So many women I talk to ask me where I get all my clothes. So many, in fact, it became a major factor in why I chose to start plus size fashion blogging just over two years ago.

I would gladly dole out my advice, but certain concerns kept popping up that was barring those ladies from venturing into the world of online shopping. And so I thought I’d put together a handy little guide of tips and tricks to get you shopping your favourite styles and fast!

1. Know your measurements

Seriously, forget about the number on the size tag and grab a tape measure. Measure thoroughly and often. Your measurements are key to finding the right fit. I know so many women are concerned about buying online because they can’t try it on, but if you keep your measurements handy and up to date you can always check them against the size chart each site offers.

2. Not all sizes are equal

You’ll find that sizes can fluctuate across the board from brand to brand and designer to designer. But never feel discouraged about the number on the tag and just focus on finding a garment that will fit you correctly.

3. Find a tailor

Since off the rack is never actually meant to fit everybody it’s best to buy your items a size up if you are concerned on fit. If you size up, it’s super easy for a tailor to bring any item in just where it needs to be to fit perfectly on your body!

4. Read customer reviews

Often websites will have a review section AND if they are really on the ball, they will allow customers to upload photos of themselves in the garment. These can be a lifesaver, reviewers will let you know if it fits too small or a little big, what their thoughts on the fabric is and if they like the cut.

5. Bloggers are your new best friend!

Not sure where to look for clothing that speaks to your style? Take a peep on social media, there are oodles of instagrammers and bloggers out there.  They always have the low down on sales and new brands to shop from.  And if you have questions about a garment or a new site they are showing off, they are more than happy to answer you and ease your mind.

6. Clearance sales!

If you are still nervous on trying a new brand you can always make a safe bet in the clearance section. Take a peek through and make sure you look up the size chart with your measurements and take a roll of the dice to see how that brand works for you!

7. Think fast in fast fashion

Many online shops are actually what is known as “fast fashion” which means they are pumping out new styles constantly. My advice when it comes to shopping is often, “if you love it enough you will still be thinking on it a week later, you should go buy it”. But in the world of fast fashion you may not have a week to come back to it. Often items are gone faster than you could imagine while others may stick around for a few weeks.  “Nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t buy.”

8. Beware of Customs and Fees

Sadly, If you are a shopper in Canada we often are ordering from abroad, which can sometimes mean a little visit from the tax man. Don’t be surprised when your new shiny items come delivered with an extra bill. But keep on the lookout as some brands are now employing a “no surprise” shipping policy which means, they take care of the taxes!

9. Participate!

You know all those awesome people that helped you decide if you liked the item by reviewing it and uploading their photos?  Join in!!

Not only is it a thrill to see yourself up on a website   { and a great stroke for your ego }, but you will also be helping scores of shoppers make educated decisions. Like the item? Let everyone know why! Something is horribly wrong? Put up a warning flag, share your issues! Was something wonderful about shopping on the site? Maybe customer care was off the hook or the packaging was to die for, share it! Inquiring minds want to know!

I hope this guide helps you on your way to the wardrobe you’ve always wanted!

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