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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    94

    How do you guys buy clothing online?

    As many of you are very aware ski gear is expensive, and not all of us have the budget to pay $400 for pants, so finding a deal is a must. Deals are easier to be found online, especially if you're living in a small town but buying ill-fitting clothing happens way too often when you cant try it it on. Maybe it's my body type (6'3, 200lbs) but I've had this happen too often and having clothing that doesn't fit just doesn't work. Any tips and tricks?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Exiled from Maine
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    252
    Remember that the price isn't just paying for a brand name, there's durability and customer service behind there too. Patagonia, Stio, Arc'teryx... the gear can last much longer than a cheaper options if you take care of it. If something goes wrong, they stand behind the product also. They tend to have better websites that have sizing feedback from customers. Buy cheap, buy twice or something like that. That said, I hear you. As far as deals, hang out on here long enough and you'll see great lightly-used gear and gear coupons floating around, but be sure to contribute to the stoke and don't just hang out sniping cheap steals. Colorado Freeride Systems is very generous to TGR and his stuff is a great price point to start with. They run a trade-in program each fall. LevelNineSports usually has strong clearance deals and is very easy to work with for returns. I'm a huge Stio fan because I've treated some of the outer gear horribly and it keeps emerging without a scratch (I kicked off my skis and slid down a 40 foot rock chute on my ass this year and the only mark at the bottom was on my face, from hitting myself with my pole). When I first purchased from them, I just called the customer service and they talked out sizing with me based on their own staff.

    Good time of year for clearance deals at REI, moosejaw/mountainsteals, steep'n'cheap, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Den/Baltimore
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    5,129
    Buy from somewhere with a reasonable return policy, even on sale items? Otherwise, the only real way to do this is to try a bunch of stuff on, figure out what fits, and then wait for it go on sale.

    If you have to, buy a bunch of items at retail from REI, backcountry.com, amazon, etc, so you know what fits. Return them all. Then hunt for deals in gear swap and end of year sales. If you feel bad about doing this, purchase something small from them that you also need, like wax or something.

    Also, camelcamelcamel.com is great for tracking amazon deals.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Der Town
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    I buy brands I know fit. Most major brands (ie patagucci, Arcteryx etc) don’t change the fit very often and if the fit deviates from standard they say so. But I’m also average height and weight so a large makes it easy


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5,338
    ^What he said.

    Price isn't always just about being "exclusive" or "limited", it's about reliability, customer service, warranty, etc.

    With regards to sizing, I try to read reviews, email the company, check to see how their measured sizes compare to pieces I already own, or actually measure my body for comparison. I've found that I'm a pretty average fit for European brands, but American brands are much harder.

    I try to search for deals online regardless of country. European deals can actually be pretty sweet if they're on sale and ship to the US because normally those prices include the VAT (which is usually ~20%). Same can be said with Canadian websites given the weakness of the CAD to the USD.

    Unless I need something right away, I don't mind waiting. I picked up a new Norrona kit this January that took ~2 weeks or so for delivery but saved me $350+ on retail.

    I also search for prior year models and the like which can be found on Steep'n'Cheap, company outlet stores (Norrona has a sweet one that should be restocked in the spring/summer with winter gear), or on the later pages of google. You can find some great deals past the first two/three pages of Google.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    352
    I'm your size and buy stuff online either from a brand I know will fit (most of my jackets are Rab as they have the longest arms I have found) or places like amazon or backcountry with easy returns. So basically find what works and buy it on sale.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    livin the dream
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    - Most of the bigger online retailers (evo, rei, bc) offer a price match, so I find the cheapest price online and buy through a retailer I trust.

    - I live near an REI and an Evo brick and mortar. I get the products shipped there, when I go to pick it up I try it on and return it on the spot if it doesn’t fit.


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    Best Skier on the Mountain
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Magically whisked away to...Delaware
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    Quote Originally Posted by brundo View Post
    ...Maybe it's my body type (6'3, 200lbs) but I've had this happen too often and having clothing that doesn't fit just doesn't work. Any tips and tricks?
    Quote Originally Posted by Leavenworth Skier View Post
    ..But I’m also average height and weight so a large makes it easy...
    I'd venture to say: it's your body type. I am 6'4"; 210...and I find most brands in XL fit great in the shoulders and have a baggy waist or an L fits in the waist but is tight in the shoulders. Euro brands tend to fit better, but sometimes require a XXL (especially in cycling clothing).

    My advice: find a retailer that has a liberal return (and shipping charges) policy and, as LS said, once you find a brand that fits and you like: stick with them.
    It makes perfect sense...until you think about it.

    No thanks. I'll stick with porn. - Benny

  9. #9
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    Also: “showrooming” - trying something on in store then buying online.... I feel like a piece of shit if I do this at a small business... but I have no problem going to the fancy arcteryx store, trying on all the 2020 garb, then buying something previous season online... I feel like the brand stores are more marketing displays of products than actual stores...


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    Best Skier on the Mountain
    Self-Certified
    1992 - 2012
    Squaw Valley, USA

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    94
    Quote Originally Posted by nickwm21 View Post
    Also: “showrooming” - trying something on in store then buying online.... I feel like a piece of shit if I do this at a small business... but I have no problem going to the fancy arcteryx store, trying on all the 2020 garb, then buying something previous season online... I feel like the brand stores are more marketing displays of products than actual stores...


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I like this philosophy. I've always been one to feel like garbage trying on in-store and then buying online, but if you're trying on arcteryx stuff at an arcteryx store and then buying arcteryx stuff online, either way the money is going to arcteryx...as long as the store workers aren't commission based.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    94
    Quote Originally Posted by smartyiak View Post
    I'd venture to say: it's your body type. I am 6'4"; 210...and I find most brands in XL fit great in the shoulders and have a baggy waist or an L fits in the waist but is tight in the shoulders. Euro brands tend to fit better, but sometimes require a XXL (especially in cycling clothing).

    My advice: find a retailer that has a liberal return (and shipping charges) policy and, as LS said, once you find a brand that fits and you like: stick with them.
    Yep, same exact problem with similar build. What brands work for you for outerwear?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Among Greatness All Around
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    Research. Do the shopping, check the size charts, know what fits you typically. Read the reviews (especially if they have a comment or question about fit to size or smaller tighter or larger baggier comments. At the end though, you have to order it, try it on and then decide if you are keeping it or having to return it. Returns can be easy (free shipping on a request- a label and print it or some even include a return label in the package) to a bit harder in that you have to pay to ship it back with some companies and go through their RMA or return request.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by brundo View Post
    Yep, same exact problem with similar build. What brands work for you for outerwear?
    I have a Norrona shell, but it's still a bit baggy. I found that Mammut works well. The best fitting jacket I ever tried on was Arc Theta AR, but I couldn't afford it...wish I would have just bought it. Maybe Arc's "trim fit" stuff would work, but again: that's A LOT OF $$$.
    It makes perfect sense...until you think about it.

    No thanks. I'll stick with porn. - Benny

  14. #14
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    I very seldom do becuz living in Canada dealing with shipping/exchange/ yada fucking yada its just not worth it
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  15. #15
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    Aug 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by brundo View Post
    Maybe it's my body type (6'3, 200lbs)
    You live in America and are clearly an XL...you sir have no reason to bitch.

    You have access to so many online stores with free return policies, you simply buy multiple pieces (in XL) and return what doesn't work. Try living in Canada where its NOT so simple to return and at 6'2", 190 lbs I fit some L, some XL. There's already threads here on brands that tend to fit taller and slender peeps, look them up. It takes some homework but I find sizing charts on most brand's websites to be fairly accurate and once you know what numbers work better for you, extrapolate from there.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    94
    Quote Originally Posted by robnow View Post
    You live in America and are clearly an XL...you sir have no reason to bitch.

    You have access to so many online stores with free return policies, you simply buy multiple pieces (in XL) and return what doesn't work. Try living in Canada where its NOT so simple to return and at 6'2", 190 lbs I fit some L, some XL. There's already threads here on brands that tend to fit taller and slender peeps, look them up. It takes some homework but I find sizing charts on most brand's websites to be fairly accurate and once you know what numbers work better for you, extrapolate from there.
    I don't think an inch and 10 lbs makes much of a difference. I still am halfway between sizes. Touring shell is a large, downhill coat is an XL. Even buying t-shirts is split. Seems like it largely comes down to how brands make their fit. I will take your advice buying and returning. I didn't realize that was such a hassle in Canada. I'll do some search too on this forum to help find tall/slim brands (also taking any advice on specific brands, sounds like your build is similar).

  17. #17
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by brundo View Post
    I didn't realize that was such a hassle in Canada.
    Canada is fucking huge but population wise only about the size of California, just about any USA site will say free delivery to the lower 48, also the Canadian Peso is only worth around 75 cents USA ... not worth it

    but BC hut trips in BC are a great deal for Americans !
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  18. #18
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    Aug 2006
    Location
    Calgary
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    I'll throw you a bone because its an anomaly on sizing, Strafe in LARGE may fit you perfectly because they have both the inseam and sleeve length with enough bagginess to fit us well. I like to use their sizing chart, and compare the other brands to them...again I find Strafe L numbers to be close to most others brands XL.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Western MT
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    I've had good success with fit in the past by finding a piece of clothing you are interested in and then scouring the internet for reviews and keyword searching for "fit" "sizing" within the reviews. That works most of the time, but I'm not of unusual body type. As others said, lots of online options with a liberal return policy.

    I picked up a pair of new with tags Strafe nomad bibs on ebay for $145 shipped recently. I asked some questions on the forums here and got a lot of great feedback on fit, function, etc. Good gear doesn't have to be expensive.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    inpdx
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    I remember seeing arcteryx had a demo program through their storefront
    free "rental" for a few days

    https://www.adventure-journal.com/20...gear-for-free/

    doesn't help OP, but maybe of use to some of the other dentists...

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    819
    Know the brands that tend to fit you well, every week or so in the spring/summer/early fall check out the closeout section of BC.com, Evo, Moosejaw, SAC, etc to see if they have anything you like. Or, know the brands that fit you well and if they are a smaller company or DTC, do a preorder over the spring or summer to get around 50% off next years winter collection. I also buy ahead. My current jacket was bought during the summer, and kept in the closet for a full winter because my old jacket was still good... but the deal i found was too good to pass up so i pulled the trigger and saved money in the long run.

    Im a tall, slim guy and so i either need to pay up the ass for tall/long sizing in TNF, Arcteryx, etc, or i pick the top spec outerwear from "newschool" brands like Saga, Dakine, etc. Living in the PNW, i wont go lower than 2L goretex for a jacket, and 20k for the pants. If you truly NEED top spec technical outerwear, then you are a fucking badass and should have no problem forking over the extra cash to get the right fit at full price. Personally, im just trying to stay dry and at a comfortable temperature while looking good.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Shuswap Highlands
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    Another Canuck at 189cm tall and 100kg, and wish there was a difference for those with gut vs those of us that only need the sleeve and shoulder of the XL. Same with pants, I fit a large (35) in the waist most time unless its a ‘trim’ fit for someone with no ass or thighs.
    As others, I seek out the big box stores/outlets and try stuff without guilt. Doubly frustrating in that I can get pro deals on many brands, but can’t return under those deals. So its always a crap shoot.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    Quote Originally Posted by brundo View Post
    I like this philosophy. I've always been one to feel like garbage trying on in-store and then buying online, but if you're trying on arcteryx stuff at an arcteryx store and then buying arcteryx stuff online, either way the money is going to arcteryx...as long as the store workers aren't commission based.
    I'm not sure this is always the case. The company branded store may be a franchise--the profit on an in-store sale goes to the owner and is passed on to employees as wages and commissions; the profit on a mail order sale goes to the brand. I'm pretty sure the Patagonia store at Squaw is privately owned.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Albuquerque
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    33
    I’d suggest level nine sports. I’ve gotten plenty of gear for them at an affordable (and cheap!) price. The quality of top brands is there!


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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    ne pennsylvania
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartyiak View Post
    I have a Norrona shell, but it's still a bit baggy. I found that Mammut works well. The best fitting jacket I ever tried on was Arc Theta AR, but I couldn't afford it...wish I would have just bought it. Maybe Arc's "trim fit" stuff would work, but again: that's A LOT OF $$$.
    the large in freeride systems might fit your bill....generous without baggy.

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