We all know it is practically impossible to buy anything that fits you perfectly off the rack. That’s why we make custom clothes, but that’s not what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about is how to pick the size that’s best for your body.

Before we start, let’s talk about size. Size is just a number – an extremely arbitrary, and given the variance between brands, practically meaningless number. You know what would be great? If women’s clothes were labeled with the actual size they are. You know, like ALL men’s clothing is. (Anyone want to take up this feminist/sexist issue with me? Because I am game.)

Rule # 1 – If it’s too tight, it does NOT fit. Even if it’s just a little bit too tight, and you’re sure you’ll lose 10 pounds (see rule # 2) before you have to wear it, go up a size. Your seamstress will thank you and you will be happy with less expensive alterations, because it is far easier to take something in than to let it out. And a lot of garments simply don’t have any extra fabric to let out, because of the way they are mass-produced. And if you do lose those 10 pounds? You will be thrilled to need it taken in AGAIN.

Rule # 2 – Buy for the size you are RIGHT NOW. Not the size you hope you’ll be two months from now when you wear it, and not the size you wore five years ago that you are desperately clinging to. You are what you are – accept it, love it, change it if you feel compelled to do so, but DO NOT SHOP FOR IT until it is your current reality. You’ll just be wasting money, and you all know how much I hate wasting money. (Don’t you? If not, I can totally write a post about that.)

Rule # 3 – Style matters. If you’re debating between sizes, consider what the garment is designed to show off. If it’s your hips, pick the one that fits your hips the best, and get the rest altered; if it’s the bust, make sure you’ve got enough coverage and nothing’s popping out where it shouldn’t be. In other words, look critically (at how the garment FITS YOU – NOT at how you fit the garment.)

That’s it, those are my rules. And remember – no matter what size is on the label, when you wear something that fits you properly, you look way better than when you wear something too tight OR too loose.

2 comments on “How to Buy the Right Size

  1. Tiffany

    I always have a problem with pants. I get the size that fits best at the store, then I wear them all day at work and they are completely too big and stretched out and saggy by the end of the day 🙁

    I can’t return them for a smaller size since i’ve worn them all day at work and thrown out the tags. How do you know if the material is going to do this ?!

    1. Crafty Broads Post author

      When at the store, give the fabric a good pull (up & down, side to side, and along the diagonal) and see if it stretches at all. Fabrics that shouldn’t stretch will generally be natural fibers (cotton, linen, wool, silk) but unfortunately you won’t find much of that in ready-made clothing, because it’s not as cheap as polyester and rayon, and because a little stretch in the fabric makes it “fit” a wider variety of body shapes. So the best you can do is look for something that’s 100% natural fiber. For pants, wool is great all year round and linen is awesome in warm weather (but it does wrinkle, so it’s best suited for casual wear.)

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