How to buy clothes
A clothing buying guide
Shopping for clothes for you and your family can be a pleasurable experience once you understand what to look for and how to gauge sizing properly. With just a few key research steps, you can be off to purchase a stylish and budget-friendly wardrobe in no time.
>> Who are the clothes for?
If you shop for others, try to obtain their exact size and include a gift receipt in case the sizing is incorrect. When you buy clothes for yourself, the choices are easier. While being trendy may not always be on your mind, being stylish usually is. Make selections that represent you and your personality.
Girls' clothing and boys' clothing usually come in different styles, although some looks are gender-neutral. Younger children may enjoy wearing colorful outfits featuring favorite movie or cartoon characters. As children grow older, they often have specific ideas about the styles of clothes they want to wear. The most important criterion in shopping for children's clothing is comfort, as kids tend to be quite active.
Kids usually like to be part of the clothing decision-making process. Let them help pick out a few items and decide if they like the clothing styles. Ask them if they feel good about wearing the clothes. When kids can help make decisions in regards to clothing designs, it often makes them feel a little more grown up.
>> Consider the size
Choosing the right clothing sizes is important when considering how to buy clothes. Clothes should fit comfortably and allow you to move without restriction. If you are unaware of your true size, pick two or three different sizes. Try each one on, and see which looks and feels best on your body.
Where pants are concerned, you should stretch, bend your knees, bend over and practice walking a few steps to test the comfort level and ease of motion while wearing the garment. When trying on shirts, cross your arms across your chest to ensure the movement is comfortable. This will also test the comfort of the back of the shirt. The way that the midsection feels on your body is important as well. Generally, movements should be free from restriction, such as being able to bend, twist, sit, stretch and breathe with ease.
The table below offers some helpful tips to consider before going to the store.
Clothing item type
How width is measured
How length is measured
|T-shirts ||T-shirt widths are taken from the circumference around the chest area. ||Most t-shirts do not measure length as standard lengths are based upon width. Average torso sizes are considered. |
|Dress shirts ||There are two widths considered with dress shirts, the width of the back and the width of the mid-section. ||Lengths include arm length and shirt length. The arm length is measured from the pit to the wrist. The shirt length is measured from the neck to the waist. |
|Dresses ||Dress widths are measured at the hips and the bust line. ||Dress lengths are often not measured except for tall, average and petite heights. |
|Skirts ||Skirt widths are determined by measuring the waist or hip area. ||Skirt lengths are usually not measured in sizes, but lengths may be mini, above the knee, knee-length, below the knee, or full-length. |
|Dress jackets ||Dress jackets are measured the same as dress shirts, across the shoulders and across the mid-section. ||The length of a dress jacket is taken by measuring the distance from the neck to between the waist and hip. |
|Jeans ||Jean sizes are usually measured at the waist. ||Jean lengths are measured as inseams. This is the distance from the groin to the bottom of the leg (on the inside of the leg). || |
|Shorts ||Shorts are usually measured at the waist for sizing. ||Shorts may include a measurement of the inseam. |
|Dress pants ||Widths for dress pants are measured around the thighs and waist. ||Dress pant lengths are taken as inseam measurements from the groin to the bottom of the leg (on the inside of the leg). |
>> What occasion are you buying clothes for?
When you shop for clothes for a specific occasion, consider the event or theme along with the weather at the time of the event. Understanding how to buy clothes for a specific occasion is ideal. Having items in a wardrobe that can be mixed and matched for several occasions is practical.
Buying women's clothing for a specific occasion requires a bit more planning. Choosing an appropriate and cohesive outfit with the right accessories is not always easy. Select an outfit that is versatile, with accessories that add to the overall style concept.
>> Consider fabric for your clothes
Part of learning how to buy clothes is understanding fabric selection. Although an item may fit properly, the type of fabric it is made of can have an effect on comfort. Always read the label to see what fabric or fabric blends are used. This also helps you to gauge shrinking upon washing and drying. Items that are made with a blend of polyester are less likely to shrink during the washing and drying cycles. Cotton fabric is durable and breathable along with silks as well. A cotton/polyester blend tends to wrinkle less. Some silk or silk blend fabrics may require special care.
>> Consider the cleaning and care instructions for each item
Each type of clothing has specific care and cleaning instructions. To keep garments in the best condition possible, pay attention to the care instructions provided on the interior tags. In some cases, items of clothing are listed as dry clean only, which suggests the proper method for maintaining the integrity of the fabrics.
Part of mastering how to buy clothes is understanding how to care for different types of pieces so that you can maintain the look, feel and color of the garment.
Shopping for clothes as a family can be fun for everyone. When you know the right sizes and the style and look you like, clothes shopping can be quite enjoyable.