At the end of May, I shared with you all my tips for shopping online. I talked about secondhand shopping and all its intricacies, vetting a brand that you are considering buying from, buying the right size and more. I realize now that I need to delve into some tips on buying the right thing for you, your closet and your life.

All of these guidelines can be used when shopping in-store, but we all know it is easier to return things in-person rather than when we have ordered something online. Therefore, we always want to shop wisely, but we really want to pay attention if that thing is going to be stuck with us for the foreseeable future.

I’m going to outline my tips through an example of something I recently purchased online.

I was gliding through Instagram one day and I saw @raeannlangas post about a promotional deal that was currently happening with the brand Universal Standard. I decided to look into the deal and see what was up.

The deal was for their standard crewneck t-shirt, the Tee Rex; during a limited period of time, these t-shirts were free. The buyer would only have to pay shipping, which was $10. I always want a t-shirt because I always wear t-shirts, so I decided to buy it!

Let’s pause for a second. I had already established that Universal Standard was a brand that I wanted to try because Raeann and other influencers had raved about them. I had one opportunity to try the brand in a ThredUp Goody Box, but discounted that situation because the fabric of the item was too itchy for me to even consider enjoying the item. They also have a very inclusive size range and their models are always diverse in size, race and gender identity.

Press play. I now needed to figure out what color I wanted to get the t-shirt in and what size I should get.

As I have mentioned before, my size ranges from an XXL to a 3X and a 20 to a 24 and after consulting the size chart and the reviews of the item, I deduced that I would be a size M or L, which is there 18-20 and 22-24. Then I had to think about how I was going to wear it to decide if I wanted a fitted look or an oversized look.

I hate tight clothes and I hate tight sleeves even more. I knew I would have the desire to both tuck the shirt in and wear it loose, so I went with the L. In hindsight, I was right to buy the L, but the M would have worked just fine too.

Next, I had to pick a color. I reflected on my closet. What colors were missing from my wardrobe? I already had several white tees, a black tee, a burnt orange tee, a gray tee and a couple of striped tees in varying colors, so those colors were off the table.

I then thought about what I would wear it with. Some people like to say that you need to think of a certain number of ways in which you will wear said item before you buy it. I don’t put a number on it, but if I start feeling guilty about buying the garment when I have plenty of money in my bank account, then I know it may not be the best idea.

I knew I would wear it with solid colored bottoms, jeans and for layering. I also knew that I was trying to add more color into my wardrobe. This was also the time for me to consider if I would actually wear a particular color. Universal Standard has this t-shirt in a baby pink. That’s not my color, so that was a no for me. I landed on Eggplant because I literally had nothing in my closet like it, but could see how it would fit into my closet.

I clicked “add to cart” and bought the dang thing.

Here’s the two ways that I’ve worn the Tee Rex in Eggplant so far:

In the look on the left, I happily discovered that the Eggplant color was the same shade of purple as the flowers in my skirt. I loved the combo and got a lot of compliments on the look!

And in the second look, I was playing with colors that I had never worn together before, but were reminiscent of my childhood bedroom colors. I liked the combo and since the t-shirt is mega comfy, I felt good in my look all day.

I highly recommend this t-shirt, by the way. It is versatile and very easy to wear.

I will totally be wearing this t-shirt with jeans in the future and I have been thinking about the possibility of layering it under sweaters for the unkempt preppy look of my dreams.

I hope walking you through my shopping process was helpful and that you will be a better shopper for it! As always, happy shopping.