Yea or Nay: Catalogs

A month ago, I received a catalog in the mail and was tempted to purchase what appeared to be a soft pink knit summer dress for $15. For a week, I anxiously waited next to my mailbox for the dress. Finally, after 5-7 business days of course, it arrived looking like a hot pink polyester mess, possibly signaling the end of catalog shopping for me.

What about you? Is catalog shopping a Yea or Nay for you?

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  1. DeAndrea says

    What’s the difference between looking in a catalog or looking online?  It does seem that there are more models in the catalog, so you can see how something should fit. Online, it seems most items are photographed against a white screen.  I don’t activly seek out catalogs, but I’ll thumb through them if there arrive in my mailbox.

  2. Judy says

    I do use Travelsmith and Landsend catalogues to get ideas but then I go to the websites to make my purchases.  However, lately everything has to be returned because of wrong fit…grrrrr@

  3. Cynthia says

    I’ve had mixed success at best with catalog shopping, but what keeps me doing it is that when it goes well it’s really a wonderful treat. I think because it’s easy, usually I try to get some sort of discount on the shipping so it’s affordable also. But I am cautious because usually, I don’t handle the returns well.

  4. sher says

    awesome catalogs include:

    newport news
    delias( sometimes cute accesories despite the teenybopper image)
    barrie pace ( goreous evening dresses/suits)
    neiman’s sale catalog
    eddiebauer tall
    jcpenney tall

  5. Maria says

    In the 1990’s, I was an avid catalog shopper.  Speigel, Victoria’s Secret, J.Crew…you name it.  J. Crew especially used to have AWESOME sales (read: 60-80% off regular prices!) at the end of each season, and I would flip thru their special clearance catalogs with glee.  But as more and more retailers beefed up offerings on their web sites—and online shopping became more mainstream—I stopped catalog shopping.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I ordered something from a catalog!

  6. says

    if it weren’t for catalog shopping and eStores, i hardly have time to buy any clothes. My work schedule (and location) keeps me from the stores and of course there are my kids, which my husband can’t bare to stay home with for a whole day. (he was supposed to be the patient one in the family.)

  7. Becca says

    I love catalogs. They’re easier to browse through than a website and you can dog-ear pages and not have to constantly hit the “back” button. I usually look through catalogs to find what I like and then order online.

    I prefer shopping in person to try things on, check fabric, etc. But some companies don’t have a store near me and do have a catalog/website, so sometimes that’s the way to go. I usually only try to order from stores I’ve heard of and check the return policy carefully. That’s not to say I haven’t had a few near-polyester-pink misses, but they have been few and far between.

  8. catalogshopper says

    Catalog shopping is like window shopping—you have to know whose window is worth your time and to get an eye for what display methods can conceal (I wouldn’t order any garment whose material wasn’t clearly identified, and I doubt I’d order a pure synthetic mail order, just in case). It’s no different from internet shopping, really.

    And then you have to consider the clothing’s arrival at your home a chance to try it on, not a firm acceptance (free shipping deals and return-to-store policies can make trying on free, but I’m willing to pay to take a couple weeks to try something on in my home rather than driving half a state and paying for parking). 

    I wear petite sizing and I don’t live near a big city—without my mail order and my tailor I’d be stuck in sweats six inches longer than my legs. And those are just the tops.

  9. Tina says

    To me, shopping from a catalogue is the same as shopping online in most cases.  I have no problem so long as I trust the brand and they’ve got a decent return policy

  10. Vanessa says

    Catalogs and online shopping are so hit or miss for me I swear it off until the next time I see something I love (which about half the time is a hot pink polyester mess.)

    The worst is when it’s not in season yet and so I don’t try it on. You’d think I would learn. I ordered a dress from Newport News this winter that when I tried it on finally this summer looked like all I was missing was a yard full of chickens. I have resolved anymore to try to only shop out of the mail for places where I can return locally.

  11. says

    I used to shop catalogs all the time, but too many disappointments and costly returns made it no fun anymore.  The only catalog I still buy from is Newport News, and only their swimsuits, since they make the best black bikinis every season.

  12. says

    It really depends on the company. I ordered great boots from the Sundance catalog, but not before speaking to a representative about sizing, etc.
    I have no problem ordering from catalogs with bricks and mortar stores so it’s easier for me to return if it doesn’t fit.

  13. KRD says

    There is only one catalogue I shop from and that is Laredoute. They have guest designers sometimes and the clothes are great quality. When I first found them they were crap, but in the past years I have only received the best quality of both garments and customer service.

    So I guess I am a Yea but selectively.

  14. ohiogirl says

    I do shop from catalogs – but only certain ones.  I too have had the “looks so pretty on paper, looks so bad in person” experience.

    So I stick to the tried and true for me—Lands End and LL Bean.

    Oh!  And Sierra Trading Post.  Great deals, great quality.

  15. Mary says

    I’ve been pretty lucky in my overall catalog shopping.  the only thing that sucks is the shipping and returns, it does take some effort but its a lot less effort than going to the mall and shopping for hours. Once you’ve ordered from a catalog and figure out their sizing you should just stick to that!

    i’ve found some really great deals at Jjill, Chadwicks, Alloy, Delia’s, Newport News, Victorias Secret, and Isabella Bird/Territory Ahead!

  16. Elli says

    Having 4 kids under age 9, catalogs are sort of a neccisary evil.  For as much as I love the times I can get to the mall alone (or with friends, but no kids), it isn’t always possible.  Sometimes a catalog on the couch at 11:30 when the kids are in bed and I have a spare moment is all I can get (although online stores are very much replacing what catalogs were).

  17. says

    Frankly, as a plus size on the bottom woman, I find I have less and less options to buy anywhere BUT catalogs! 

    With stores closing out their plus size sections (aka Old Navy), the plus size woman is literally being pushed on line if she doesn’t want to go naked into the world! (And trust me, in my case that would NOT be a pretty sight! :-p )

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