Personally, I’m a sucker for online shopping. In my mind, there’s nothing better than browsing the web on a Saturday morning with a cup of coffee while you are immersed in your couch. Besides the fact that you can do it in your pajamas, here’s a list of reasons why I prefer it:
- It’s super nice to see how the brand styles the clothing from head to toe. It allows you to visualize how you would style it, what is already in your closet that could pair well together with that item, and/or if you need to buy another item to complete the look. Also, when you are on a product page, most websites link similar products at the bottom so that you easily have the chance to find something else you might like better without doing much investigative work yourself. This is how I often find things I love.
- I like to try stuff on in the comfort of my own home, with my own mirrors and lighting that tell the REAL truth. As stated above, it’s also very convenient to be able to try it on with other pieces from your wardrobe, such as shoes, to make sure you’ll get good wear out of it!
- I mean, who doesn’t love coming home to a package on the front door step? Oh, the happiness!
- No aggressive / annoying sales people. Enough said.
I do, however, understand why women are uncomfortable with the concept of online shopping – especially those of us who don’t fit the market’s normal standards (TALL GIRLS, I’m talking to you). Trying to decipher the fit and feel can be a real nightmare. That’s why I’m here to help you with my guide to online shopping! Let’s dive in…
ALWAYS Know Your Measurements
This is the most important. When people tell me they are a size 8 at ABC Company, so they are going to order a size 8 with XYZ Company, I cringe inside. Once you get over the fact that you will not be one size at every single store, I promise you will find peace with online shopping. The truth is, each brand determines their own unique size chart. At some stores, you might wear a smaller size, and at others, you might wear a larger size. This has nothing to do with you or your body, so don’t hate on yourself. Another thing to be aware of: one individual retailer can carry multiple brand names. While the retailer might have a general size guide for their site available, be cautious as again those measurements can vary from brand to brand. On our website, we have it structured so that each item is linked to the individual brand’s size chart – easy peasy!
Ok, so – what measurements are important and how do you take them? I’ll tell you, but you should know that you will need a measuring tape. Also, shed most of your clothing for the most accurate measurements.
- Bust: Wrap the measuring tape somewhat loosely around the fullest part of your chest. Your arms should be down by your side and relaxed. Round to the nearest whole number.
- Waist: Find the narrowest part of your torso, between the top of your hips and the base of your rib cage. Stand up straight and wrap the measuring tape around this part of your body.
- Hips: Put your feet together, and wrap the measuring tape straight and snug around the widest part of your hips and fullest part of your butt.
- Inseam: Hold the measuring tape on the inside of your leg near your crotch. Hold the tape straight down the inside of your leg to your ankle bone. Side note #1: You’ll probably need a partner to help you with this one. Side note #2: I’m honestly shocked at how many tall girls don’t know what inseam they need, so if you don’t, please do yourself a favor and measure yourself!
- Hollow to Floor: Place the measuring tape the hollow of your neck (the indentation between your collar bones) and measure straight down to the floor. This measurement is extremely helpful when you are ordering dresses, so you know that they’ll be long enough! The same could go for tops, but instead of measuring to the floor, you would measure to the top of your jeans, or wherever you want your tops to hit. FYI – we put these measurements in our product descriptions.
- Sleeve Length: Place the measuring tape at the base of the center of the back of the neck. Run the measuring tape over your shoulder, and let it hang down to your hand. Another FYI – we also put these measurements in our product descriptions. You’re welcome.
Educate Yourself on Fabrics
Most retailers put the content descriptions of the products online, but how will you know if it works for you? This is important stuff to know when it comes to determining your size. For example, a rayon fabric is very loose, stretchy and drape-y, as opposed to something that made from cotton, which is more structured and less forgiving. I could talk about fabrics for a long time, but the best way to determine what works best for you is to go to your own closet. Pull out 3 things that you love. Look at the tag – what it is made of? Take note. Do you prefer items that don’t wrinkle or that you can throw in the washer? Find those items in your closet and look at the tag – note what it’s made of. Do you have something that started pilling in your closet after a few wears? Broken record here, but make note of it, and be aware before your next purchase! Simple as that.
Understand Silhouettes + Other Tips
Certain measurements are more important than others depending on the type of silhouette you are buying. For example, if you are looking to buy a body-hugging pencil skirt, it is key to make sure your waist and hip measurements line up with the correct size on the chart, as opposed to a free-flowing maxi dress, where the bust measurement is the most crucial. Assess the silhouette accordingly to understand what measurements will make or break the purchase for you.
If your measurements fall between two sizes online, be sure to read any style tips or customer reviews that websites have to figure out whether the item is TTS or not. On our website, we have a ‘questions about this item’ link on each product page so that you can email us with any fit or sizing questions (and we always get back to you). If you’re still feeling uncertain, and if your bank account allows, the best option is to order the item in 2 sizes and send back the size that doesn’t work for you. The exchange process can be more time consuming, so this is the best option if you need the product quickly.
Last but not least, create an account with the website you are purchasing from. This allows you to have access to a history of purchases where you can easily see what brands and sizes have worked for you in the past.
Have any more tips for your fellow tall girls? Share them in the comments below! Also, be sure to check out our website for clothing specially curated and created for tall women: www.amallitalli.com.
Happy Shopping! Xo