Online shopping for everday items like groceries or electrical goods may be quick and convenient, but how easy is it when you’re looking for new clothes? Dean Anderson from Saint Crispin Bespoke Menswear discusses why buying clothes online can sometimes be a frustrating, costly and time-consuming experience.
The advent of Covid-19 means the switch to online shopping has been immense. High street and shopping giants like Debenhams and Arcadia Group are literally being eaten alive by the giants of the internet world like ASOS and boohoo.
The convenience of online shopping has consequences including fewer ‘physical’ shops to visit. If you are purchasing certain objects of a regular size and shape, it’s a no brainer. A few YouTube reviews may suffice before buying electrical goods and gadgets with another big tick for food and household items.
How many of these items do you actually think about returning? Few I’m guessing. However, what’s your experience of online shopping for clothing?
In my experience, it’s not the answer that many had hoped for. Looking at clothes on a flat screen with no opportunity to feel the fabric or viewing them on a model who is far from your size or shape is at best disheartening.
Eventually you select your clothing and hit the send button excited that your curated range of clothing will be the answer. The fortunate receive the order without costly custom tariffs (part of the challenges of shopping ‘internationally’ now) or maybe the parcel ‘goes astray’ in a dark corner of a warehouse or gets taken literally from your front doorstep.
Inevitably the reality of receiving your carefully selected clothing turns out to be a frustrating, costly and time-consuming experience.
First there is trying everything on, often in a room with poor lighting and no full-length mirror. You quickly discover the fit and quality are not up to scratch so have to pack all the items back in the box, fill in the returns slip and join the queue at the post office. Some might decide to reorder in a different size or try a different style and go through the whole process all over again. It seems a complete waste of time and money. Some will take a ‘that will do’ approach so do not return the items or maybe they have in their heads that it can be altered.
It all feels and looks like, too much hard work for most customers. What happened to the good old days of shopping off the high street where parking was easy and where good old fashioned ‘customer service’ was on offer when you walked through a real, not virtual shop door?
Imagine being able to book your own shop for an hour? Greeted at the door with a smile, a cup of delicious coffee, a comfy seat with someone who was interested in you rather than some virtual automated assistant who can’t see you let alone understand a body shape.
Somewhere where the shop owner is passionate about the clothes he is recommending. Someone who really spends time getting to know your requirements. Someone who understands completely the meaning of fit and can make sure that the clothing created fits your body shape, height and scale perfectly. In other words, a VIP Michelin three-star shopping experience.
Does this type of exclusive destination shopping exist outside of Saville Row?
We can report it is alive and operating at Saint Crispin retail village where Dean Anderson has been running his bespoke men’s wear business for the past ten years. Destination shopping is something many will be searching for when coming out of lockdown. Somewhere convenient, with a Covid-free environment where shopping is a relaxing, pleasurable yet time efficient way of investing in garments of exceptional quality, fabric, fit and service.
In other words, slow fashion at its best.
So, which would you prefer? Waiting a few weeks in eager anticipation for your beautiful garments to arrive? Or experiencing that dreadful deflated feeling you get when you have been shopping online getting your immediate shopping fix with nothing to show for your time except grossly inferior garments that are not even fit to be worn more than a few times and ending up in the back of the wardrobe or being thrown away in the next wardrobe turnout?
For those who are looking to try this experience and add a few well-chosen pieces to their own wardrobe why not start with a shirt starting at £125 or a beautifully tailored suit for £650? This is about the same price as going online for a Hugo Boss suit without having to factor in the usual alteration costs.
Maybe you would like to gift this experience to a friend with a Saint Crispin gift certificate. Go online to www.saintcrispin.co.uk or call 01604 589907 to make an appointment.
Saint Crispin Retail Village, 22 Kent Road, Northampton NN5 4DR. Visit us online at www.saintcrispin.co.uk or call 01604 589907