Getting the Right Fit When Buying Clothes & Shoes Online

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'I'd love to get clothes for that price, but how do you know they will fit?'- a common lament by friends when I discuss online ebay shopping with them.

Buying clothes online is a great way to get designer clothes, shoes & accessories on a budget however it can be daunting, especially for women, when different designers have different ideas on sizing and different countries have different sizing scales.

I love buying things online that I couldn't necessarily afford in the store.  Along the way, I've made mistakes and learnt some valuable lessons.  

Top Ten Easy Measuring Tips for the Online Clothes Shopper

1. If no measurements are provided, email the seller and ask.  Most will be happy to assist as ultimately it means they may get a sale. 

2. Measure yourself with a tape measure, and keep them written down somewhere handy so you can easily refer to them.
How to measure;
  • Bust - around the fullest part of your bust with a bra on (unless you intend wearing the item without a bra).
  • Waist- around the smallest part of your waist.
  • Hips- around the fullest part of your hips & buttocks.
3. Measure flat some items of clothing of your own that fit you well.

4. When clothes are measured flat, there is generally a couple of extra cm's when measured around the body.
  • eg. My waist measures 83cm around, however a skirt laying flat with a measurement of 40cm (80cm doubled) across will fit me fine.

5. Know your designers.
  • eg. I know in in DESIGUAL I am a 42, in ODD MOLLY a 2, in REVIEW a 12, in ALANNAH HILL a 14

6. An underarm to underarm measurement is indicative of bust measurement (point # 3 applies here also). 
  • eg. My bust is 98cm.  Underarm to underarm measurement of 47cm (94cm doubled) will fit me fine.

7. Most designer labels will have size guides on their website.  Google the designer and check their size guide.

8. International sizing can be confusing.  Generic international size conversion charts can also be found online.  
  • nb. This is good to convert what a standard AUS 12 may be in a French or USA size, but a designers own size guide will be more specific to the brands particular sizing.

9.  Find a store in your area that sells the brand of clothing you are thinking to buy.  Go in and try some of their garments and you'll get a feel for what size suits you in that brand.

10. Still unsure? Test it.  If you like a particular designer find an inexpensive item that you think will fit, order it and see.  If it doesn't resell it online yourself and now you possibly know whether you need a size smaller or larger, if it does you now know your size in that brand.  Most designers are consistent with their sizing.

A Word on Shoes;

1. The inside measurements are what count.  Measure your foot and ask the seller what the inside measurements are.

2. If unsure you are better to go a size larger.

3. Beware of sellers doing their own conversions, they often get this wrong!  A size 41 is often described as a 10 and so on.  European shoe sizing conversion is usually to the 1/2, not a full size.  
  • ie. Size 41 is actually a 9.5.  If you are a true 10, you need a 42.


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