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How to Shop For Female Clothing When Female Clothing Sizing Is Awkward AF


You know those articles and videos where a woman goes into several different shops and tries on a standard size in each –and they all fit completely differently? (They are everywhere so of course you have). The poor shopper finds herself taking a size 12 in one shop, an 8 in another and a 14 in a third. Moral of the story: never trust female clothing sizes! This isn’t just run of the mill click-bait; it’s a huge issue that plagues women buying clothes the world over. You can’t always try everything on. Sometimes it’s only available online, sometimes you simply don’t have time. So what’s a girl to do? Not to worry, we’ve gone and made a list of hacks to get a size that fits you like a glove, a glove you didn’t have to try on first.

That old neck trick. You know when your Grandma would stand in the shop and hold the waist of pants around her neck and you would be like WTF is that crazy lady doing? WELL, it’s actually a fairly accurate way of measuring if something will fit around your waist. What you do is hold each end of the waistband in either hand, then wrap it around your neck. If the two corners touch –presto you have some pants/skirt/jeans that are going to fit you like a second skin.  Note: This is especially great for stretch fabrics.

Never, ever go by the sizing numbers. The reason that you walk into one shop and you’re a perfect 10 and you walk into another and you’re a 14 is because standard sizing doesn’t actually exist. You may think you’re weight is going up and down like an elevator, but the reason has nothing to do with you or your body – there are very few regulations on what a standard size is. It not only vastly changes from country to country but it also changes from shop to shop. Local and high-end designers will often use a fit model that they pick. This means it can be someone who is a 5’6 with a long torso or someone who is 5’9 with legs for days. Designers do try to stick to an average sized person for their fit model but what they consider an ‘average 10’ might not be what the next person considers a 10. Lesson: don’t beat yourself up if you don’t fit those sexy size 10 jeans in one shop when you thought you would. It might just be that you’re a different shape to their fit model.

This entire outfit is a mix between S to XL and it alllllll fits

Measurements. This is key. If you have the option to at least see some sort of measurement – even if you get an idea of length – it will give you a ballpark idea of fit. This is important because clothing shape can be deceiving but measurements never lie.  Also, if you know your own measurements (or around about) this helps a tone. Often when holding up clothes they look bigger than they actually are – this is because we other forget that we’re 3D and holding something flat is 2D. Knowing that you have a 35-inch waist will help you to no end when shopping.

Versace is gonna fit better than eBay. #justsaying

Do not go by how it fits the model.  Especially online. Obviously if this is your body type then you good. But most people do not have the same body type of a model. It’s pretty rare. Even a simple difference in height can completely change an outfits fit . This rule should be gospel if you are shopping in plus sizing. Big online brands like Asos seem to like to use very petite models for their standard clothing and medium-build girls as plus sized models. This is confusing, particularly if you identify as an in-betweenie and are sitting there wondering what freaking section you should buy your clothes from! Usually, if you’re roughly a 12 the standard sizing will fit you (unless they are very, very small fitting), which brings us to the next point…

The more expensive and designer something is the bigger the fit will be. It will also usually be cut to a standard size in your country and made well with good fabric – which is always helpful. If you’re buying from China or other Asian countries where people are usually smaller than Kiwi’s – go up at least 2 sizes. Especially if it’s super cheap and from somewhere like eBay, Alixexpress or Tao bell. Remember, you get what you pay for.


Ending on another tip straight from your Mum or Grandma – if it’s a top of some sort, get someone to hold it across your back from shoulder to shoulder. If the shoulder’s match up – you’re good to go!

Ariana Grande does not do this.



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