Kate Livingstone: Cyber shopping isn’t for everyone

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I’ve never been someone drawn to the idea of buying clothes on the Internet but between work and family commitments and helping to look after the grandchildren I never seem to have time to get to the shops these days.

Because of that and the fact that my wardrobe is in dire need of a little updating I decided to give this online shopping business a go. How hard could it be after all?

Emma is already a fan, always having packages being delivered from places like Next and ASOS.

So I went online, chose a few things that looked nice on the lovely lady modelling them, entered my payment details and hit the OK button. Done. All from the comfort of my living room.

I even felt a little smug as I sat back and thought about all the time and energy I’d just saved by not trailing round the shops, trying on mountains of garments.

My package was due to arrive the next day which it duly did so I really can’t fault the delivery or the neat condition the items I had purchased arrived in.

The problem was that when I tried everything on only one of the six items I had bought fitted – despite them all being the same size.

Some were too big, some were too small. All five were, in effect, no use.

Feeling deflated I looked online to find out how to return the items and discovered I’d have to fill out a separate form for each one explaining what was wrong, then print those off and post them together with the clothes.

I also had to print off a label to stick on the package but couldn’t find any cellotape so had to traipse to the shops to buy some!

I’m sure those who shop online a lot are used to all this pallaver but I don’t think it’s something I could be bothered with again and to be honest I felt a bit bad about cyber-shopping in the first place knowing it’s one of the main reasons so many popular shops are having to close their doors.

So I’ll be making time in future to actually visit shops and try things on in changing rooms before buying them. Yes I’ll sometimes have to visit lots of places before finding anything but at least I’ll know then and there that it fits!

There’s also something nice about seeing and feeling fabrics up close. Plus, everyone knows you can’t have a trip to the shops without stopping for coffee and cake which always makes the whole escapade entirely worthwhile!