Know Your Size – A Better Online Shopping Experience
With clothing being the most popular online purchase in the UK, it has become increasingly important for you to know your size. By that, I don’t mean if you’re a small, medium or large. All brands have their own sizing and whilst there’s a general rule to what each size should be that’s not always the case.
A common mistake many make is to assume your label size e.g. S, M, L, XL or XXL, is universal. That only works when you’re a regular buyer of a certain brand, you might even get lucky with a couple of others brands too. Don’t fall into the label trap. Knowing your actual size is great and opens lots of new avenues in styling, especially if you like exploring and checking out new brands. The last thing you want is to experience the joys of returns and having to find a replacement for that special occasion. Or having to reorder the correct size and hoping it arrives in time. Let’s face it, all this hassle requires time which we could make better use of. Online shopping is supposed to make our lives easier, not harder.
So, what are the most common sizes to remember?
Get yourself a tape measure. Don’t worry, you won’t have to make a list of absolutely everything. Just knowing a few key basics will make your life easier and your online shopping experience much smoother. Below you can see which measurements you will need for each item of clothing.
T-shirts are pretty straight forward as you only need your Chest size – The chest measurement is taken at the widest point of your chest. Wrap the tape measure comfortably around your torso, usually 2-3 cms below the armpits and around your chest.
You’ll find quite a few off-the-rack shirts are usually sized by the collar. However, we all know that your collar size does not define your body shape or size. To make sure you’ve got all bases covered it’s always good to know your chest, collar and sleeve measurements when buying shirts.
Chest size – As above in T-shirts.
Collar – Measure around the base of your neck (where the shirt collar sits), and add half an inch (or a finger sized space). This little extra ensures your collar isn’t too tight and fits comfortably.
Sleeves (1) – Depending on where you buy your shirts, sleeves can be measured in a couple of ways. The easy measurement is simply from the tip of your shoulder to your wrist bone. Make sure you take the measurement with your arm relaxed so it’s slightly bent. This simply ensures that your sleeves have a little give in them, so when you bend your arms the cuffs don’t glide up the arms too much and you end up looking like your shirt shrunk in the wash.
Sleeves (2) – The second method is a little trickier and may require the help of a trusty friend or partner. Find the center point of your back at the base of your neck and measure to the tip of your shoulder. Now add this to the first measurement above. You’ll usually find this measurement on a more tailored fitting shirt.
Jeans & Trouser Measurements
You’ll need your waist and inside leg measurements for this. Waist – Lean over to one side and where your body creases (usually just below the naval) is the waist measurement point.
Inside Leg – You will need the help of trusted friend or partner for this one. You hold the tape measure at your crutch (just below your crown jewels) and get you trusted helper to hold the end down to your ankle bone.
A tip for the shorter men, if you do get jeans or trousers that are a bit too long, make sure you get them altered to the perfect length. A longer length will make you look shorter.
Now we’ve already got the chest measurement, there’s only your height to remember which most of us will already know.
Have you ever wondered what the letters “S” (short), “R” (regular) and “L” (long) relate to in off-the-rack blazers and jackets? Well, it’s your height.
“S” (Short) – Shorter than 5 ft 7 inches.
“R” (Regular) -5 foot 7 inches to 6 foot.
“L” (Long) – 6 foot 1 inch to 6 foot 3 inches.
This isn’t always a given as brands can vary and it also depends on how you like you fit. For instance, I’d normally fall into the “R” (Regular) bracket but for blazers I find an “S” (Short) to be a better fit. I personally prefer a shorter cut as I think it looks sharper, especially when worn with jeans.
Always take your foot measurements towards the end of the day as they’re usually swollen from all that running around and therefore at their biggest. As feet are commonly slightly different in size, measure your biggest one. Using a ruler or tape measure to measure your foot (from the edge of your heel to the tip of your longest toe) and measure in inches. Now you know your size you can convert from UK shoe sizes to European or US sizes using these tables.
Now you know your size or at least know how and where to measure up, you are ready for a better online shopping experience. Happy shopping!