I would say that I easily do 95% of my shopping online. I totally get that physical, brick and mortar
stores are appealing with their option to try on, feel and enjoy the instant gratification of buying items on the spot. However, I do love that online shopping offers a broader selection of styles ... Just last week, I fell in love with a handmade top from an emerging designer based in Bulgaria. The odds are also better that your size will be in stock online.
Getting the correct size can be pretty tricky as sizing can vary with each label. The Business of Fashion just mentioned this today:
"According to studies, between twenty to forty percent of all clothing purchased online is returned, often due to issues with fit, costing fashion e-tailers millions."
I've heard many complain about this issue and decided to share a few tricks that I developed to help me increase my success rate in getting pieces that actually fit.
- Go to What You Know - Know your size. You need to also know your sizing in inches and centimeters.
- Use an International Chart - A small percentage of incorrect sizing is due to human error; the incorrect size is listed. A larger percentage is due to a number of designers and websites that use various sizing that is not the standard. Below are the sizing charts that I've found to be more accurate...
- Brand Research - Again, sizing tends vary with each brand. This is where knowing the international sizing, as well as your sizing in inches and centimeters, is helpful. Armed with this info, you can now check out the brand's size chart to get a better idea of what size would be best for you.
If the brand doesn't have a website or size chart, try to find it on a website like Saks or Bloomingdale's. Both are known for their large roster of brands. They both also use a contemporary sizing chart, when applicable, to help with determining the appropriate size in a style.
Don't want to bother with the measuring? Do you have a go-to brand; where 99% of the label's styles fit you perfectly? Most people do. It could be Banana Republic, J.Crew or BCBG. Whatever brand it is, check out their size charts. The goal is to learn their standard sizing beyond the usual one or two digit numbers.
|Clothing Chart Source: wikipedia.org|
My other tip is to know and accept your shape. Re-evaluate your past successful purchases. What tends to work for you? How do you tend to adjust sizing for fitted vs. looser shapes/cuts? Do you go up or down a half-size when ordering flats vs. heels?
Understanding and accepting what typically works for you will help take some of the guesswork out of ordering online.