Too often, women become obsessed with their size, "I'm a size 6, I tell you!" A size in one brand can be a totally different size than another. Buy the size that fits, regardless if you think it's not the accurate size. Try on a variety of brands and experiment with different cuts to see which complements your body shape.
Buy 100% cotton clothes a size bigger that what you normally wear to allow for shrinkage. Also, never buy jeans that don't come down to the top of your foot. If they shrink the first time in the dryer, you'll never want to wear them – especially with heals.
No matter how much of a rush you are, never buy clothes without trying them on. Even if it's your size in a brand you know, there could be a slight variation in the cut that could make it fit entirely different. Check out how the garment looks in a three-sided mirror if possible so you can see how the garment looks on all sides. Make sure it allows for a full range of movement as well. Raise your arms, bend over, and walk a bit. If something doesn't fall right as you walk, you'll know it's not a good fit.
Most petite women wouldn't bat an eyelash at taking a pair of trousers to the tailor if they like the way they fit overall. And likewise, taller women will buy a great pair jeans that are too short knowing they can take out the hem a bit. The key is to figure out if the adjustments are worth it. Will you wear this item a lot? Is it a quality fabric that will hold up over time? If so, then it's worth a trip to the tailor.
A properly fitted garment shouldn't gape or pull. Wrinkles often are the tell tale sign there is either too little or too much fabric for your body. If you see wrinkles going across your garment it probably means the garment is too short. And if you see wrinkles going down the garment then it probably means the garment is not wide enough. Other key things to look for? Long sleeves should hit at the wrist bone. You should be able to fit two fingers in the waistband. Zippers shouldn't be strained. And the fabric should fall straight while you walk.
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