Making Sure You Get the Right Color When Ordering Clothes Online

ordering clothes online


Have you ever ordered something  on your phone and when it arrived the color was NOT what you were expecting? 


I had a chat with one of my photographers yesterday and we spent at least ten minutes on the topic of color management and how to make sure colors are represented accurately online. This is no small feat as its virtually impossible due to endless combination of phone settings and in what light the pictures are viewed.


In light of that convo, I thought I’d drop in today with a quick post on how to take steps to get the color you are looking for when shopping on your mobile devices.


In all honesty, this likley isn’t a huge issue for you. Most times we get what we ordered but every now and again, we can be surprised by the color that shows up.  And naturally, it only presents itself as a problem when it's really important that you get the color exactly right. 


You may not be a person who distinguishes between colors down to the hue and saturation, but for those of us who channel Shelby from Steel Magnolias when describing pinks in tones of Blush and Bashful, color matching when buying on our phones can be tricky. 


Pink is my signature color


This has happened to me a couple of times so I thought it would be worthwhile to make a post about how to make sure you get the right color when ordering from your mobile device.

 While we can’t get our phone settings to perfectly replicate the environment in which the photos were taken, we can take steps to get an accurate representation.

Here a few tips to make sure we are getting the color we want.


First, the brightness of your screen matters. If you keep your screen darker, then the colors are going to be a little more muted.  This means that the product may be a little brighter than what you saw on your phone.  Product photography is done in LOTS of light to get the best and truest colors.  If you have your screen dimmed then you are not viewing the product in the light it was photographed and it can look different.  


But what if you’re brightness is already turned all the way up and you still got a pink cardi that was most certainly not the candy pink you ordered but a rose pink? Then you have to consider the light in which you are viewing the product. 


This may seem super simple but sometimes its the things that are so simple that are the things we overlook. Looking at a product photo in full sunlight reflects a different color than looking at the same photo sitting at your dining room table. And even that is different than looking at the same picture at your desk under fluorescent lights.  See how it can get tricky to be sure you are getting the right color?


And speaking of light, it is a good idea to look at the product in different settings. Do the product photos show a still picture of the product in studio lighting AND in a real life setting, such as outdoors or on a model in a situation that you are likely to be wearing the product? For instance, if the product photos only show outdoor shots at night, then it may look different in an office setting in the day time with fluorescent lights.  


Another trick is to look for a product photo on a model with similar skin tone. Colors can look different depending on who is wearing them.  For instance, I have a friend from Panama whose gorgeous sun-kissed skin makes jewel tones really sparkle. I’m sure it was for her skin type that jewel tones actually got their name as her complexion really sparkles and makes these colors pop. Jewel tones on my almost alabaster skin are less like sparkly jewels and more like cheap knock offs. I need some pastels thrown in the mix to really shine. But if I were to see that product on my friend Nilka and order it expecting the same result, I would be a sad panda.


Filters are also to be considered. If a photo clearly has a filter then you know there is no way to get an accurate representation of the color. I have never seen a reputable retail outlet use obvious filters to showcase their products. And we don’t use them at Elizabeth Reagan. But that doesn't mean it doesn't happen so just be aware. 


 To recap, the quick and easy way to remember how to judge the colors is to look for product photos and models that most closely reflect your features and how you will be wearing the piece. 


But if that isn’t available then try to see the product in the most light possible. 


Also, this usually isn’t a problem when ordering from reputable stores but it has happened to me before so there's that.


Again, this is really for those of us who feel like we’ve been assaulted when we see a sage green in the place of what is CLEARLY meant for an emerald green. If getting the right color isn’t an issue for you then carry on. :-)  But if you find yourself needing to be  absolutely sure of what you are getting (or as sure as you can be when ordering online) then these tips will definitely come in handy.  

xoxo, Elizabeth


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published