Tips for Shopping Online and My Favorite At Home Look Week #2

Pamela Lutrell in Work at Home style

Work at home week number 2 is almost over and I am still smiling.  A couple of readers asked yesterday about online shopping…so I am hear with a few tips.  And later will talk about what I am wearing above.


Pamela Lutrell shares the best online shopping tool

Here it is, ladies, your must-have tool for online shopping…the measuring tape! Please understand, I get how some of you are feeling…I love the store-front experience as well and hope so much that my favorite brands return with stores.  But, I have also done my share of online shopping and learned a few things.  I can understand if you are nervous about it.   Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Take your measurements: Bust, Waist, Hip, Leg length, height from shoulder.  Check them once a month if you believe there is reason that “fluctuation” has happened…if you know what I mean!  I fluctuate often!
  2.  When you find a garment you like, find the words Size Chart or Size Requirements…something like that and click on it.  Typically that is where you will use your measurements to determine the best size.
  3. Don’t ever assume that sizing is universal!  It never is and even can vary within the same brand…check it with every item.
  4. Your new best friends are the women who leave comments on the brand websites…read them.  They will often say things like, “Too Boxy. or Too big, size down your regular size. Or fits small. Or I LOVE IT.”  I find these to be very helpful and I do pay attention to what they say.  This is where you will find out if the customers like the fabrics or the garment construction is quality.  Also read everything they offer about the garment description.
  5. Look for brands that offer assistance.  Some brands have a pop up sales associate that will ask if you have any questions…go ahead and ask them if you do.
  6. Sign up for every free opportunity your favorite brand offers to save money.  I receive emails from all of my favorite brands to take advantage of pop up sales.  Chicos has a program called PASSPORT.  It is free. If you sign up for it, you get free shipping always, an additional 5% off whatever the price is, and notice of all sales. I even allow Chicos to text me pop up sales which lately have been up to 60% off regular prices. This program is free and does not involve a special credit card…so sign up for it if you are going to shop Chico’s.
  7.  Due to our current situation there are going to be more sales and special deals so stay on top of them and sign up for your favorite brand emails.
  8. Now, if you are a regular reader you will not be surprised when I say that you need to understand what you want to communicate with your wardrobe before you purchase something online.  What does the garment say about you?  Ask that before your shop.

Also, due to our current situation, I cannot tell you if return policies are going to change or tighten.  You need to speak with the brand if you have questions about returns.  In the past, I have had to be very careful with sale items at Dillards because many could not be returned.  I find it easiest when I can return items to the stores:  Macys, Dillards, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Soft Surroundings, JJill, Chicos are all located in my area and the returns to these places before the pandemic were very easy to do.  I cannot say if things will change in respect to this so it is always good to ask questions of the brands. KOHLS now accepts Amazon returns…I thought that was a smart move on their part just to get people in their stores.

Almost all of the brands send the garments with a return label which can be easily sent back to them.  Make sure you look for the return labels and hold on to them.  Sometimes I have used a stapler and just stapled the package and sent it back with the return label.  I do not purchase online unless I trust the brand and let me say I have ordered from Etsy Small Business Entrepreneurs often and never had a problem. I am sure someone, somewhere has, but I have not I believe Etsy vets them before allowing them to be represented there.  

If I have not answered your questions, then please let me know in the comments below!


Pamela Lutrell in a Work at Home kimono style

This was my favorite look for my second work week at home.  The floral kimono is old…I got it when my daughter was in high school!  I have always liked it and the way it has a more flattering design for a better fit.  I styled it with a V-neck top originally from Macy’s and with my Eileen Fisher olive green crepe pants.  These pants are so comfortable fo working at home and sitting at a desk long hours.  I have them in about seven different colors…I highly recommend them.  They can go with a pumped up professional look or a more work-at-home comfy look.  I topped it off with one of my oriental-style necklaces.  

Pamela Lutrell with accessories on kimonos

I would like to take this opportunity…first to thank all of you who have supported this blog! The support has kept me here and been so important to me. When I put a large amount of time into this, it helps to have the expenses covered.

I know times are tough right now for every single one of us.  I want to hang in there, but please know that many of the revenue streams for bloggers are changing…at least for now.  When I do a slideshow, if you click through to the garment or even the website the garment is on and you make a purchase, I received a small payment.  So, if I put up a garment from Talbots, and you click on it but purchase another garment on the site, I will still receive a payment….some are just a few dollars or cents but they can add up.  Even if you click through a Walmart item I place in the slideshow and then you do your weekly Walmart online shopping, I will get a commission.

Unfortunately, many of my favorite brands are placing these affiliate programs on hold for now.  I cannot put Macys or Dillards in my slideshows like I formally did.  I hope there will not be more.  But, for now I plan to keep curating the looks and hopefully generating a little income from them.  I do so much appreciate your support and thank all of you who have purchased through these slideshows. 

Now, let’s enjoy another one! I want to dedicate this one to weekend comfort! Yay!

Any more questions or comments about shopping online?? Please share… stay home…stay safe…stay hopeful, and…………

Remember, in our social distancing world, your smile is the way you send hugs!  


Now, it’s time (at the end of the day) for some rest and relaxation!  See you tomorrow!

By Pamela Lutrell



  1. What a beautiful kimono Pam! I can’t believe it’s from before these were trending! Good tips about online shopping. It really does help to know the size you wear in your favorite brands too. I do understand that sizes can vary in the same store, we’ve probably all had that experience! I have done online shopping because of the great sales. J Jill had 60% off on their sale styles yesterday and I took the opportunity to get a dress for next fall/winter and some summer tops. And you can’t go wrong with accessories like scarves and handbags that require no sizing (other than checking out the dimensions!) One of the first things I will do when this is over is walk into my favorite stores. I would not want to be relegated to online shopping because I can’t stand doing returns. It’s so important to me to try things on and get the full view before making a purchase. You are right about reviews. I especially appreciate the ones where they give their height and weight and body type. I do this when reviewing because that can really help another shopper. Let’s hope we never see the day when they close brick and mortar stores in favor of online shopping!

    1. These tips were most welcome, Pam. Thank you. I rarely purchase clothing online as I’ve been disappointed with both fabric feel and fit.
      I Think as long as stores I frequent re open after this pandemic , I’ll still go in to try on. I like to see myself from all angles before I buy, especially dresses, skirts, pants. Tops and jackets are easier for me. Thanks again. I love ve -neck looks and that kimono is lovely. A win win.

  2. Hi Pam, Thanks for the great advice. The fit issue is the reason why I don’t buy clothes online. I would rather try clothes on in a store and make a decision. Many times I try clothes on, the fit is fine but the overall look is not. That stays in the store.
    I see lots of cute clothes online but when you read the fabric content and you see a sundress 100% polyester — no thanks.

  3. Thank you for all of your tips, today, and for the comments thus far. I agree with everyone and like to touch fabrics, try on for fit, and see if colors work for me. But there have been some good sales lately and I have ordered with free shipping. I have made a folder with payment information and find it helpful to keep me organized. I ordered from your blog yesterday and look forward to getting my dress. Thanks.

  4. Hi Pam,
    Thanks for the online tips. I only order online from Talbots, Chico’s, J Jill, Nordstrom, and J Crew, and I usually know what size I am in their brands. Nordstrom offered 25% off everything recently, and I was able to get my makeup at a discount! The reviews are very helpful, and J Jill usually will tell you if you need to size down. I prefer shopping at the brick and mortar stores, but that isn’t possible right now. Some of the sales and free shipping are just too good to pass up! And I do like supporting my favorite retailers! I’ve been fortunate this year that everything delivered was perfect.
    Stay well!

  5. Pam, I buy extensively online from Chicos. I know their fit for my size and I am rarely disappointed. Would you mind consistently putting a link so you can take some credit for my purchases? I always go thru a blog when they point out something, but often I’m shopping on my own and would love toe give a blogger the credit. I could just pull up your latest post before I start to buy…After all, you keep me shopping!

  6. Thanks for this information about online shopping Pam. I’ve been experimenting, largely successfully now for almost a year and have found things that i don’t think I’d find anywhere else. I’m quite a challenge to fit, so the remarkable variety online has been a great find. I’ve learned some of the lessons you’ve just given us, “the hard way”. LOL. And your fitting tips are spot on! Deanna, in Canada

  7. I seldom shop in stores because I work long hours. I’ve learned the cut and sizing of clothes from my favorite retailers: Talbots, JJill and, increasingly, Chico’s. When returns were easy to the stores, I often ordered the same item in two different sizes. I’ve never heard a complaint from any of the retailers above for doing this. My sense was that all of these bricks and mortar stores were fighting to survive even before the current situation. While I think it’s a great time to pick up some bargains, and life will return to something resembling normal, this time at home has made me realize I just have too many clothes. I will be retiring in a year or two and I’m also realizing which clothes I’m actually going to wear at home. They are not the ones I thought I would wear. I wonder if others feel the same way, and if this too will be a challenge to the retailers.

  8. Pam, Thank you so much for addressing my question about on line shopping. It was so very helpful. I feel like I am armed now with the information necessary to make a purchase. Thanks again! Stay safe and well.

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