Picture this: You’re scrolling through an online store, eyes glimmering with excitement as you spot the perfect outfit.
But wait, before you hit that “Add to Cart” button, let’s talk about the importance of choosing the right size.
Imagine receiving your package, eagerly unwrapping it, only to discover that the clothes are a mismatched puzzle of proportions. Oh no!
That’s where the quest for the perfect fit becomes a game-changer. Picking the right size ensures a harmonious dance between you and your garments. It’s like finding your fashion soulmate – the perfect fit that hugs you in all the right places, allowing you to move, groove, and slay the day with confidence.
Plus, let’s be honest, avoiding those dreaded returns and exchanges means more time for fun activities like styling your fabulous new threads, strutting your stuff, and flaunting your impeccable fashion choices.
So, buckle up and embark on the thrilling adventure of selecting the right size, and unlock a world of fashion joy where every outfit is a perfect match made in retail heaven.
How to Choose the Right Size or Fit When Shopping for Clothing
Choosing the right size and fit when shopping for clothing is crucial to ensuring that your garments flatter your body shape and are comfortable to wear. Here are some tips to help you make the right choices:
1. Know Your Measurements
Take accurate measurements of your body, including your bust, waist, hips, and inseam. Look up online measurement charts and graphics to make sure you’re measuring yourself properly. For example, many people get the waist measurement wrong because where they think the waist isn’t where clothing brands think it is.
2. Keep Your Measurements Handy
Keep these measurements handy. No one wants to get up from their cozy session of couch shopping to measure themselves. So do it once and keep track of them somewhere.
I like to keep a list of my measurements in my notes app so that I can reference them when I need to and always have them handy. Compare these measurements to the size charts provided by the brand or retailer you’re shopping from.
3. Pay Attention to Garment Measurements
Look for retailers or brands that provide detailed measurements for each size, such as the length, bust/waist/hip circumference, and sleeve length, and not just general S/M/L sizing.
I tend to stay away from online retailers that don’t provide measurement information. If a brand that sells primarily online isn’t offering this information, I always wonder why and assume it is probably a lesser-quality brand anyway.
Providing measurements for your online shoppers seems like the most basic level of customer support. Find retailers with clear and open sizing, and compare their measurements to your own for the best experience.
4. Understand Sizing Systems
Familiarize yourself with the sizing system used by the brand or retailer you’re purchasing from to make sure you choose the appropriate size. Different countries often use different sizing guides, and with the age of the internet, the store you’re shopping from may be from a country you don’t realize.
Remember that sizes can also vary between brands, so always refer to the specific size chart for each brand and item. This is especially your first time shopping for that specific brand or retailer.
5. Check the Product Description
Modeling pictures are generally done in such a way as to make them look good but aren’t always a completely accurate representation of a certain product’s fit. Read the product description carefully to see if the item has any specific fit notes or details mentioned. Some brands may provide additional information about the intended fit, such as “relaxed fit,” “slim fit,” or “oversized.” These descriptions may help guide your purchasing decisions.
6. Read Customer Reviews
Even when paying attention to the measurements the sizing can still be wrong when it turns up if a brand is known for running smaller or larger than expected. Take the time to read customer reviews and check if the clothing item runs true to size or if it tends to run larger or smaller.
Some customers will also leave reviews about their personal size and weight, the size they purchased, and if it ended up being a good fit for them. If you can find a reviewer with a similar body type to you, this can provide valuable insights into the fit and sizing of the garment.
7. Consider Your Body Shape and Proportions
Understanding your body shape can help you choose styles that flatter your figure. For example, if you have a big butt and thicker thighs but a small waist like me, it’s usually best to size up. Because even though my waist measurement can fit into smaller sizes, my backside can’t.
Or, perhaps you have longer legs and a shorter torso, you may need to consider the rise of pants or the placement of waistlines.
So if you’re frustrated that clothing doesn’t seem to fit properly on you even though you’re taking your measurements and comparing them to the size chart, it may be that you’re not taking your body into account as well.
8. Try Before You Buy
Not every online retailer offers this, but if you have the opportunity, try clothing items on before purchasing them. This allows you to assess the fit, comfort, and how the garment looks on your body. An average length of time for this is usually a week or two before you either have to return the item or keep it and charge your card.
Most retailers that offer this have pretty simple return processes as well. They’ll either have you return in the packaging they sent you or allow for easy returns to an in-person store.
9. Take Advantage of Virtual Try-On Tools
Some online retailers or fashion apps offer virtual try-on tools that use augmented reality or body scanning technology to help you visualize how a garment might look on your body. These tools can assist in assessing the fit and silhouette before making a purchase.
Plus, once you see an item on your virtually, you may suddenly realize that it’s not actual a style you like that much after all.
10. Check Return and Exchange Policies
Ensure that the retailer has a flexible return and exchange policy in case the item you purchase doesn’t fit as expected.
Unfortunately, there are some scammier online retailers that have very poor or difficult return policies with restocking fees in the hopes that once you buy an item, even if you’re not happy with it, you’ll decide it’s not worth the hassle of returning it. Some retailers even have no return policy at all and will only offer replacements for lost or damaged items.
The return policy is the first thing I check when shopping at a new retailer, and if it’s not a good one, I’ll buy somewhere else.
11. Understand the Fabric
Different fabrics can have varying levels of stretch or drape, which can affect the fit of a garment. Familiarize yourself with the fabric content and consider how it may impact the fit. For example, fabrics with a high percentage of elastane or spandex tend to be more stretchy and forgiving whereas denim, satin, and linen are not very forgiving.
Some fabrics are also thinner and less forgiving in that way as well. So try to get a general understanding of the different fabrics types and their properties before you shop online. Also, make sure to look for the type in the description as it isn’t always apparent from the pictures.
12. Consider the Style and Intended Fit
Pay attention to the style and intended fit of the garment. Is it meant to be loose and flowy, or more fitted and structured? Understanding the intended fit can guide you in choosing the appropriate size. If between sizes, you might want to size up for a more flowy design or size down for a look that’s supposed to be more form-fitting.
13. Look for Adjustable Features
Some clothing items have adjustable features like ties, elastic waistbands, or adjustable straps. These can provide flexibility in achieving a better fit and allow you to customize the garment to your preferences.
14. Reach Out to Customer Support
Keep in mind that you can always consult the brand’s size chart or reach out to their customer service for guidance. A reputable retailer should have someone available to answer questions and help guide you. They may not all have someone available 24/7, so allow a few business days to hear back.
15. Seek the Advice of a Professional
If you’re unsure about your measurements or need personalized guidance, consider visiting a professional tailor or stylist. They can provide expert advice on choosing the right size and styles for your body type, provide accurate body measurements, and even make alterations if necessary.
You can then use this information to empower all the rest of your shopping choices.
16. Look for Size Guides from Other Customers
Some online retailers or fashion communities have user-generated size guides or reviews where customers share their experiences with sizing. They will often provide their own body measurements and types, the sizes they purchase from different brands, and how they feel the fit is. These can provide helpful insights into how a particular brand or style fits, especially if you can find someone whose body type is similar to yours.
17. Consider Alterations
If you find a garment that you love but doesn’t fit perfectly off the rack, consider whether it can be easily altered to achieve a better fit. Simple alterations such as hemming pants or adjusting sleeve lengths can make a significant difference. It doesn’t always make sense to do this to lower-cost items, but can be a game changer with higher-priced items.
Some alterations, like hemming, are often easier than people realize. You could become a handy DIY and try hemming some items yourself if garment length is a problem you regularly run in to.
18. Seek Feedback from Friends or Online Communities
If you’re uncertain about the fit of a specific brand or style, consider reaching out to friends or online communities who may have experience with those items. They can provide insights and recommendations based on their own experiences.
Oftentimes, if you’re having a hard time finding information about a brand and if you have questions about their sizing guides or fit, there’s someone else out there with the same questions as well. So by asking your questions and you may be helping out other shoppers as well.
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right Size and Fit
As we reach the end of our fashion quest, we’ve discovered that choosing the right size when shopping for clothing, especially online, is nothing short of a superpower. It’s the key to unlocking a world of style, comfort, and confidence.
By taking the time to understand measurements, consulting size guides, and considering fit notes, you can avoid the dreaded disappointment of ill-fitting clothes and the hassle of returns. Embrace the thrill of finding that perfect fit, where garments become an extension of your personality, empowering you to express your unique style with flair.
Remember, fashion is meant to be enjoyed, and the right size ensures that every outfit becomes a statement piece, tailored just for you. Personal preference also plays a role in finding the right fit. Some individuals prefer a looser fit, while others prefer a more tailored look. Ultimately, choosing the right size and fit is about finding what makes you feel confident and comfortable in your clothing.
So, fashion enthusiasts, go forth with confidence, armed with the knowledge to conquer the online shopping realm and curate a wardrobe that celebrates your individuality. May your style journey be filled with joy, self-expression, and a perfect fit every time!
What tips or tricks do you have for purchasing the right sized fit when online shopping? Share with us in the comments below!