How to Shop Online

I get a lot of messages asking how do I know which size to buy, so I thought I would share some of my tips and tricks when shopping online. It’s taken me a few years to finally nail down what size I need to order from certain brands after a lot of frustration of either picking something too small or something not flattering.

SHEin Curves dress. I’m wearing the 3X here, but could have sized down to a 2X.

My first and foremost important tip to picking your size online is to purchase and own a measuring tape. Super affordable and will help when figuring out your size online. If you have one go ahead and measure your bust, waist, and hips and jot your numbers down somewhere where you can easily locate them such as in your note app. I used to get upset about my measurement numbers but girlfriend don’t let it get to you – I knocked that negativity out the window years ago. I buy things that make me happy, and not worry about the size label on the inside. So I’m releasing that from you  (smile).

When it’s a new brand (to you), look at the sizing chart and compare it to your numbers. When in doubt I always say SIZE UP ONE. For example, my bust is 46 on some sizing charts that number can fall anywhere between XL-2X (depending on the brand), If 1X is 46 and 2X is 48, I will more than always likely go with the 2X BECAUSE I don’t like super fitted clothes, so I know the 2x will work just fine with just enough room in the bust area for me. If something is way too big, you can always tuck it (if it’s a shirt), or belt it. I would rather have something taken in, than taking out.

Next, I’m a huge fan of reviews! I know, I know, who has times to read reviews. Butttt, I do like read a few reviews just to see if they are real photos and read about the quality of the item. Trust me, it works. If only I could just remember to go back and write reviews on things I’ve purchased. I’m looking for ratings in addition to reviews does the dress I’m looking for have 5 stars or 2, and if it’s 2 stars why did the dress get 2 stars? There will be times where you can tell people don’t leave authentic reviews and you can filter those out.

Kimonos are great because they almost always run large. I always size down one when buying kimonos.

When it comes to fabric that plays a factor when selecting clothing online. If the clothing item has no stretch I like to size up. If a top, sweater, or dress is “oversized’ I can typically size down one to two sizes. The boutique brand UMGEE that you see a lot in different online boutiques runs extremely large, so I know that anytime that I see that brand I know I can size down confidently in that item. When it comes to shopping with online boutiques – I really have to rely on the stock photos, consider the model, and if there are any review. Again I’m looking at the brands that the online boutique carries, like are they carrying UMGEE or PEACE LOVE CAKE, because those brands typically run large so I know I can get away with a Large and sometimes a Medium.

If I see something online that I LOVE or curious about, if it’s available in store I tend to go to the store to look at and feel it, even if it’s not my correct size I can get a great sense of it when I can touch it (now I know this is not the case for all things, but sometimes it works out). For example, Loft carries plus sizes online, but not in all stores. If I see something online at Loft in plus, I know that I can go into Loft store and see it in another size in order for me to make my determination on if I should purchase online or not.

Also, I’m always looking for things that I’m going to get the most wear out of. I tend to stay away from a lot of “trendy” prints that may only be in season for a year or two and go towards lots of solids and classic prints such as “leopard” and “stripes”. I love bold colors and bold prints, and you can tell if something will take you from season to season, year after year. That’s what I tend to stick with at the most. I’m also looking at the price tag – is it affordable, if it’s a splurge item and it’s costing me around $60 I’m asking myself will I wear it at least 30x’s just so that I can get my moneys worth.

Lastly, never be afraid to email an online boutique to ask what brand an item is and ask for sizing details. I’ve done this before and it really helped in my purchasing decision. I also know which brands I have the most success purchase rate, and when I need something in a pinch, I know I can count on that particular brand. Look for key statements such as “runs large”, or “runs small” – these really help determine what size to buy. Anthropologie is really good about listing these statements on a lot of the clothes they sell and they help tremendously.

I hope that these tips help you the next time you browse and shop online! Shopping online is fun, but can also be a little overwhelming – so give yourself grace to have trial and error. To help, I’m going to share some of my fav brands below with the sizes that I typically order. Reference I’m 5’0, wear a 1x or 2x in tops, dresses, and bottoms. For number size in tops I wear a 16 or 18. Sweaters XL or 2x (if it’s oversized I can get away with a L sometimes). I wear a 18 or 20 in pants and skirts (with no elastic). In dresses I wear a 18 or 20 (if it has no stretch).


Tee’s – XXL or 16 Plus

Blouses – XL, XXL or 16 Plus

Skirts – XXL, or 16/18 Plus

Dresses – XXL, or 16 Plus (sometimes an XL if it’s a flowy fit)

Pants – 18 Plus

Cardigans – XL

Kimonos – S/M (these are very forgiving and curvy flattering)


Tee’s – XXL or 2X

Blouses –XXL or 2X

Skirts – XXL, or 1X

Dresses – XXL, or 1X

Pants – 18 or 20 Plus

Cardigans – XL or XXL

Old Navy

Tee’s – 2X

Blouses –XXL or 2X

Skirts – XL or XXL

Dresses – XXL, or 1X

Pants – 18 or 20 Plus

Cardigans – XL

SHEin (be very careful to sizing on SHEin)

Tee’s – 2X

Blouses –2X or 3X

Skirts – 2X

Dresses – 2X

Have questions? Please feel free to drop them below and I will get back to you! xx

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