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Tips for buying clothing online that will actually fit

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Shop smart online

From SheKnows Canada
The ability to buy just about anything online has made our lives infinitely easier. Being able to click on a desired item and then have it delivered saves both our time and our sanity, but shopping for clothes on the web can be tricky.
Woman shopping with credit card | Sheknows.ca
Photo credit: 4FR/E+/Getty Images

Avoid a shopping slip-up with our tips for buying clothes online that actually fit.

Before you start

Make the whole online shopping experience a smooth one with the help of a service that saves you time (so you can spend more time shopping). Since we love anything that gives us more time to shop, we love MasterPass by MasterCard, which safely stores all your payment and shipping information, which means you don't need to enter it at every store. Simply shop the wide array of stores affiliated with MasterPass to shop faster, safer and smarter.

Take your measurements

The first step toward ensuring what you buy online will fit you is to take accurate measurements of your height, waist, hips and bust. This way you'll be much better able to ensure that what you buy works with your proportions. Assuming you know your size based on what you usually buy won't help you when you're shopping online, since trying things on isn't an option. You're much better off with exact numbers rather than relying on the fact that you're a size 6 at other stores.

Quick tip:

Getting a friend or significant other to take measurements can make the process easier and more accurate.

Shop stores with sizing charts

Online stores that offer sizing charts can make the shopping experience a lot easier. Now that you have your measurements, you can compare them with the chart to ensure you're buying the right size. For example, apparel and accessories store Ardene offers a comprehensive sizing chart for tops and bottoms, swim tops and bottoms and intimates. It also offers helpful measuring tips to get the most accurate results. Other stores, like eLUXE, offer personal stylist services, which can be equally helpful when trying to choose the right fit. They can help shoppers find the best item based on budget and body type.

Re-measure twice
per year

Since sizes change and weight fluctuates, it's a good idea to take your measurements more than once a year if you regularly shop online. The more accurate you can be when you're adding items to your virtual shopping basket, the more success you'll have in terms of fit and sizing.

Research the
return policy

You might not love everything you buy and will want to either return or exchange the odd item every now and then. So before you shop, read the return policy. Some stores make it difficult, while others, like Boathouse, have a return policy that makes it easy to get what you want even if you didn't quite make a match on your first try.

Buy from stores and brands you know

One of the easiest ways to ensure an item you buy online fits and looks great is to buy online from stores you visit regularly or brands you've worn before. This is a simple way to make sure you know what you're buying is going to be the right size. Plus, if you try something on at Ardene in the mall and love it, you can hop online to get more of the item when you need to.

When something fits, buy in multiples

Does that skirt or dress you got online at Boathouse fit like a glove? If you love it, get more in a few patterns and colours. Stocking up on items you know fit you well is another simple way to shop successfully online, especially at the start of a new season, when you likely need (or at least want) to refresh your wardrobe.

More style tips

How to wear graphic prints without looking like a clown
How to wear leggings and other trendy pieces
Signs it's time for a style update

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