Top 12 Tips to Get the Right Fit When Buying Clothes Online

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If your like me and have a taste for unique clothes and top end designers but don't have the budget to match, then buying on eBay can be the way to go.  But it can be daunting when sizing differs so much depending on designers, countries & eras.  I buy most of my clothes on eBay these days and through trial and error, have found some things ensure items fit and I can buy with confidence.

1. Check Measurements

Don't assume- sometimes sizing even varies with same designer.  If no measurements are listed, contact the seller and ask.  

2. Know your Measurements

Measure yourself with a tape measure and keep your measurements handy for easy reference.  Re-measure yourself if you gain or lose weight.  Ensure you measure your hips & bust at their widest point (hips: normally around the middle of you bottom, bust: normally around nipple).

3. Compare with your Own Clothing

Find a similar item you have and measure that to compare.  Eg. If your looking at a singlet find a comfortable one of your own and measure against it to see if it matches the measurements for the one you're looking at.

4. Know the Fabric

If it has elastane, spandex or is cut on the bias items will have some stretch so the measurements, if they are taken flat as they generally are, will be somewhat smaller than what the item will fit or stretch to.  If the fabric isn't listed ask the seller or ask them if their is stretch in the item and how much, ie. very stretchy or minimal stretch etc.
NB. The same fabric can be firm or stretchy, ie. not all cotton etc. will have stretch- always ask the seller if you are unsure.  Even ask them for measurements of item stretched.

5. Check Designer Websites

Most designers have their size charts listed on their website so you can check there.  This will give a general idea of what sizing you will be with their product but still can differ depending on fabric etc. so asking seller is still more specific to the actual garment you're looking at.

6. Know your Designers

If you a lot of a certain designers, you should have an idea of what will fit you in their ranges.  Eg. I have a lot of Alannah Hill- though I am a size 10-12, I know that generally in her skirts I will be a 14 and in tops a 12 however I can go down a size (12 in skirt & 10 in top) if the item has stretch.

7. Check the Stores

If you can get to a store of the label, then go along and try on a similar item to get an idea of their sizing as it fits to your body.  Even better, if you're considering a currently stocked item- you can try the exact item on.

8. Don't Assume Sellers Estimation or Conversion of Size is Correct

A seller may estimate that an item will fit a size 10-12.  Always check measurements, peoples ideas of sizing vary and many a time I bought an item estimated to be a certain size that it definitely was not.  Likewise their conversion of a size (eg. stating the European size 42 shoe is a size 9 AU) may not be correct.  

9. Know Your Rights

Don't assume you can return it if it doesn't fit.  Most sellers will accept returns/ refunds for faults not listed but not ill-fitted clothes.  The onus is on you to ensure you get the right fit.  So even if they have a returns policy accepting returns within X days don't assume this covers sizing.

10.  Check the Online Conversion Chart

When buying clothes that have American, European, UK etc. sizing, search online for a sizing conversion chart in women's clothing to find out what that correlates to in Australian sizing.

11.  Genuine Vintage Clothing

Sizing scales have changed dramatically over the years.  A size 12 from the 1960's will not be a size 12 of today, in fact it may be quite a few sizes smaller.  Again, get the measurements!

12. Ask for Extra Photos

Don't be afraid to ask for extra photos if you need- especially if the item is laid flat.  Ask for a photo of it on a mannequin or on the seller to get an idea of how it sits.

Remember, the onus is on you to read the entire listing and ask anything you need to know from the seller  before  bidding.  Sellers don't take responsibility for buyers making the wrong choice- so always ask anything you are unsure of and never assume anything.  Most sellers, and all conscientious sellers, are helpful when you have questions- they want to sell their item and providing info you need can help assist that.

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