How to choose and buy knitwear which will actually fit you
Getting the right size knitwear - or any other clothing
Online shopping for clothes
Do you enjoy the convenience of buying your clothes online? I do. I dislike shopping in bricks and mortar shops. It can be time-consuming and tiring, and if you find that perfect jacket/dress/sweater it's annoying when they don't have it in the colour or size you want.
Buying online gives you access to all the knitwear in the world from your keyboard, in every size and colour. But you can't try on for size before you buy, so it's especially important to have an accurate note of your current measurements.
You have an absolute right to return anything you have bought online for exchange or refund if you change your mind once it's delivered (you can read more about your rights here) but it's much more fun and a much better use of your time if you can get it right first time.
You want to wear it straight out of the box, not return it! So, how do you choose the right size for you?
Know your measurements (don't guess!)
To buy knitwear - or any clothing - which fits you well, you need to know what your actual measurements are. Not what they used to be... not what you'd like them to be... not what you think they are. Don't guess. Find out! You may be surprised...
There are easy steps you can take to make sure you choose the right size when you buy your knitwear.
- Ask a friend to measure you - it's much more accurate.
- Make sure your tape measure isn't twisted or folded - or stretched.
- Make sure your tape measure goes around your body straight, parallel to the floor, and not at an angle.
- The tape measure should be held taut not slack. It definitely should not be tight. If you pull it tight your measurement will be unrealistically small and this may mean you choose a size which is too small for you.
- Wear the underwear you would usually wear - you want accurate measurements, you aren't trying to impress anyone!
- When being measured, wear the sort of clothing you would usually wear under the type of knitwear or clothing you plan to buy.
- It doesn't matter whether you measure in centimetres or inches, but be consistent and make sure you know which you have used!
- The essential measurements are (A) bust, (B) waist, (C) hips and (D) wrist bone to wrist bone with elbows slightly bent. I recommend that you also make a note of your height.
Keep a note of your measurements handy
My downloadable 'how-to' guide has diagrams and a table you can use to keep a note of your measurements for future reference. Keep it handy, either on your device or print it out. Or both.
Read up the sizing information on each website
You can't rely on standard sizing - almost every online shop uses different sizing
It's annoying, but a UK size 16 in your favourite online shop may well be quite different from a UK size 16 in the new online shop you've just discovered. So when you know your measurements it's important to read up the size guide on any website before you buy. And check out any notes they give such as 'this size will fit up to such-and-such bust measurement'. My web site has a size guide and I also give additional sizing notes on those garments where I feel extra information is helpful, such as for my swing wrap jacket and for my big square wrap.
If you have sizing queries about my knitwear (or any other queries) I'm happy for you to get in touch for more info before you buy.
Custom made or bespoke knitwear
When ordering a made-to-fit garment from me, in addition to your main measurements and your height, it's a good idea to also make a note of the measurements of a sweater or jumper which you like and which fits you well.
- To measure it, lay the sweater flat and make sure it's crease free.
- The essential measurements are (E) bust, (F) waist, (G) hips, (H) armhole depth, (X) shoulder width and (J) sleeve length.
Download my single sheet printable 'how to' guide
I've created a printable single page 'how to' guide (you can download it, there's no charge). Diagrams and brief notes show you exactly which measurements to take and a there's a table for you to complete with your measurements. It's useful to keep at hand for future reference.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you'd like to know more.
Remember that you are welcome to visit my studio in East Molesey to browse my knitwear in person - please get in touch if you would like to make an appointment.