Internet shopping gives you the whole world at your fingertips, but sometimes your local shop can be exactly what you need.
Internet shopping or shop shopping?
Internet shopping means you can
- easily compare lots of different possibilities
- set your budget and stick to it
- choose from a wider range than might be available on your local high street
- try things on with a range of your existing clothes, in your own home, and at a time which suits you
But it also means you
- can’t see the quality of the material
- may have to pay postal charges (for your order and sometimes for returns as well – check)
For some people, shopping in physical shops, with friends or family, is part of the point of shopping. Supporting local high streets and local business, rather than internet giants, may also be important to you. It might also mean you come across a one-off bargain (perhaps in a vintage or charity shop you pass, or at a market stall).
For many people, a combination of internet and real shops is the perfect solution. You can spend some time looking online to see what you like and what’s around, and then hit the shops to see for yourself. Some sites like Primark allow you to check out stock online, but you need to go to your local shop to buy it.
Good shopping websites
The main high street fashion names all have good, efficient websites; check the details of postage charges, delivery times, and arrangements for returns carefully. At the cheaper end of the market, New Look and H and M both offer a wide selection; slightly more expensive and fashion oriented are Top Shop and Zara. Next is perhaps not so exciting for teenagers, but it does have a solid range of good quality basics, and its delivery service is very efficient.
Asos is an online-only operation, with a huge range of styles at a wide range of prices.
If you’re trying to be more conscious about what you buy – buying fewer but better clothes that you know are ethically made – try Community Clothing which makes a small range of classic basics in Britain. The prices may be slightly higher than you’re used to, but the quality is high, and you’ll be helping to support jobs and a more sustainable approach to fashion.
Some girls like to buy from buyer and seller sites like Ebay and Depop. These can be a good way of finding more unusual items, often at a good price. Some things are new, some are “gently worn” – check carefully.
However you buy on the internet, make sure you understand how payment works, and what you can do if things go wrong: check out our information on consumer rights.
Shopping in towns and cities
You and your family and friends will know the best places to shop near you. Some towns have a good range of individual local shops as well as the high street chains, and it’s good to support them if you can. Many towns also have local markets.
Most towns now have a good range of secondhand and vintage shops. Some are better than others, but if you have the time to look carefully and with an open mind you can find some real bargains – and, almost more importantly, something unique. Most things can be gently machine- washed at home and if you can do simple repairs and alterations to your second-hand bargains you’ll be able to dress in an original way without spending much money.