Lindsay’s Guide to online shopping in Canada!

Which online clothing stores ship to Canada and which ones don’t?  What are the shipping costs?  Are prices listed in USD or CAD?  Get a listing with this info at the bottom of this post.  For more tips on shopping online in Canada, keep reading!

Things to consider when shopping online:

Budget – make one!

Fees – shipping, returns, taxes and duties.

Sales – make sure you don’t miss them!

Fit – if it doesn’t fit decently, you aren’t going to wear it are you?

Fabric – For me, if I have to dry clean it or iron it then it’s a no-go!

The listing – Consult the handy chart that I put together to see if a company ships to Canada and what their shipping and return fees are like!

If you want more detail, keep reading!

 

If you read my “About me” page, then you know that I live in a small city (population- about 60,000) and I have 2 young kiddos (ages 2 and 5).  I feed my addition to buying clothing by shopping online mostly for 2 reasons.  1.  We don’t have very many stores around here for me to actually shop at.  The nearest Old Navy is about an hour and a half drive from my house).  2.  It’s just a weeeeeee bit difficult for me to shop with my kids.

Budget

I have a pretty small budget to spend on clothing (yes I put money aside in a special account for clothing purchases every two weeks and if there is nothing in the account, I don’t buy anything…mostly lol).  So, with this small budget, I want to make sure I get the most bang for my buck which means I’m pretty concerned about shipping prices and sales.

 

 

Fees – shipping and returns

Many stores have free shipping if you spend over a certain amount, so I will wait until I have money and there are enough items at that store that I want and I’ll spend the minimum amount to get the free shipping.  If I am completely in love with an item I will order it from a store that charges shipping though.  But first, I might see if I can find a very similar item at a store that provides free shipping.  Watch for the type of currency that is listed on the website!  I have gotten caught this way…I go to a website and I think well, 12$ shipping isn’t THAT bad, totally forgetting that it’s $12 USD!  So that’s more like $16 CDN…yikes!

 

 Sales

I also watch the sales in my favorite store in a few different ways.  Sometimes I’ll just go visit the site online and check it out.  I also get emails from my favorite stores with special promotions and I use shopstyle.ca.  If there is a particular item of clothing that I am very interested in (say a specific skirt from Joe Fresh), I will find that skirt in the shop style website (by doing a quick search on the site).  Then click the little bell icon under the pic of that skirt.  The site will send me an email alert the second that skirt goes on sale.

Shopstyle is also good if say you are looking for a grey tee shirt for example.  You can go to shopstyle.ca, search women’s grey tee shirts, and it will bring up tons of grey tee shirts that you can buy online.  This is the Canadian version of the site so these stores will actually ship to Canada from what I have seen.

Note:  DO NOT buy something just because it’s on sale!!  I have  been sooooooo guilty of this in the past!  I am still trying to kick the habit actually and I end up with items that just don’t fit right or aren’t my style so I’m not comfortable in them or I have nothing in my closet to wear the item with…yah…it’s bad…don’t do this lol!

Fit

Trying to find the right size is a challenge even when you are able to try on items at a store.  Getting the right size when you order online is pretty tricky as well.  I take a tape measure and measure the relevant parts of my body and store the measurements in my phone for easy reference.  Then I take advantage of the sizing charts online for each item I’m looking at.  I also look at the reviews (if any) of the product to see if people are talking about how the item fits.  When you are looking at the sizing charts, choose the size that fits the biggest part of you.

For example, for pants, if you have wider hips/thighs and a narrower waist (like me), order the size that will fit your hips/thighs and then have the waist taken in (or wear a belt).  For me, styles like a wide leg culotte type of pant fits really well because the legs are looser.  I order the pant to fit my waist and I end up with a perfect fit that I don’t have to alter or belt.

If you are traveling to a place that has some of your favorite stores, try to pop in and try on a few classic pieces.  Try things that will still be in the store in the months to come, like a basic skinny jean, or a classic tee and see how they fit.  Grab a couple of different sizes and take a few dressing room pics for reference later on.  This will help to give you an idea of how a particular brand fits you.  For example, I have some pants in my closet (that fit) that are as small as a size 5 and some are as big as a size 12 (brought in at the waist).   On average I’m a size 8 or 10 though.

Fabric 

One of the first things I do when I see a clothing item that I like in a store is touch it to see how it feels, if it stretches and is it see through.  Can’t do that with an online purchase can you? Lol  So what do I do?  I do a little research about different types of fabrics and fabric combinations.  For example if the description says the item is made of 98% cotton and 2% spandex, that tells me that the item will have a bit of stretch to it, but not too much, it will likely shrink when I wash it (if it’s not already preshrunk cotton) and it’s probably not too see through.

Then I’ll look at the reviews for that item to see how other people are describing the feel of the material.  I really appreciate the people who take the time to review a product online.  It give me so much good information that I try to review items that I buy whenever I can to return the favor.

When it comes to fabric, if I can’t throw it in the washer machine to clean it, I probably won’t buy it!  It’s waaayyyyy too time consuming to bring things to the dry cleaner!  Also, if it needs to be ironed after washing, I probably won’t buy it…no time to iron!  Sometimes I just pick stuff up off my floor that I wore once a few days ago, give it a shake, inspect for visible dirt and put it on!  Love it!  So, look at the description of the item online.  If it says dry clean only, you might want to consider another item…or maybe not…totally up to you!  And if you are concerned about wrinkles you may want to avoid items that are 100% viscose or rayon.  Perhaps look for a blend of materials instead.   

I have started a listing of clothing and shoes stores that ship to Canada, and noted ones that don’t!  Also, I captured what their shipping and return costs are like.  I’ll update this list periodically as costs change (which they do from time to time).  I will also continue to add stores to the list.

If you would like to have the listing, sign up below and it will be sent to you!

Subscribe here to receive your FREE listing of Online shopping (for clothing) in Canada!