Finding the right fit
We’re all different body shapes, sizes and dimensions but all seem to have the same recurring issue when it comes to buying clothing – poor fit. Whether it be too tight on the arms, not tight enough around the legs, gaping at the bust, the ongoing saga to find the perfect pair of jeans (how hard can it be!) — we’ve all at some point experienced a poor fit. I understand that not everything is going to flatter everyone due to us all being different, but I find myself frequently having to guess which size will fit when buying online – depending on the retailer – which is extremely time consuming, and increasingly frustrating. ModCloth recently found that 77% of plus-size women say it is difficult to find well-fitting garments with a huge 73% saying sizing is inconsistent across brands – something I would wholeheartedly agree with.
Coming from a buying background, I know that the research and development into creating a plus-size range can be costly, and getting the same shape and fit in a garment from straight size to plus size can mean new materials, or an entirely new design. However, don’t we deserve fashionable, well fitting clothing like everyone else? Why do we seem to struggle to find the right fit?
The issue partly stems from a lack of retailers fitting their samples on plus-size models. I recently asked a plus only retailer their fit model size, and nearly simultaneously combusted when I heard ‘Size 18’ as the reply. They should be using models on both ends of the spectrum, as the fit can drastically change from a size 18 woman to a size 32.
So, which retailers can we trust to offer us on trend, well fitting, well designed garments? Here’s a list of my favourites:
- Asos Curve– Well designed on trend garments.
- Navabi– Intricately made, close attention to detail and fabric choice.
- New Look Inspire– Competitively priced and on trend.
- Evans- Can be generous, but mainly true to size.
- Yours – Good quality relatively true to size
- Carmakoma – well styled and designed garments
Less predictable fit
- SimplyBe– Buy a couple of sizes to try as sizing can be unpredictable
- Lovedrobe– Sizing can fluctuate between garments.
- Elvi– Structured pieces can come up smaller than average
To help you to minimise the possibility of buying something that may be poor fitting, here are a few tips which I’ve gathered over many a year of online shopping (and regularly having to post orders back!).
- Take time to measure your body – you’ll find it much easier (and faster) to select what will ‘hopefully’ be the right size and fit when you have your measurements to hand.
- Note down your experience with each retailer – that way you’ll be able to know for next time whether you need to try a couple of sizes.
- Read the reviews – possibly an obvious one but this can save you a lot of time as the garment has already been tried and tested by others.
- Many retailers (such as Asos, Simply Be, Evans) also stock brands whose sizing may not mirror the retailers guide – take this into consideration when buying. Theres no harm in tweeting a brand to ask more about their sizing.
Hopefully we will get to the point where there is one international size guide, and full retailer/brand transparency. Until then, note down your experiences, read as many reviews as possible and test out different styles and cuts, to find the best fit for you. After all, one size most definitely does not fit all!
We’d love you to get involved in the conversation, whether you’ve had a fit nightmare or have a glowing report for your most trusted brand, let the PocketWardrobe team know by emailing – firstname.lastname@example.org.