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Buying Quality Clothing: The In-store vs. Online Experience

Where do you go when you need to select quality clothing for your wardrobe?

Modern technology has provided us with more options than ever before for our shopping. We can access all sorts of stores online, or we can locate stores nearby using our mobile phones.

Technology makes things quite convenient, but how does it impact the overall experience? How does shopping in-store compare to shopping online?

Get our tips for buying clothing online here

Shopping for clothing online

Online shopping is a huge convenience for many people, which tends to form the basis of its appeal. The stores are never closed – you can be shopping at any time, day or night and you don’t have to make a special effort with your own appearance. Additionally, it’s easy to compare prices, you don’t have to wait in any queues and you have access to a wide range of products.

You can often find great deals online as compared to in-store, but if you’re shopping for quality clothing, this is where the benefits usually end. Is that cheap price really a great deal, or is it because you are getting last season’s styles?

One of the major disadvantages of shopping for clothing online is that you can’t try the pieces on. You can’t touch the fabric or examine the clothing for quality. It’s difficult to get a perfect fit because it’s never a tailor that measures you for any ordered pieces.

In fact, quality and the overall process of “fast fashion” that has appeared online has become a real issue. Let’s say you’re looking for a nice dress to wear or a pair of dress trousers. You come across a website while searching online and the clothing they display certainly looks good. Of course, they’re using high-quality images and models to show the clothing, but this is often where the real experience ends.

Your package arrives in a couple of weeks and you discover that the picture you saw was deceiving. The fabric is a cheap synthetic and the garment is overall very poorly made. Do you have recourse? Can you send it back? Sometimes, but often you have no real idea of exactly where it came from. There are many examples of overseas factories selling directly online – they churn out cheap product and their offshore customers find that they can’t return poorly made purchases.

What is your next step? A lot of people simply donate or throw out the offending garments. This is becoming a real problem with a described “throwaway culture” and the implications this has for the environment. People purchase fast fashion, they don’t spend much and they’re not very excited by the pieces anyway, so they find it easy to simply throw them away.

This is not to say that you won’t find any quality clothing online – you can, but it’s often a gamble as to whether it will fit you as you’d like or appear as expected. It’s very difficult to judge just by looking at a picture. If your preference is still to buy online, we would look for a reputable business that is based within your own country. This usually gives you options to return clothing or have it adjusted to suit.

Quality clothing

Shopping for clothing in-store

For us, the in-store experience of shopping for quality clothing is the ultimate. When we say “quality”, we’re talking about the kind of garments that are made well, fit well and are sewn to last.

Let’s take a step back for a minute though – are there any disadvantages to shopping in-store? Firstly, you can’t show up whenever you’d like. Secondly, you might have to wait – it’s possible there will be people ahead of you being served. Lastly, it’s definitely more difficult to compare products and prices as you’re in a physical location. In our view though, the positives outweigh these disadvantages.

We can paint a picture for you; when you enter a high-end clothing store or tailor’s shop, you are greeted by a knowledgeable professional. That person asks you the right questions to understand what you need and what your preferences are. They measure you properly so that you can have tailor-made garments and they help you to choose the right fabrics, styles and cuts.

Buying quality fashion in-store helps to cut down on clothing wastage Share on X

While in-store, the fitter can point out the nuances of a fabric and its wearability. They can show you what quality means and where any vendors might have compromised on quality in order to achieve a certain retail price. One of the things tailors know very well is how fashion items have come to be made cheaply – they will always be able to tell you about the overall quality of an item.

Quality clothingImportantly, a tailor provides a “white glove” experience that is all about you. If you’ve shopped online, you know that any outfit is likely to look different on you than it does in a picture. An experienced sales team can assist in determining what color, fit, style and coordination will best suit your individual style and wardrobe needs.

An additional benefit is that a sales expert is very knowledgeable about “inside” industry news. They can tell you about designer or ownership changes within a company that you like and how that may have affected the merchandise. It’s the difference between shopping with a professional or shopping with a basic retailer.

The chances are you are shopping for quality clothing because your appearance is important. You need to exude a professional image or a highly polished look for special occasions. The difference you get in visiting a tailor really seals the deal on the in-store experience. A properly tailored outfit makes all the difference in your overall appearance. It shows you have taken care and helps convey those polished and professional images. If the sleeves are too long, the pant too full, the dress too loose or the make too “cheap” looking, you just don’t make the right impression. Our “old world tailors” at Family Britches can make sure you look your best with ensembles made for you.

Download our tips for buying clothing online here


Where should you shop for clothing, online or in-store? Perhaps it depends upon how you value your time and what you want your wardrobe to say about you.

With an emphasis on quality, durability and personalization, the in-store experience with a good tailor can’t be beaten. Any sort of “investment piece” like a good suit or a tailored dress is worth going into a store, where you are a valued customer with whom we want to develop a relationship.

As a general rule, those tailored pieces are made to last and can even be with you for a number of years. By comparison, looking for quality-made clothing online can be a real gamble. What you receive rarely looks like it does in the pictures on you, and you might find that the quality is not what you expected.

It’s always disappointing when what you receive online doesn’t meet expectations, but this is associated with another problem too – “throwaway” fashion. If it’s important to you not to contribute to this issue, then in-store is the best way to avoid it.

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