In my post on this blog’s new direction I noted that my clothing size varies depending on the label and style. I’m sure you have had the experience of not knowing which size will fit you best, particularly when shopping online.
Here’s my first piece of advice – don’t worry about the size you wear because it’s how it fits that matters. I will buy a size 16, 18, 20 or 22 if that’s what I think will fit (and therefore look) better.
If you are physically trying clothes on then take the size you think you are, plus one size up and one size down. That way you can compare them and see what looks best.
Online shopping is a bit trickier. First, you need to know your measurements. Yes, it’s a hassle but get out that tape measure and measure your bust, waist and hips in both cms and inches. Write your measurements down and keep them handy.
Second, check the size guide on the website to see which size is closest to your measurements. If you are like me and between sizes, you’ll need to check the product description. This is often overlooked as people tend to focus on the pictures but I always make my buying decisions based on both.
If it says slim fit, skinny fit, cut close to the body or similar then you need to go with the size up. If it says regular fit I would also go with the size up unless there is stretch in the fabric (more on this in an upcoming post) and you like to wear your clothes more fitted.
If however, it says relaxed fit then you can probably get away with the size down. A relaxed fit is what I look for when shopping online because fit matters less and you don’t need to get the size exactly right.
Last weekend I was in Sydney, shopping at Myer department store which has a range of different labels. I walked past a label that I stopped wearing several years ago when the largest size got too small for me. On display on a table was a knit top. The print caught my eye and when I picked it up I saw that although it was a size small it was quite big. I searched through the pile and found a size large. I held it up and was sure it would fit. I tried it on and sure enough it did. I was thrilled and went to the counter to buy it. While waiting in line I spotted a cardigan by the same label, and again the size large looked like it would fit. I quickly tried it on and it did. So I ended up with two pieces by a label I haven’t worn in years all because of a relaxed fit.
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