The Trials and Tribulations of Online Shopping for an Event
By Ella Seltzer
Have you ever had that one event invite where, even though you’re so excited to go, all you can think is, “but I have nothing to wear!” Well, that was my exact dilemma in the weeks leading up to DC Fashion Week, when I was in full panic mode with absolutely nothing to wear that was “fashion week worthy.” Even though I absolutely love shopping and all things clothing, most of my wardrobe that I am constantly adding to is geared more towards cute day-to-day outfits, and not the über trendy look I was going for. So with that, I began a fervent online shopping crusade in the hopes of finding my perfect fashion week luck. Unfortunately, this is not my style of shopping in the slightest, so it was more of the trials and tribulations of hideous purchases and returns. So, the next time you need to find that perfect outfit or are online shopping for any upcoming event, enjoy my laughable documentation of everything to not do or buy.
When I first started envisioning my dream outfit for fashion week, I knew I wanted to go trendy, something as unique in style, as the event itself. Unfortunately, of all the clothes I wear and cute styles I know, trendy stuff isn’t included in that, so my shopping was a bit off-target. My first attempt was through Revolve, with an I.AM.GIA reflective jumpsuit. Online, this looked absolutely perfect; a mix between sexy and professional, with a low zipper in the front but long sleeve to balance out the shorts. I must not have really been thinking about what reflective actually meant, because when it came and I took a picture with flash, I was so alarmed at how it looked. This outfit was my first fail of MANY in this long online shopping excursion, but definitely not the worst. I think the best way to describe this is as a mix between a construction worker’s suit, and utility/janitor overalls, in more of a romper version. The material was so thick and heavy it felt like a sack as it was lined with reflective trim that outlined it in the worst possible way, complete with a belt so heavy-duty it looked like an airplane seatbelt. So this marked purchase and return #1, costing $265.
After my first fashion fail, I was on the hunt again. I must’ve not been thinking or not learned my lesson, because I stupidly ordered I.AM.GIA once again, this time from Urban Outfitters. I don’t know what possessed me, but I decided white bootcut pants with black flames on the pockets and ankles, would somehow be a great idea. As I’m sure you can guess, it wasn’t. These pants were hands down one of the worst things I’ve ever purchased. Besides being obscenely long, the fact that these were white pants with lots of detailing made them look like a garish Halloween costume. I will say, the one redeeming quality about these pants, was that the fit was very flattering, despite the awful length, and just about everything else. So without hesitation, this became purchase and return #2, totalling around $163.
So now, after two failed purchases, I was getting desperate. I then went on an insane purchasing spree, which was two successes and two failures. Since the third time’s the charm, this was my third and final attempt at I.AM.GIA. If you can guess, it was a fail, for both halves of the awful two-piece set I ordered. This faux-latex skirt and bra top combo was by far the worst of the three I.AM.GIA purchases I made throughout this whole endeavor. Even though it looks amazing online, their stuff doesn’t really work out so well in person, unless you’re built like a model. The skirt clung in all the wrong ways and the material made it both sweat-inducing and so noisy every time I moved. The best, and by best I mean hilariously awful, part of the whole outfit was the insanely large pocket on the side of the skirt that basically constituted its own clutch purse. To make it even better, the skirt came with the same intense utility belt the first outfit had. Not pictured is the matching top, which was so fitted with that awful fabric and non-functioning zipper that I couldn’t even put it all the way on. With the matching top, this set became purchase and return #3 and #4, costing $209.88 to be exact.
On a positive note, the last shopping panic also led me to the two items I actually wore: an amazing (but later returned, also $209.88) blazer from Aritzia, and a fun, comfortable snake-print skirt from Urban Outfitters. So, the moral of my story almost $900 in purchases later, is that when you have an event you need to dress for, just save time and money to go to a store in person.