It’s back to work for most of us tomorrow. That means surfacing from a collective Netflix coma and attempting to look human before 9 am and a feed of mince pies. It’s a scary thought but so is darkening the doors of any retail establishment apart from those that sell milk, paracetamol or something that doesn’t resemble turkey.

The kicker? The sales are in full swing but the emotional resilience required to navigate overstuffed rails on your lunch break is too much too soon. Baby steps are in order which can only mean one thing – online shopping. It’s easy, right? Click to cart while the boss is discussing Q1 projections; no one will be any the wiser. That is until 2 days later when you sign for a parcel filled with cheap tat you’ll never return. There’s got to be an easier way.

Luckily for you, there is but the alternative requires a modicum of conscious awareness and a complete veto of mindless scrolling and swiping. Chapter 6 of The Happy Closet dishes in detail on what needs to be done. Don’t have the book? Fear not. I’ve got you covered with this quick and dirty cheat sheet below. Because, every once in a while, cheating is okay!



  • Don’t shop as a distraction or a salve – make a virtual appointment to shop.
  • Don’t shop in bed, on the bus or in work.
  • Limit your experience – give yourself a timeframe and a mono-task.
  • Add to a wish-list, review then buy.


  • Read the fine print. Each retailer has their own size.
  • Find out what size the model is and her height. Scale accordingly.
  • Ask customer service what the fit is like.
  • Buy your size and the size above or below.
  • Buy more than you need.
  • Buy more = no shipping charges; Will have to pay more for returns.
  • You will have to pay for returns (in many cases) – but you can do it in one fell swoop.
  • Read the returns policy before you buy.
  • Read customer reviews.


  • FIT is the biggest reason for return.
  • You are operating on a GUESSTIMATE.
  • You are operating with sight only. No opportunity to try or touch.
  • When you receive the package, try EVERYTHING on as you would in a shop.
  • Return THAT day.
  • Do not hesitate or you will NOT return it. Fact.