Most of us have been in this situation before: we have purchased clothes online only to realise that we ordered them in the wrong size. Returns and exchanges can be a hassle and, unfortunately, also come with a negative impact on the environment. In addition, the costs associated with returns can be detrimental for small businesses with limited capacity and resources - find out more about this topic here.
So, how can you find your size when shopping online? In this guide, we’ll share with you our top tips and the correct way to measure yourself to avoid disappointing shopping experiences and returns in the future.
Read the Sizing Information
The most important step to finding your correct size when shopping online is to carefully read the sizing information. At the Slow Label, we provide you with as much information as possible to help you find the right fit. When viewing a clothing piece in our online shop, you will find a general size guide but also a size chart for that individual clothing item. Make sure to always carefully read the information and compare the garment's measurements to your own.
Understand Key Terms
It is also helpful to look out for and understand key terms such as relaxed fit, slim fit and true to size.
Relaxed fit or oversized usually means that the garment is designed to be looser-fitting. These styles generally feature a wider body, longer, looser sleeves and a relaxed neckline. Always review the size chart and opt to size down if you don’t like a loose fit.
Slim fit means the garment is designed to fit close to the body, so ordering your usual size will mean that it will fit a bit tighter on you. If you don’t like a slim fit, either size up or opt for a piece with a relaxed fit.
True to size or regular fit means that you can order the garment in the size you usually wear. To be safe, always compare your measurements to the size chart anyway as sizes may still differ.
Look at the models and read reviews
When trying to find your ideal size, taking note of how a piece of clothing sits on somebody else can be incredibly helpful. As a guide, we generally include the height of the model in the photograph and what size they are wearing.
Although it’s not always possible, we also try to include photos of our clothing worn by models with different body types and heights, in order to help you choose your ideal size.
Reading reviews by existing customers can also be helpful as they often share how a clothing piece fits. Some customers also include the size they usually wear and whether a garment fits true to size, tighter or looser on them, which can be a good reference point for you.
How to measure yourself correctly
Now the most important part: measuring yourself. A common mistake people make when shopping online is simply ordering clothing in their typical clothing size, however, sizes vary across brands.
So how should you measure yourself correctly? Always use a flexible measuring tape; in case you don't have one, you can also use a long piece of string and measure the length of the string using a ruler, for example.
Step 1: Bust
Wrap your tape measure (or string) under your armpits around your body, at the fullest part of your chest. Make sure to only wear your underwear and an unpadded bra when measuring yourself.
Step 2: Waist
Measure around your waist, above your belly button but below your rib cage.
Step 3: Hips
Stand with your feet together and measure the fullest part of your hips.
Step 4: Other
Depending on what type of clothing piece you’re looking at, also measure your legs and/or arms. When buying bottoms, for example, it’s recommended to measure the inseam (from the top of your inner thigh to your ankle) and your upper thigh. Always look at the size chart to find out more about the garment’s measurements.
Tip: When measuring yourself, make sure the tape or string is flat against your body but not too tight; it should always be comfortably loose.
Keep notes for the future
Our last tip is to write down your measurements for future purchases but to also review them regularly, making sure they’re up to date. Also keep note if a brand's clothes usually fit true to size, or whether you tend to need to size up or down. However, we always recommend double-checking the sizing chart before purchasing something online. It only takes a few minutes and can save you a lot of trouble while avoiding the negative impacts of returns on the environment!
If you’re still unsure about your size when shopping at The Slow Label, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org - we'll be more than happy to help you.