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14 Shopping Hacks To Buy Clothes Online That Actually Fit

You'll never have to go to the post office again.

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Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

When it comes to online shopping, getting clothes that actually *fit* can be half the battle. With vanity sizing, numbers and letters are usually of little help in determining which size will truly work for you.

Here are some tips on how to outsmart confusing online shopping sizes...

1. Get your hands on some flexible measuring tape or a *string*.

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If you don't have measuring tape handy, wrap a long piece of string around your body to take measurements and then measure the length of the string to get a sense of what sizes you should go for.

2. When measuring yourself, wear only your underwear and an *unpadded* bra.

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Having clothes on will make it very difficult to get accurate measurements.

3. To know your bust size, measure under your pits and around the fullest part of your chest.

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If your boobs swell around the time of your period, measure them at their least and most swollen so you can get a sense of how much difference there is between the two. To learn more about taking your own measurements, go here.

6. If you want to get SUPER accurate measurements, visit a tailor.

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"Call ahead to find out if they actually will do measurements, and be aware that a lot of places that do will charge for it," Suite M Sewing co-owner Megan Pippenger told BuzzFeed.

7. Use a sizing app like Fitbay to determine if a store has sizes that run big, small, or fit just right.

Fitbay

Fitbay shows the percentage of men and women wearing size small who have to buy a size up or down when shopping these brands. To unravel this sizing sorcery, the app uses over 100,000 data points from it's users so you can get a sense of what size to pick. For example: J.Crew usually runs large for both sexes and American Apparel runs small.

8. You can also plug your measurements into sites like Threadbase or Sizecharter to find out what size you would be in popular brands.

Threadbase

Input the size you wear in a specific brand and these sites will translate your info into sizes across a BUNCH of other retailers.

10. If a store asks for your full hip measurement, hold something vertically from your stomach to your hips.

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While hip measurements measure the hips' circumference, a full hip measurement takes stomach protuberance into account. This kind of measurement might come in handy if you're getting something custom-made from an Etsy shop. You can take the full hip measurement while holding something (like a ruler) next to your relaxed stomach and measuring at the same level as you would when measuring your hips.

11. If you're worried about getting the sizing right, opt to buy specific silhouettes while shopping online.

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If you're looking for a pencil skirt, it's crucial to get true measurements of your waist and hips to ensure that it fits comfortably all around. But if you're searching for an A-line or circle skirt, the waist measurement is the only one that really matters (and it's easy and cheap to adjust at a tailor shop). Shop for easier silhouettes and you'll probs return way less stuff.

13. If you're petite, follow these tips to find clothes that will actually fit you when they come out of the box:

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For example: If you're shopping for pants, your inseam measurement is THE HOLY GRAIL. Get that right and pants shopping will be a lot easier.

14. For basics with looser silhouettes (like tees and sweatshirts), check the men's section online.

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Menswear typically uses higher-quality fabrics than womenswear, so if you're looking for something more likely to last with a less feminine silhouette, try your luck in the men's department. To learn more about what to buy in the men's section, go here.

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