Home > The Lowdown on Shopping for Sizes Online

The Lowdown on Shopping for Sizes Online

When technology made it possible for us to buy clothes online, it saved us trips to the mall and hauling a bunch of shopping bags from store to store. Although we do love shopping, it definitely should be considered as a form of exercise considering how much walking and carrying bags we have to endure. But the one thing that many women still seem to not get quite right is estimating their size without the help of a fitting room. Shopping online may be convenient, however the beauty of trying on clothes in store is that you can immediately ask for a size up or down when you feel that the items don’t fit right. Statistics displayed on The Guardian may indicate that 47% more people are purchasing clothes and footwear online compared to two years ago, yet some of us are still struggling to get the handle of it.

The Lowdown on Shopping for Sizes Online | www.styledomination.com
I got lucky ordering this coat online. Tips I’ve learned along the way really helped with ordering the proper size, like knowing Aritzia’s standard fit.

It’s disappointing when you finally have your items delivered to your door, only to discover that the medium sized blouse is too snug around your chest or the pants are way too big. Your confidence stems from the clothes that you wear, and just as the clothing brand Woman Within explains, feeling comfortable in your own skin often starts with a great fit. So let’s stop being victims of online shopping and find out how we can avoid these sizing mishaps.

Here are a few things you’ll need to do before making any final purchases:

1) Know your exact measurements
As we all know (and maybe have come to despise), sizes differ from label to label, so it’s an absolute must that you have accurate measurements. Fashion and beauty expert Lauren Conrad has outlined exactly what needs to be measured, but the main ones you’ll need to know are your bust, waist, hips and inseam.

2) Always check the sizing charts
Ideally, every online retailer should have a size chart to serve as your guide so you never have questions whether the L is actually large enough for you.

The Lowdown on Shopping for Sizes Online | www.styledomination.com
I took my measurements and used the online store’s size chart to order this dress. Size charts – a girl’s best friend!

3) Don’t be afraid to ask a professional for help
Taking your own measurements can be a challenge in its own right, so if you’re ever in doubt, go to a clothing store or ask your local tailor for help. As Who What Wear points out, what most of us seem to have the most trouble with most is bra size, and getting measured by a professional will definitely eliminate any confusion you may have on the matter.

Got any tips for finding the right size while online clothing shopping? Let me know in the comments!

Stay stylish,

style domination logo final print-black

Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

Find me on: Web | Instagram

Leave a comment

  1. February 15, 2016 / 9:54 am

    Great tips! I have trouble finding the right size online all the time.

  2. LaNeshe (Nesheaholic.com)
    February 15, 2016 / 10:05 am

    I definitely need to take my actual measurements. That would help a lot when ordering from new places.

    • February 15, 2016 / 10:49 am

      Most definitely. I actually just took my measurements a little while ago so I could quit making expensive mistakes! Thanks for reading!

  3. February 15, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    I would add that you should always read the reviews! They can give you hints as to whether to size up or down. You may even get lucky and find someone with your measurements share what size they bought! Love when that happens.

    xo, Caitlyn

  4. February 15, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    Great tips, such a useful post! I always have trouble with the sizes when ordering online. Thanks 🙂 xx

  5. February 15, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    These are really great tips 🙂 I always struggle with my size online which is frustrating especially when you have to send it all back!!
    Thanks for sharing

  6. February 16, 2016 / 7:03 am

    Great tips! I rarely purchase clothing online for the simple reason that I’m afraid it won’t fit properly when I receive it. I must admit, I don’t know about online store policies either. Do most online stores take items back if they don’t fit? How is that handled? Do you have to pay for shipping to send it back and get another size?

    • February 17, 2016 / 4:46 pm

      Hi Sandy! Reputable online stores not only take back your purchase, you can take them back to their free-standing stores for a refund (ex. Banana Republic, Aldo, Zara, Neiman’s, Saks, etc). This generally applies to the big retailers. They will also provide you with free shipping to ship the item back if you prefer too. I refuse to order anything online that I cannot return unless I know for sure that I want it and it will fit. Some things I won’t bother ordering online like bathing suits…it’s too much of a gamble. I will order from Victoria’s Secret though because I feel that their sizing is pretty standard and I know what to expect. Thanks so much for reading! xoxo

  7. February 16, 2016 / 8:52 am

    Excellent post, really helpful tips here! It never occurred to me to get my measurements and use the size charts when ordering online!


    • February 17, 2016 / 4:43 pm

      Me too – I only started doing that recently! Thanks for reading! xox

  8. February 17, 2016 / 2:55 am

    Thank you for this! I was always hesitant to buy clothes online. With this, I hope I won’t have any regrets for my first online purchase.

    • February 17, 2016 / 3:24 pm

      You’re welcome! Excellent! So happy you found it useful! It can be so frustrating to order something, get excited about it’s arrival, only to find it’s the most terrible fit ever. Take care and thanks for reading! xoxox

  9. Toyinwithfashion
    February 17, 2016 / 5:43 am

    Great tips!! I barely find my perfect fit in stores so shopping online is more stress for me. Plus I totally enjoying the actual walking in to a store and trying on clothes.

    • February 17, 2016 / 3:24 pm

      Yeah – I hear ya. I wish clothing sizes were more standard! I shop online so often now that go into an actual store is a treat! LOL!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.