There's really no substitute for trying things on, so you have to make the most of whatever trip you take to a big town.
That said, Macy does have a decent selection, and you can wait for sales after christmas or in june/july. Discounters can be good sources too, if you have any nearby (Marshalls, TJMaxx or the like). They're very hit and miss, usually there's not much but then once in a while there's that one nice thing or that one pair of shoe. Even better would be discounters like Nordstrom rack, Loehmann's or Century 21, but I think these exist only in big towns.