An Online Shopper’s Guide to Buying Well-fitted Clothes

The secret to being impeccably dressed is purchasing clothes that fit well and bring out the best in you. After all, ill-fitting garments are not only unflattering, but also uncomfortable. No one wants jeans that pinch in all the wrong places or shirts that feel constrictive – this always puts me off wearing them.

Normally, you can find the right fit by trying on clothing pieces in the fitting room. However, the landscape of shopping has changed due to COVID-19. As a safety measure, many stores have moved their activities online. Additionally, you might be more inclined to purchase clothes directly from these online stores as a convenient alternative to planning a trip to the mall. That being said, it can be tricky to figure out if a clothing piece will fit when you’re viewing it through an online catalogue. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to make your digital shopping experience an easier one. To learn more, below is a simple guide to purchasing well-fitting clothes online:

Know Your Exact Measurements

Getting your exact measurements is an integral step in purchasing the right outfits. Not every store will have the exact same clothing sizes, so you’ll need to check their specifications. For example, one brand’s small size may be equivalent to a medium in another brand. If you’re not familiar with your measurements, then do be sure to take note of them before you buy anything online. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to do, as you only need a flexible measuring tape. You could even ask a family member or friend to help you take measurements. If you’d rather have it done by a professional, then you can opt to visit a tailor. Usually, you’ll need to measure your height, shoulders, bust, waist, and hips.

Once you’ve gotten your exact measurements, you can refer to a store’s size chart when purchasing clothes. This chart will provide you with the specific measurements of more general sizes, so you have a better idea of how well an item will fit. Brands usually provide a chart on the product page of a clothing piece. However, if you can’t seem to find one there, try checking the footer of the website or message them for sizing recommendations. Do keep in mind that these guides aren’t always 100% accurate though as sizing varies between garments – something I experience a lot.

Purchase Clothes with Stretchable Fabrics

If you want to play it safe, you can also purchase clothes made from stretchable materials. For example, the denim material of jeans at the moment tends to be quite rigid and unforgiving if you get the wrong size. So instead of buying a pair of rigid jeans, you can opt to buy jean leggings. Since leggings are made of flexible fabric, you’re likely to get a better fit. Plus, it’s quite easy to find brands that sell stretchable garments. For instance, if you want to know where to buy jean leggings, a quick online search can show you the most reputable online stores, or you can check in with me as I live in them.

Buy Outfits That Compliment Your Body Shape

Still not sure if a piece of clothing is right for you? Then you can also try checking if it compliments your body shape. Everyone has a specific body type, which can act as a guide for picking out well-fitted outfits. The right clothes will ensure that all your best features are highlighted, no matter what. If you want to know what your body shape is and which garments are best suited for it, refer to the list below:

Hourglass Shaped

If you have a defined waist, lots of curves, and similar bust and hip measurements, then you may possess an hourglass-shaped body. Your curves are your defining features, so it’s best to wear body-hugging or structured outfits that can highlight them. For tops, try wrap, v-neck, and peplum-style blouses. As for bottoms, go for high-waisted, flared, wide-legged, and skinny pants. Lastly, opt for wrap, fit-and-flare, and sheath dresses.

Pear Shaped

If you have a defined waist and hips that are wider than your bust and shoulders, then you’re likely to have a pear-shaped body. Similar to the hourglass figure, you’ll need clothes that accentuate your curves. You’ll also need pieces that bring out the best of your upper body. With that in mind, try boat-neck, cowl-neck, square-neck, and peplum tops. For your bottoms, try bootcut, flat-front, and straight pants. As for dresses, go for A-line, wrap, and off-the-shoulder styles.

Apple Shaped

If you’re curvy, have an undefined waistline, and have relatively uniform shoulder, bust, waist, and hip measurements, then you probably possess an apple-shaped body. You’ll need clothes that can accentuate your curves while still flattering your other features. Keeping this in mind, opt for v-neck, dolman-sleeve, and wrap tops. As for pants, try straight leg, bootcut, and high-waisted styles to give your legs an elongated look. Lastly, go for dresses with empire waist, bias-cut, and off-the-shoulder styles to define your waistline and highlight your shoulders and legs.

Rectangle Shaped

If you have a straight waist without curves and fairly uniform measurements across your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips, then you could have a rectangle-shaped body. The type of clothes you need will depend on the parts of your body that you want to highlight. If you want a curvier look, then opt for sweetheart, scoop-neck, and v-neck tops. As for bottoms, pleated pants will add volume to your lower body, while flared pants can create flattering curves. If you want to achieve an hourglass silhouette, then you can try wearing belted and ruched dresses.

Inverted Triangle Shaped

If your shoulders are the broadest part of your body and you have a narrow waist and hips, then you may possess an inverted triangle-shaped body. The best type of clothes for you would be those that let your neckline, hips, and lower calves take center stage. With that in mind, go for crewneck, scoop-neck, and peplum-style tops. For your bottoms, try wearing wide-leg and cropped pants with prints. Both large prints and microprints will help draw attention to your lower body while giving it more volume. Lastly, A-line, fit-and-flare, and sheath dresses are great at flattering your shoulders and filling out your hips.

Use Digital Tools to Find the Best-Fitting Garments

Some brands offer digital fitting tools on their websites to help you find the right threads. If you notice that a brand has these features, they’re definitely worth trying. For example, certain tools will ask you to input your measurements along with the size of an item you like. Then, they can instantly inform you whether this item will fit well or not, so you don’t have to go through the whole process of manually checking the size chart.

Certain online sites can also recommend the best brands for your body size. Once you input your measurements, these sites can generate a list of brands and their corresponding sizes. This way, you can save time and energy by knowing exactly where to purchase your clothes.

Order Multiple Sizes At Once

Just like you would in a fitting room at the store, trying on different sizes at home at the same time is a must! Even the same size of one item can run differently (as I mentioned in my Allsaints leather jacket blog post), so I’ve been known to personally order 2-3 of the same item in the same size, to make sure I get the best fitting garment, but please do consider ordering various sizes as well, to ensure the right fit. I always check with the website first to make sure they have free returns, as it’s a hassle to pay to send back multiple sizes you didn’t want to keep.

Try Ordering Custom-Made Clothing

One effective way to guarantee a good fit is by ordering custom-made clothing. Certain online brands offer to tailor clothes to your exact measurements. For example, some stores will ask for your size and style preferences to create a piece that’s uniquely yours.

When it comes to purchasing garments online, there’s no 100 percent guarantee that your new threads will fit perfectly. This is why it’s always good to check the return policies of every store, in case you end up disliking an item or two. However, by following the guide above, you can certainly increase your chances of finding clothes that are both comfortable and flattering. I always say, when an item fits you well, you look incredibly poised and it shows that you know what you’re doing. The fit of an item is everything. Even if the clothes are cheaper, they can look more expensive with a good tailored fit.



  1. April 23, 2022 / 11:43 pm

    These are good tips! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    I definitely find shopping in person easier to judge sizes – after having my babies things all fit differently, haha! So in person is my preference, unless it’s a brand I own and buy a lot from then it’s easier to buy online.

    Hope you are having a good weekend 🙂

    • Lorna
      April 26, 2022 / 5:08 pm

      So glad you liked the article, Mica!

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