How To Shop For Clothes That Actually Fit When You're In Between Sizes

Little Stranger

A few days ago, I decided to make like Eminem and clean the ever-loving crap out of my closet. What I found was a mass of crop tops, jeans that no longer fit me and bandage dresses. My closet was like Kim pre-Kanye, and I was about to get all Monica Rose up in it.

After sending off two giant bags to the Salvation Army and receiving store credit at Beacon's Closet and Buffalo Exchange, I was able to finally reassess what's left of my tiny-ass closet. As I hung my clothes back up, I began to see a pattern.

Actually, let me rephrase that: There was no pattern. All of my clothes were different sizes.

I don't normally look at the size tags on my clothes for the same reason I avoid scales — I don't want to know. I mean, sure, I'll look at them when I'm clothes shopping, but I do my best to not think about whether I'm a size Medium or Large too much.

However, when I went through my wardrobe, I found virtually everything from XS to XXL. And here's the thing: It all fit me!

When you're an “average” woman (read: neither traditionally skinny nor plus-size) you're always ping-ponging between sizes. You can be a small in one store and an XXL in another. Worse yet, sometimes one is too big and the other too small. How are any of us supposed to make sense of all that?

Fellow in-between girls, here are the tips that help me make sense of the world.

Always size up.

If you're struggling between a size small and a medium, choose the medium.

It's not that you won't lose weight or eventually fit into the smaller size, but the larger size is the better investment. Remember, it's easier to take something in than it is to take something out.

If the bigger size is a bit too long or baggy, take it to the tailor. Seriously, tailors are a girl's best friend -- that is, right after puppies and that Drake-powered vibrator.

Don't be afraid of stretch.

Stretchy things (think Spandex-y jeans and jersey anything) are made to have a bit of give. If you're an in-betweenie, that extra room allows you the freedom of mobility.

This is also great if you're currently in the process of losing weight, but don't want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe just yet. Stretchy always things fit well, no matter your hip size or arm jiggle.

Try everything on.

My closest friend is always a size 4 no matter what brand she wears, so she virtually never tries anything on. Unlike her, I fluctuate. I can go from a size 4 to a 10 in the same day, depending on the material and store.

The only way to tell if something fits you is to try it on. Eyeballing it might work some of the time, but we rarely see ourselves as we really are and will inevitably buy something that doesn't fit.

Stop reading labels.

No one cares what size you are. All anyone notices is whether or not that particular piece of clothing looks good on you. The only times anyone will see your size tags are when you're taking off your clothes or when you accidentally wear something inside out.

If it's the former, your partner should be happy you're getting naked. If it's the latter, they'll be too busy laughing at you to care that you're wearing your post-Thanksgiving turkey pants.

Invest in high-quality underwear.

A great, well-fitted bra and panty will improve your posture, make you look more together and make your clothes fit a million times better.

Also, try to finally get a decent bra fitting -- you can even get one online through sites like True and Co. I personally love the Natori Feathers bra. That one you got with your mom around the time of first training bra might be ready for retirement.