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Why Do I Have To Measure Myself Before Ordering Clothes Online?

Posted on January 22, 2020 by Jen Anderson | 5 comments

Because return shipping is expensive and time consuming. Because trying on clothes that don't fit is dispiriting. Because it will make shopping online for clothes so much easier. "Yeah, but I don't want to measure myself before ordering clothes online." It's too much work. Clothing sizes should be consistent. The cat stole your measuring tape. Besides, taking a close look at your body requires more emotional fortitude than you have to spare.

I still want you to know your measurements, so give me a chance to convince you.

blond woman in lilac Vikki Vi outfitIt's too much work

Not if you're just going for your bust, waist, and hip measurements. If you're ordering clothes made to your specific measurements, then you'll need a lot of different measurements. That will take a few minutes and a friendly helper. 

You can take the big three measurements yourself. Or ask a friend or spouse to do it. Or you can ask a tailor to do it while you're dropping off your mending or picking up your dry cleaning. 

Women's clothing sizes should be consistent

Yes, they should. They're not. Your refusal to measure yourself isn't going to change the system.

The cat stole my measuring tape

Anyone who owns a cat knows I'm not kidding about this. Future archaeologists will find hidden caches of measuring tapes and they will be super confused.

lilac Vikki ViYou need to grieve that measuring tape and move on. It's not coming back. If you do find it, it may be stretched, mangled, or otherwise unusable. Let it go. Buy a new measuring tape and hide it from the cat. 

Yeah, but...

Let's get real. The reason you've been putting off measuring yourself is that you just know you're going to get depressed. But what if you just...didn't? The size and shape of your body is neutral information. 

I know. My body is bigger than it used to be, and it was never as small as I thought it should be. I'm still indignant that I'm at least 4 inches shorter than almost everyone in my extended family. When I was 20, I went on a blind date and the guy's face fell the moment he saw me. 

There is no amount of hating your body that I don't understand. I spent decades beating myself up. I got to the point where I simply couldn't continue feeling that way for one day longer. You don't have to wait. You could just stop now.

French Blue Vikki Vi ClassicsBut still...

Do it anyway. Measure yourself and then spend the rest of day recovering on the couch. Once you have your measurements, you'll be able to buy clothes that fit you well and you'll start feeling more OK about your size. 

OK, but why?

So you can understand the Size Chart. If each size has only one number (like ours), then that number refers to the measurements of the clothing. If the size chart has a range for each size (such as 49-51), then that refers to your measurements. Size charts are meaningless if you don't know your own measurements.  

If you're still confused about which size to order, contact customer service for help. And no, you can't just skip to this step - we'll need to know your measurements when advising you what size is right for you.

Check out our other plus size shopping tips.

Posted in plus size shopping tips



5 Responses

Jen Anderson
Jen Anderson

January 27, 2020

Hi Janet,

Any 5’8" woman wearing our petite pants is probably long-waisted with short legs. The petite pants are suited for women who are 5’3". The Crop Pants are 4 inches shorter, which would make them perfect for you.
Thanks for commenting!!


January 27, 2020

This was crazy, CRAZY hard for me. BUT. I was in need of well-fitting clothes. So I just did it. I didn’t have a measuring tape, though!
So I took a long piece of upholstery fabric (very non-stretchy) and used it, marked each length with a pin (I’d been re-covering some chairs — don’t judge me) and then used the big old retractable metal measuring tape (the kind you use for home fix-it projects) and measured the sections of fabric.
Then, in a kind of “forcing myself here but ignorance is not better than great outfits” I plugged the numbers into the online size chart thingy. And then? Once I figured out my correct size, I THREW AWAY the paper with the numbers and focused only on the dress size.
And now I don’t even remember the inches, but I know my size number, and suddenly I can just click “2x” and like magic, everything fits. And when it says “this runs big, feel free to size down,” I DO. ANd I buy a 1×. CRAZY, right?

DO IT. Do not make excuses. If I can stand in my living room and wrap myself with upholstery fabric and pins, and then use my dad’s old heavy construction measuring tape, you can do it.


January 27, 2020

I understand from some of the customer’s that the petite pants are perfect for 5’8" ladies. If that is the case, what are the short ladies supposed to order? I am 4’11" and would like to know that the petite pants are for short ladies.


January 27, 2020

I understand from some of the customer’s that the petite pants are perfect for 5’8" ladies. If that is the case, what are the short ladies supposed to order? I am 4’11" and would like to know that the petite pants are for short ladies.

Jo Ann V Hunt
Jo Ann V Hunt

January 27, 2020

Love the blogs!
Measure for perfection!
You’re the best. Thanks.

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