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  1. #1

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    Buying From International Retailers

    I don't ask people if their water is wet, because the question is ridiculous.
    I feel almost that foolish right now, but I'm going to post about this anyway.

    If you live in the USA how can you buy clothes from an overseas retailer and
    be certain the garment will fit?

    Many of you are too young to remember, but for most of the twentieth century
    the textile industry thrived in Europe and the USA. Quality and sizing standards
    were strict. My dad could try several coats made in different factories and they
    all fit perfectly. This definitely not true anymore!

    My height and weight has not changed in 35 years. I just purchased a suede
    jacket in a local store. I started with medium which is (or was) my size. I've
    been in this store many times and salesmen know me. They joke about how
    everything made in Asia, South America, etc., follows no sizing or quality
    guidelines. It's hard to believe, but the size that actually fit was labeled XL!

    I frequently see jackets on eBay from overseas retailers that I want to buy.
    The odd are no better than 50/50 that the jacket will actually fit. Size charts
    and the garment label don't mean anything these days.

    For a reasonable price I can return clothes purchased from another state if
    they don't fit. Anything I buy from Europe or Asia that doesn't fit will be donated
    to charity. The return shipping cost would be astronomical!

    I realize there is no solution to this problem. If you buy clothing from international
    sources and don't lose money you're a genius or very lucky. Any advice to
    reduce my apprehensions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Ivan Condor Aasllani's Avatar

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    Just ask for measurements of the garment and compare to a garment you own that fits well.

    Most good sites will have size charts.

    Welcome to the forum with this strange and pithy post btw.

  3. #3
    MarcLager's Avatar

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    I buy a lot from ASOS. I'm in Sweden, and while the delivery is free, returns are not. Quite a draw back, but ASOS stocks a lot of stuff I like, and usually at a good price. And even if the price is the same as somewhere else, free shipping makes it better value. Also, the strong Swedish economy - or rather the weak UK economy - has meant you get a lot more per GBP than per SEK. (Over the past six months the SEK has lost a lot of value so it's not as beneficial any more.)

    However, it makes me less trigger happy when shopping. I can't order two sizes and send the one that doesn't fit back, so I stick with brands I know the sizing of - which of course isn't a fool proof strategy, as they vary as well. I mainly buy stuff on sale, when it feels like it's worth the gamble. So far, I've been pretty lucky. Only a couple of trousers and a jacket have been too small for me to use. I gave the trousers to my nephews and the jacket to my dad.

    But I agree that size charts are indeed worthless in their utter inaccuracy. While you get a clue about the size of a garment by the retailer giving you the hight of the model showing the item, they never tell you what the person weighs, which I find equally important.

    Until there's international free returns, I don't think there's a solution to this problem.

  4. #4
    McCoy's Avatar

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    The best size guides are based on exact measurements. Few sites offer that though. ASOS tbf are starting to do just that on their own-brand.

  5. #5
    DorianGrape's Avatar

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    I buy most of my clothes online. I send back at least 60% of it. If you buy online, you really have to be accept that not everything will fit as expected, not everything will fit as you like it to and not everything you will like when you take it out of the box.

    As for standard sizes.. every continent is different. European sizes are smaller than US ones, Asian sizes are smaller than European sizes. Across Europe there are variations... Spanish & Italian clothes are smaller (generally) than British sizes and across every brand, there are variations in their own sizes.

    Often you'll find a brand whose sizes you can - for the most part - count on, but a lot of the time, it's a stab in the dark.

    Still, it beats having limited or no choice when it comes to buying.

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