The biggest concern with ordering dresses online or via a snail mail catalog is always whether they will fit properly when you get them. We all know how the size on the tag doesn't necessarily mean everything; you can try on a dress that is your size, and it might look great, or it might look terrible. Often it just seems like they are not cut to flatter someone of your proportions, even if it is technically your size.
Because of this phenomenon, many women stay away from mail order or online shopping, because of the simple fact that they cannot try these dresses on first before purchasing them. Even being able to return items is not much consolation, as it costs you money and time, not to mention it is such a hassle for the small amount of money you get back in return.
But dresses can be purchased sight unseen with a reasonable expectation that they will fit. Here are a few tips for determining proper fit.
First, be sure to check the manufacturer's size charts. The manufacturer's size charts are one of the best resources at your disposal for ensuring your dresses will fit you when they arrive. Most size charts provide the bust, waist, and hip measurements for each size.
Typically, manufacturers will suggest that if your measurements indicate you are between sizes, you should go with the larger size. However, depending on the way the clothing is meant to fit, you might actually want to go with the smaller size. For instance, if you have a small bust but not much waist definition and you are considering a dress that is flowing through the waist and hips, you will probably be happier if you go with the smaller size so that the dress fits your bust better.
You should also know what styles tend not to look very flattering on you. Sometimes a dress can fit you just fine but look like it doesn't, and even going a size up or down doesn't help, simply because the style is all wrong for your body. Know what styles of dresses look good on you and which ones do not, and don't be tempted by the latter, no matter how good they look on the model!
If you really want a dress you have seen online and you are not sure whether the style will look good on you or not, try this approach: Print out a picture of the dress, and take it with you to your local mall or shopping center . Then try to find either the same dress or one in a similar cut so that you can be sure the style looks good on you. Chances are the one online is cheaper, so then you can just return home and order it in your size without having to worry that it won't look good on you when it arrives.
You can also use items from the same manufacturer that you have bought from previously for size comparison. Other dresses, or even skirts and tops that you have from the same manufacturer, can be an excellent way of determining what size you should get and whether that manufacturer's clothing fits your body the way you like. This is an excellent justification, therefore, for frequenting the same websites or catalogs, or gravitating toward dresses by clothing manufacturers you already know you like and can wear.
Likewise, if there is a manufacturer whose clothing you have frequently found does NOT fit you, be sure to avoid their clothing when purchasing anything you cannot try on first, no matter how cute it looks on the model!