Random Tip Roundup: Fit and Sizing

fit and sizing tips

Just for kicks, I thought I’d share a few fit and sizing tidbits that have been floating around in my head of late!

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The fuller the skirt, the shorter the hemline feels. If, like me, you adore pleats in your dresses and skirts, be aware that the shape and design may make a slightly above-the-knee hemline feel quite … er, breezy. Go a bit longer than you might ordinarily.

Generally, shorts will fit better if you try a size up from your normal pant size.

Most retailer websites have a general size chart that only hints at how individual garments will fit. Consult the chart to get within your sizing ballpark and, if you can afford to do so, order your normal size and a size up or down. Keep the one that fits best and send back the other.

Tall boots that reach or cover your kneecap often make your legs look shorter because the eye expects the kneecap to be the midpoint of the leg. (This isn’t always true, but it’s what we expect!) In most cases, a boot that reaches an inch or so below the bottom of the kneecap will look fabulous.

Underwear sizing is ridiculous and meaningless. If at all possible, buy the size that fits your body without squeezing or subdividing your hips and butt, even if that size is several higher than what you’d expect to fit. I’m a size 10-12 in pants and frequently spring for XXL panties.

If a shoe has a platform, subtract the platform height from the overall heel height to determine how tall the shoes will actually feel.

Jeans and pants with high spandex/lycra content can distend with wear. If you’ve got more than 4% in your fiber mix, wear the pants around the house for 2-3 hours with the tags still on them. If they’re sagging and bagging, return them. They might shrink back into shape in the wash, but they’ll just sag and bag again after a few hours’ wear.

When trying on bracelets, look in a mirror with your hands at your sides. If it squeezes your wrist, it’s too small. If it slides down more than an inch past your wrist bone, it’s too big.

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Got any recently learned or unexpected fit and sizing tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

Images courtesy Land’s End.

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  • http://www.kayakmedia.com Claire

    +1 for testing stretchy pants in the house before snipping tags #lessonlearned. For me, jacket sizing is always tough. I have broad shoulders & a narrow waist. So my tip is: It has to button. Fully. Without pulling. Even if I think I’ll always wear it open. I can always get the waist tailored but there’s no magic stretcher for shoulder sizing. :)

  • JB

    I second the point about underwear sizing. Also, maybe it’s just the brands/styles of shoes I buy, but I find that my sandal size tends to be at least a half size smaller than my regular shoe size.

    • Ruth Slavid

      Is that because it doesn’t matter if your toes ‘hit the end’ – because there is no end?

      • JB

        Could be, although I’m pretty conscientious about proper shoe length. I think it may be because there are fewer places on a sandal overall where poor fitting can happen, just because there’s less upper material. More wiggle room, if you will.

    • Carol Norris

      I agree about the underwear too. If it is too tight, I will fidget all day long. I always size up on panties and do not regret it.

  • marshacwp

    The underwear thing is so true. Most of it looks like it’s made to fit a doll, not a full grown woman. Tight undies put me in a bad mood, and a scowl never looks pretty.

  • Ruth Slavid

    Obvious one, but you need to know how short a skirt is when you sit down as well as standing up. I haven’t quite worked out the equation but I think it is to do with fullness. Some get longer when you sit – others get shorter.
    Oh and if you are pear shapes and you lose a bit of weight, realise your skirts will get longer, as they slip down your hips. If you get fatter, when you would probably like more coverage, annoyingly your skirts get shorter.

    • Rachel

      Yes – although fuller skirts will feel shorter when you’re standing (as Sally said), they give much more coverage when seated. Straight skirts get really short when you sit down! I have certain skirts that have been relegated to “tights only” because of that.

  • Rose Korman

    I’ve found that, almost always, I have to size down at least a half size with heels.