I cannot possibly count how often I get asked if a garment is true to size. For those of you familiar with the online clothing world, this is abbreviated as "TTS".
Our small niche is offering high-quality clothing at excellent prices. We THRIVE on it. I love NOTHING MORE than making someone feel like they didn't spend an arm and a leg to feel confident in their clothing. That's even more so true with the plus-sized market and we LOVE being able to offer clothing that makes women feel beautiful. There's no other market that is unfairly price gouged and I have made it my goal to offer an array of high end, affordable plus-sized clothing.
Because we cannot physically try products on in our industry, sizing descriptions are EXTREMELY important. Many people simply cannot buy online for fear of things not fitting correctly. The return process is never fun and often shipping does not make it worth anyone's time. (Side squirrel note: I am trying to find creative alternatives to ease this painful process in our platform as well).
So let's talk about TTS. The term TTS originated in the shoe industry. Of course, we as American's have always made things more difficult. Our refusal to use metric and continue with the good ole' antiquated Imperial system- carries over into clothing, shoes, distance, speed - the list is endless. So, here we are with our difficult sizing in clothing. WHEW - squirrel... back to the drawing board. Origination off TTS >SHOES... American shoe sizing using the Brannock device allowed customers to "speak"the correct language in footwear. They could simply place their foot in this device, it would provide a number and they could SAFELY order accordingly. This verbiage has carried over to clothing. The issue is, "true to size" is 100% subjective in regard to clothing. More ever so with plus size or "flowy" tops.
In my experience as an online retailer, the current flowy/baggy/boyfriend tunics and dress style has educated me even more thoroughly. I've studied you people... and I have listened to your requests. My conclusion is that not all plus size needs are created equal. Let me explain: My sister is plus sized. She adores Torrid and other plus size brands, but she nearly vomits when she gets her grand total. Fabulous store, not an everyday budget. Anyhow...In jeans, she normally wears anything from 18-20. However, when she "shops" with me she ends up wearing a much smaller size than I expect. At first, I thought my "TTS" was off. Surprising? Yes and no. Here's what she says about this very thing:
"A more baggy top in a 2X looks horrible. It doesn't give any shape or dimension and I look much bigger than I actually am."
On the opposite side of the spectrum are customers who ABSOLUTELY refuse to let anything cling or form to their body in any fashion. They despise ordering online because they're never sure what is actually "true to size" and if they can ensure they won't feel "hugged". Most of all, they aren't comfortable. That's truly what matters. Hear how one of my sweet customers talks about her most recent purchase our GO VAHL OUT subscription.
"Omg I am in love and so happy I signed up!! I am a plus girl and don't like anything that touches me and shows my rolls. I have ordered I can't tell you how many shirts that don't fit and I can't wear. Plus everything is so thin and clings to every fat roll. I got my outfit today and thought well here was another waste of money but omg it fit to my liking. Plus I felt cute which never happens. I hope every month is like this!! Now just to find more true 3x shirts that don't touch me anywhere. Lol."
So my point is, what do we truly want or mean when we say "true to size"? What are WE looking for when we're shopping. This very same outfit has others wanting to size down a size. So where's the sweet spot? Where's the PERFECT top for you that you can indefinitely purchase without hesitation?
I was asked about a new flowy knotted dress and sizing. I replied "They're super flowy and can be styled in various ways. They're the Emerald brand that y'all love so much. So I would say that they are SPOT on with sizing. Here's the thing - I've got two types of plus size ladies. There are the plus sizes that hate anything baggy/flowy--- like my sister. She says it makes her look big and fluffy because it doesn't define anything. The problem is - that is the current style. SOOOO... I have other customers who want NOTHING touching, squeezing etc. So for those customers - these are perfect. True to size is so subjective."
I guess my point is, I need to solve this dilemma. I'm brainstorming ways to battle this, but I would LOVE your insight and opinions about it as well!
Update: We've started implementing some new features to help fit you best! Check out our new section for printable rules and measurement assistance!