Considering how much I like clothes and fashion, most people are surprised to find out that I almost always order my clothing online, and furthermore, that I hardly ever need to return an item. It’s not just luck; I always know what size to order because I know what to look for, and I’m going to teach you my secret.
Never again will you fall in love with a handknit sweater, but question the price because you’re not sure if it will fit.
- Know your measurements. Honestly, if you just heed this one piece of advice, you’ll be fine when you order clothes from now on. I don’t care what size you feel good in; I don’t care what size you always wear. Always, always, always click on the sizing chart information and see what size you wear in that company’s clothing.While there are standard sizes, companies are not required to follow them, and many companies change the sizes based on what they size think their customers will feel good wearing.
There are all sorts of measurements that come when you make clothes, but if you’re just planning to look great in your clothing, focus on your bust, waist, and hip measurements. Click here for a guide if you’re confused on which body parts to measure.
Now it should be much easier to order clothing. If you’re ordering a shirt or a top, click on that company’s size chart to see what size they classify you as. If you’re ordering a high waisted skirt or pants, compare your waist measurement to the size chart’s waist measurements. If you’re wearing pants or a skirt that sit low on your hips, check the hip measurements. Dresses are a little trickier, but if you’re wearing a fit and flare dress, go with your bust measurement. If you’re ordering a wiggle or shift dress, order it to fit your largest body part, and then have the rest of the dress tailored to fit.
Check the ease. Ease is something that won’t usually be listed, and most designers don’t talk about it so as not to confuse anyone. When you’re a 38″ bust and you order a top that says it fits a 38″ bust, it’s unlikely to be exactly 38″, and that’s because of the amount of ease in the garment. If there’s positive ease, as in the case of my sweaters, the fit will be larger than normal, and this can range from just a little bit roomy to oversized. If there’s negative ease, the garment will stretch to fit you, as in the case of a ribbed hat.
If you’re looking at an oversized sweater and you’d prefer it to be a bit roomier, or even a bit tighter, you can adjust up or down one size. I wouldn’t adjust down more than one size however, because you can run the risk of the armpits being too tight. If you’re in between sizes and you can’t decide on your size, look at the material. Knit items, including jersey knits (aka the material of most t-shirts) are stretchy, and woven fabrics usually aren’t.
- Look at the style. I know what you’ve picked out looks great on the model, but look at the shape of the garment. Where is it fitted? Where is it oversized? What’s the length of the shirt/dress/pant, and where will it fall on your body? You probably have a good idea of what styles you like, so make sure this qualifies as your style and don’t get caught up in how it looks on the model.