How To Pick The Right Size When Shopping For Clothes Online
One of the absolute joys in life has to be online shopping. It’s like having an entire world of options at your fingertips, and you get the excitement of waiting for a delivery to arrive. Plus, with the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are turning to shop online over going into our favorite brick and mortar stores. But when it comes to clothing, this can be a little nerve-wracking. Not knowing how something is going to look, fit or feel can be a little off-putting, so how do you get comfortable with shopping online for great quality clothing that is hassle-free, and gives you great results?
Below, Gifttify will show you some tips to your right size when buying clothes online.
MEASURING YOUR SIZE
To help choose the right size, you will need to measure your bust, waist and hip. Use a tape measure over your underwear or form fitting clothing and compare your body measurements with those on our size chart, choosing the size that closest matches your measurements.
Use the diagram above to help you measure on the right spots.
BUST: Measure around the back, under the arms and across the fullest part of the bust. The tape measure should be flat against the figure, straight across the back and not too tight.
WAIST: Measure around the waist, with the tape measure flat against the figure and snug but not to tight.
HIPS: Measure over the fullest part of the hips, usually 21-23 / 8-9" down from the waist. The fullest part of the hip maybe higher of lower depending on the individual figure.
If your own measurements are in between sizes, we recommend that you choose the larger size, as its much easier to make a garment smaller. If your measurements are only slightly different than our size chart, choose the closets size, as all our patterns include wearing and style ease on top of the body measurements.
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE MODEL’S FIT
Most of us aren’t models—and that’s okay—but many stores feature their clothes on models who might have a completely different body type than you. Matthew Sebra, Senior Fashion Director, Men’s & Kids at Macy’s says to not let this fool you. “One of the most common mistakes is thinking that how something appears on a model is how it’s going to appear on you.”
Instead he suggests taking into account specific details that may determine if a garment will look great on your body type. “If you’re short and it looks cropped on the model, it will likely be just right for you,” he says. Some sites like Target are starting to share the stats of a model, including the size of the garment they’re wearing and their height, as well as showing multiple models wearing different sizes, which can help you figure out the fit.
ACTUALLY READ THE REVIEWS
Everyone loves a product that boasts thousands of reviews, but instead of just looking at the number, it’s key to actually read them—or at least a few. Skirboll says, “Pay attention to if people say the item runs big, small, or true to size.” These honest reviews are invaluable and can give you a better understanding of the fit. Also, if the site allows customers to upload photos, those can be even more helpful. Look at the pictures of customers who have similar body shapes to yours, which can serve as your visual representation of what the garment may look like on you. It's sort of like someone else trying the clothes on for you.
CONSIDER THE MATERIAL USED
“Keep in mind that some materials will be more forgiving than others,” Skirboll stresses. In addition to checking the actual measurements of a garment, it’s also important to note the type of material, which can affect whether you size up or down. “If you’re looking at denim with no elastane, know that they’re going to be a bit stiff and will require hours of wear and use before they start to have a little give. On the other hand, jeans made with elastane, also known as spandex or lycra, will have plenty of stretch and you can be more flexible on the sizing,” she says. Other materials to look out for are polyester, which is resistant to shrinking, and cotton, which can shrink and stretch out overtime.
KNOW THE STORE’S RETURN POLICY
Even if you’ve followed all these tips for a seemingly good fit, sometimes the size is off or the fit looks way different than expected when it arrives. Double-check the retailer’s return policy, as it can make the difference between an easy transaction and being stuck with a piece you’ll likely never wear. Free returns are great because, seriously, who wants to pay for shipping both ways? But a policy that gives you some time to deliberate on your purchase and before returning is key, especially if you need time to send it back.