Body Type Guidance - From The Closet Fly

*We hear that it’s sometimes difficult to shop online because of body type concerns, and the reality that you can’t try on the clothing before you purchase.  Today, we’ve brought on wardrobe consultant Mayna Sgaramella from Closet Fly to share some tips, since she’s an expert in helping people wear what’s best for their bodies. *

**Closet Fly is one of our Trendsetters who offers tips on what to wear and how to wear it best.  I’ll let Mayna take it from here!

Knowing what styles and cuts look best on your body type is hard enough shopping in stores, so how do you ensure you’re selecting the right clothing for your body type when you shop online? ****

1. First, determine your body type. Are you an inverted triangle, hourglass, pear (triangle), rectangle, apple (round), or some version of one of these? To identify which shape your frame is, stand in front of a full length mirror wearing just your undergarments (drinking a glass of wine before hand is optional). Pretend you are looking at someone else’s body so as to detach yourself and look at your body in terms of proportion and shapes (as if someone was shining a light behind you and your silhouette was projected on a screen). Determine if your shoulders are wider or smaller than your hips or if they are about the same. If unsure, use a measuring tape.  Also determine if you have a defined waistline or you don’t, if your butt is round or flat, if your bust is large or small, and where you carry your weight (top, middle, or bottom).  Then determine if you are Petite, Plus, or Average in height and proportion. Remember, petite does not necessarily mean small; it means smaller proportions. Clothes are generally cut smaller or shorter in the arm opening, pant rise, waistline, arm and pant length for petite sizes, but you could easily be a Plus Petite. Also, you may be of average height, but wear a petite top and a regular bottom depending on your frame.

The idea here is to balance out your body so that it is more proportioned and flattering for your figure. For example, if you are an hourglass shape, you want to avoid clothes that drape over the body and hide your figure. Instead, use waist belts and fitted garments that follow the line of your body. If you are an inverted triangle, you want to balance your top half with your bottom half so a full skirt or wide leg pant might help balance out your shoulders.

**2. Next, research the online reta****iler’s sizing chart. **Most online retailers will provide a sizing chart for you to compare your measurements to their sizes. But keep in mind that sizes vary from one brand to the next. That’s one more good reason not to be so rigid about the number of your size, because how your clothes fit and flatter you is much more important than the size number you’re in. So, be sure to take your measurements every three months or as your body changes and keep a written record next to your computer so you can easily find your size based on the retailers sizing chart. Here is an example from Nordstrom:

**3. Then research the return policy, shipping costs, and other resources. **The perk of online shopping is that you don’t have to leave your house and can try on your newly purchased items in the comfort of your own home. Most online retailers are making it easier for you to purchase and return items with free or flat rate shipping and printable return labels. Also take advantage of other resources like “How to Measure” and get the correct measurements for your body so you won’t have to return those items!