Tips for Buying Clothes and Footwear Online

Online shopping can seem counterintuitive. Shopping for clothes and footwear is usually a very tactile experience. When trying on a new shirt or pair of pants, you want to know how something feels so you can answer a few basic questions like how tight it is in the crotch and does it chafe in all the wrong places. Why take the time to buy a new pair of firefighter boots or shirts to wear around the station house if you’re just guessing about size and fit?

While driving to the store gives you the chance to try on items before buying, finding a place to park, and dealing with crowds and busy salespeople, only to find out that they don’t have your size in stock, can leave you feeling disappointed and without the new wardrobe you were hoping to purchase.

Since showing up to work daily with stains on your shirt and holes in your pants doesn’t scream “promote me,” finding a more efficient way to shop will keep you looking professional and prepared to meet the challenges of the job.

Online shopping may remove your ability to try on an item before buying, but its advantages far outweigh this temporary inconvenience. You can still find the right pair of firefighter boots and clothes that will leave you feeling and looking your best without heading down to the mall by following a few simple best practices.

Continue reading to learn helpful tips on buying clothes and footwear online.


Shopping online enables you to visit multiple stores conveniently and find the size and style you want while sitting comfortably on the couch in your underwear.
Shopping online allows you to:

  • Find what you’re looking for. Physical stores carry a limited inventory. Whether they have what you want in stock often depends on the season and the popularity of the item you’re shopping for. Buying online allows you to find retailers that carry the items you want to buy rather than settling for what’s available.
  • Get better deals. Since haggling over cost is only appropriate at garage sales and when dividing up a happy hour tab among coworkers, you’re locked into paying the price listed on the sales tag when shopping at a retail store. You can compare prices from different retailers online until you find the best possible deal.
  • Read customer reviews. Buying an item from a brand you’ve never purchased before comes with a certain level of risk. Will your new shirt or firefighter boots provide the durability and protection you need, or will they quickly fall apart like a piece of cardboard left out in the rain? Online shopping allows you to read reviews from other customers, so you know whether what you’re buying is worth the money.
  • Shop more efficiently. Putting on pants, getting into the car, and driving across town all take time and energy. It’s far easier to shop on a phone while waiting for your lunch order or sitting on the throne in the bathroom than to visit a physical location.


Shopping online offers several advantages, and you can follow a few helpful tips to create a more enjoyable buying experience.

Tip 1: Never Buy Items You Can’t Return

Shopping online offers convenience at the cost of not having the ability to try on what you buy. A good return policy offers the freedom to buy items without worrying about making a costly decision if they don’t end up fitting or you just don’t like them.
At BareBones WorkWear®, our return policy allows you to return any item within 30 days of delivery. This gives you plenty of time to try the item on and see how it feels before you decide whether to keep it or send it back.

Tip 2: Know Your (Actual) Size

Hey, it can be tough saying goodbye to your old waistline or admitting you need to start buying shirts in a bigger size. But if you’re shopping because buttoning your pants causes you to lose feeling below the waist or because your shirt is so tight it leaves nothing to the imagination, buying those same sizes is an exercise in wishful thinking.
We’d all like to believe our clothes shrink in the dryer, but facing the reality of the situation and buying for your actual size will make it simpler to improve your wardrobe.

Tip 3: Buy Multiple Sizes

Buying multiple sizes is especially useful when purchasing footwear online like firefighter boots. One brand’s size 12 boot may fit you like a size 11 ½ and prove too small for your feet.
Additionally, similar styles of the best firefighter boots may look the same but feel entirely different to your feet. For example, the Danner 8” Wildland Tactical Firefighter and Kenetrek Wildland Fire boots look similar in style, but you may find one more to your liking than the other.
Buying both boots, trying them on at home, and then keeping the pair that feels the most comfortable will make buying footwear online faster and more efficient.

Tip 4: Stick with the Brands You Know and Love

While there’s something to be said about trying new things, there’s nothing wrong with finding a brand you love and becoming a loyal customer. Questions about quality, fit, and feel are easier to answer when buying a brand you already know.

At BareBones WorkWear®, we carry the brands you’ve come to trust and rely on at the station house and out in the field. From 5.11 and Bulwark Protection to Danner and Redback, you’ll see quality brands at the lowest price possible on every page.

Tip 5: Take the Time to Shop Around

Finding the best deals requires taking the time to shop around. The price of a pair of boots or a flame-resistant work shirt can vary significantly from one website to the next, depending on overhead and any ongoing sales. Once you’ve picked an item, just type the name directly into Google and compare the prices in your search results.
At BareBones WorkWear®, we will match most other websites’ valid final prices at any of our stores. Email us the listing from a competitor of any item we carry online or in-store, and we will do our best to match that price.


Shopping online can feel overwhelming, but when you visit our website, you’ll receive a quality product you can depend on at a fair price.

If you absolutely prefer to shop in person, have no fear. The courteous staff at any of our eight California Barebones WorkWear® retail locations can help you find the exact item and style you want to buy.

We carry all of the top brands in work shirts, t-shirts, tactical pants, boots, and accessories. Don’t let your wardrobe continue to suffer. Visit your local BareBones WorkWear® location today.