How to Find Clothes that Fit

Why Does Nothing Fit Me Right?

“What the heck is wrong with my body?  I can try on 15 things when
I’m shopping, and maybe two will fit me.”


Could these words have come out of your mouth?

I’ve heard so many women lament about this.  And they all think it’s them.  Something is wrong with them.  

I get it.  You see other women looking great in their clothes and they’re shopping the same places you are, so it must be your body that’s wrong.

First thing to know:  you’re not alone.

Second thing to know:  it’s not your body.  You have permission to let go right now of any of those not-good-enough stories.  They don’t belong in your psyche.

It can be so frustrating.  You see things you love when you shop, but they seem not to love you back.  You order what seems like a truckload of clothes online, only to pack all of it right back in the box to return for credit.  (At least you saved money, you tell yourself.) Yet, You wanted. New. Clothes.

Usually when the ill-fit jester comes to call, there are one of 3 things going on at the root:

  1. The clothes are poorly made.  It looks really attractive on the model at the website: She’s smiling,… happy and confident (usually on a beach location somewhere), her skirt is flowing in the breeze, and everyone around is looking at her with admiration.  (Good marketers know how to romance a product!) You only need one ounce of that scene to be true when you put the dress on but, instead, it’s a disaster. Was it really that great on the model?  Perhaps her happy and drop-dead -gorgeous looks distracted from a few inherent design flaws in the dress

    Realistic expectations: If a garment is baring skin on the model, it will bare skin on you as well. Be sure you’re ok with where that’s happening.

    Look closely when you’re attracted to a clothing item.  If anything looks the least bit “off” when it’s on display, you can bet that’s going to be a problem when you put it on your body in real life.

  2. The clothes are fine; they simply need alterations. Many women I hear from are frustrated when clothing doesn’t fit them correctly, out-of-the-box.  They don’t realize that most clothes continue to be designed for the classic “hourglass” shape of 1950’s female film stars like Sophia Loren and Liz Taylor. (This matches only 8% of the female population.)  That means, very simply, that the clothes aren’t designed for most women’s bodies. So even if you land in the size range that a manufacturer has designed for, odds are there will still be a particular element of your body that doesn’t fit the mold exactly.  And that, My Lovely, is what tailors are for!

    Too-long sleeves can be shortened with alterations. (Universal Standard jacket.)

    When a man shops for a new suit at a men’s clothing shop, he expects that once he makes his selection, the salesperson will call the tailor in to make adjustments.  It’s assumed that a made-to-measure appearance is desired, and the tailor will make alterations to achieve that look. Even though it isn’t custom-made to fit, that suit will be made to appear as if it were.

    Women, on the other hand, have grown to expect that they’ll wear clothes right off the rack.  (How often have you had a tailor called in to the fitting room to look at your new outfit selection?) The truth is, proper fit can make all the difference in the world when it comes to presenting a positive impression in the clothes you’ve chosen, and that fit won’t come straight off the rack. Here’s where a good tailor can be one of your best style allies.  Maybe your arms are a bit short proportionately, and sleeves need to be made shorter.  Or maybe your hips are proportionately larger than your waist and you need that trouser taken in at the waistband.

    Note: Keep in mind that many elements of a clothing item can be made smaller or shorter, but making a store-bought item larger is rarely an option.

  3. The clothes are the wrong shape for your body. Not all clothing styles are made for all bodies.  Your own body type will have certain clothing silhouettes

    Body shapes respond differently to varying clothing silhouettes.

    that relate to it, fit it well, and flatter it.  Trying to contort your body into an unnatural shape of garment can be an exercise in futility in some cases, and at minimum, an uncomfortable fitting room experience.

    Determine your own natural body silhouette and choose garments that mirror its shape for maximum comfort and personal attractiveness.  Choose clothes that  your body is at home in, and you’ll have less pulling, tucking, and feeling confined.  If you’re unsure about your own body type, my Figure Friendly Style Formula program includes, among other treats, the guidelines to specifically identify your type and eliminate guessing.

Getting a good fit is simple to achieve when you know what to expect and what to shop for.  Assessing clothing for its relevance and worthiness to you is at the core of all your best shopping selections.  Make informed choices about a garment, secure the called-for fit adjustments, and stand proud in your new outfit! 

Have a comment? Question? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below. I read them all. (You just might be the inspiration for my next blog post!)

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices (normally), and… well, currently on Zoom! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s eBook “The Wardrobe Simplifier” visit or contact Patty.

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