Successful online shoppers: what’s your secret to keeping sizing straight? Should I stick to brick and mortar shopping? What should I do to change so I have better luck online?

Home Forums Women’s Fashion Tips Successful online shoppers: what’s your secret to keeping sizing straight? Should I stick to brick and mortar shopping? What should I do to change so I have better luck online?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  rolabond 3 weeks ago.

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    I’m not completely computer illiterate and rigorously check the size chart of every brand/item I put into my shopping cart (online), I still keep having rotten luck to the point that I’d rather shlep to a brick and mortar store. Someone on this subreddit once said an AWESOME fact that the waist-to-hip size differential for some of the size ranges I fit was about 10 inches whereas other brands have 12 inches. Are there other tips you learned that have been useful in helping understand a brand’s body type? What should I look for in a clothing piece on the model to help me understand how it’ll drape on my form? I’m still forming my esthetic/look so I don’t have a particular strong allegiance to any brands beyond that the clothes are not too heavy on synthetics (causing break outs for me) and are generally durable. At this point, the only things I’m ordering online are accessories with a banana for scale….Any help would be appreciated and thanks!

    I’m not sure it’ll help, but my body-type is kind of rectangular/hour-glass, tall, and have a closet with at least three different sizes and it’s hilarious and frustrating at the same time.



    I buy multiples of the same item in different sizes and return the sizes that don’t work. It’s a huge order on your credit card but in the end you spend like 10-20% of the initial order because of how much gets returned.



    I tend to stick with stores where I already know how things fit me. It’s a cop out, but it works. That way I can just buy the same sizes I always have and they’ll almost always fit when they get to me.

    Of course, if I want to branch out and try something new, I do the same thing other people have mentioned. I order a couple different sizes. It’s sort of annoying to return half of it, but it’s less of a pain than shopping in Houston, so it’s worth it.



    If it’s got a brick-and-mortal presence: go and try a few on to get a sense of whether they run big or small.

    Know your body type: I am top heavy, so even if it looks great on the model, I know what certain silhouettes will not look good on me. I only order jeans online if I’m prepared to return them. I’m petite, so I size down in coats. I also have long arms, so I eyeball the photos online to see how long the sleeves are compared to the body.

    If buying something that has a thrift store presence: check online sites like poshmark or ebay for duplicates. Even if you don’t want to buy used, most sellers list measurements, and if they don’t, you can always ask.



    I think for online shopping to work for you, you have to drop the expectation of definitely keeping anything you have purchased. I buy a lot online, but I regularly buy more than one size and multiple items that I know I won’t keep all of – I return >80% of stuff I buy, the same as I wouldn’t buy everything I tried on in a shop.



    Know your measurements and look at the sizing charts for each item. Read the reviews for each thing you are buying. People in the reviews will often include their height and size, provide pictures, and be very clear about sizing issues, if you need to size up or down, etc. In general the cheaper the item and the less reputable the website, the worse the construction and fit will be.



    Been online shopping for over a decade, ever since online shopping became a thing. I have a “different” body type like you and I’m sure many other people, basically something that standard styles may not always look or fit well on. And my broaddddd shouldersss

    Realistically, after looking at all the items I’ve ever ordered and the success rate/how much I actually like the items I kept, I now try not to shop online if I’m looking to get value for money and the most flattering fit ever.

    My country generally doesn’t allow returns for dresses from blogshops, and of course I can’t return the $6 clothes (I pick the ones of good quality denim, for example!) purchased from Taobao in China, so I’ve tried to stop buying anything that doesn’t allow me to return easily.

    I do recommend ASOS for items because of their return policy, but you do have to know the kind of styles that flatter you (and your no-go styles) for online shopping. I know my size in ASOS so it’s not too difficult, but sometimes the cut just doesn’t suit me.

    Online shopping is awesome because of the sheer variety and easy access – I can’t go into a mall and instantly find a black denim jumpsuit. I’ve found knowing my waist size (my before food size AND my after food size) and my bust size by measuring the waist of my favorite high-waisted pants, and measuring the bust size of my favorite top in a similar cut, these two measurements I stick to when buying pants or tops and they’re very helpful.

    Honestly, a lot of things I’ve had to keep and wear that were purchased online, were things I wouldn’t have bought if I had been able to try them on. So even though trying something on in a store can be at least 3 times if not 5-10 times more expensive, I just suck up the costs since fit is everything for me.

    Got some good buys online though, like the best black wrap jumpsuit from a local online store. Overwhelming numbers of other failures though. I also just ordered a black bandage skirt off Aliexpress in Herve leger bandagey material and I’m pretty sure that will turn out fine.



    I like looser-fitting clothes so I don’t order anything that’s tight and I also err on the side of bigger, because I have bigger shoulders and if it’s already oversized with drop shoulders, it’ll look intentional anyway, right?!

    I only ever order pants from Madewell and I’m a consistent size there. It helps to be familiar with brands’ general sizing when ordering online, especially with pants but in general too. There are lots of brands that are hard passes for me because even though I like the style, I know that the fit isn’t going to work out for me.



    Good service is worth paying for. I *only* buy online if the webshop is doing a good job in offering their online service. There is one webshop I love and understands that they are indeed in a service industry. The women who run this shop measure every single item they sell by hand and put their own measurements on their site for each individual item they sell, including fitting notes the fabric and shape (should I order a size up or down if I’m in between measurements?).

    If a webshop can’t provide that kind of service, I will not pay them. Instead, I have a few local store owners in my city I build a relationship with over the years. These owners are incredibly chill about ordering anything I might want to try on from whatever brands they typically carry. Typically, the items are the same price regardless of buying them online or offline, especially if you have to pay for shipping. It takes a while longer for the items to arrive to the store, but I’m happy with that, as it means supporting local businesses who actually offer service, opposed to a shit webshop.



    I’m an avid online shopper and also purchase frequently from Poshmark, which is double the gamble – no returns allowed for fit reasons. My tips:

    1. As everyone has mentioned, knowing your own measurements is important. However, I will add a large caveat – many stores today do not have accurate sizing charts. For example, I currently have a 24″ waist, and yet many pencil skirts I have purchased recently that say they should fit a 23″ waist are visibly too large. Similarly, my bust measures just about 34″, which that puts me in between a J.Crew size 2-4; I recently tried on a size 0, and it looked like I was wearing my boyfriend’s pajama shirt. My best fitting shirts (no gaping/straining buttons) from there are a 00P, which supposedly corresponds to a bust measurement of 30.5. The best case scenario is having a measurement of the actual garment which you can compare to a well-fitting piece you have at home.

    1. On a similar note, familiarizing myself with my favorite brands’ sizing has been a huge help. I only buy from brands I know on Poshmark or when things are final sale. Some brands consistently run smaller or larger, while some are merely inconsistent. Knowing those things allow me to better understand the reviews; someone saying an item from a brand that is consistently too large for me (Old Navy) runs really small suggests to me that it might actually fit me, but the same type of review from a brand known for not vanity sizing would make me consider ordering a size up.
    1. Ordering multiple sizes is best, but if you know you’re bad at returning things or don’t have the funds to float large purchases, ordering larger is the best bet. You can always take things in, but rarely can let them out.
    1. I don’t know that looking for anything on the model can really help. Some stores will just write that the model wears whatever the equivalent of a 2/4 or a small is on every picture. I have a totally different body type than most models (short and hourglass rather than tall and straight) and so they can look much thinner than me and yet be wearing a larger size than I should buy.
    1. When I have the time, I frequently go on shopping trips when I don’t have any money to buy, just to scout out pieces I’ve seen online and see how they fit and if I still want them. My running wishlist often changes dramatically after these trips, and I can now buy items I know I’ll like and that will fit me whenever they go on sale or once I’ve saved up the money for them. I have talked myself out of so many pieces that would have been immediate returns had I purchased sight unseen online.



    I am very insistent on getting actual garment measurements wherever possible.

    Looking at how clothing fits a model is pretty limited in its usefulness, sadly, because stylists often clip and tape the clothes for the photo shoots. The sites that have short videos are more helpful.



    A lot of places will give you garment measurements if you ask customer service. Then you can compare it to items you already own with similar cuts + fabric content.



    When I go to the thrift store, I take note of my sizes in the different brands I try. Sure, it’s possible their sizing has changed since then, but it’s a start.

    I don’t find sizing charts particularly helpful, but I try to focus on what my limiting measurement on them might be – shoulders if listed, bust for tops and certain dresses, hips for lower-rise pants and waist for higher-rise pants and tighter dresses.



    Check reviews for that particular item on the product page. Other customers will usually say whether or not it fit well.



    I check ebay, a lot of sellers list measurements so it’s not the vagueness of a size chart. Ymmv

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