next lingerie purchase!

Do you feel comfortable shopping for lingerie online?

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© 2014 Cheez Writes


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