The secret to buying clothes online that actually fit you

True Fit helps you find the right size and make fewer returns.

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It’s tricky to buy jeans, and doubly tricky to buy jeans online. Will they fit you the way you want them to? If you’re ordering a pair you’ve worn before, then you know what to expect. But sometimes, you think you’ve found your perfect size and then try on that same size in a different brand—or even a different cut from the same maker—and the pair is too snug or loose or just doesn't fit right. With the knowledge that sizing is a beast, and inconsistent even within the same store, a Boston-based “data-driven personalization platform” called True Fit emerged.

What is True Fit?

Credit: Reviewed / Jessica Kasparian

When you're shopping, you may notice the True Fit icon near the size selection, like in this example from Madewell's site.

If you shop online at retailers like Macy’s, Madewell, DSW, Under Armour, Levi’s and a host of other stores, you may have noticed a small “T” icon with the phrase “Find Your True Fit” written beside (almost) every product on the site. If you haven’t previously spotted this on any of the over 200 retailers True Fit works with, you may now. When you click on the True Fit badge, a window pops up asking for you to provide your height, weight, and age. This in turn directs you to a page that asks you what brand your favorite top, pants, shoes, or whichever type of apparel you're shopping for. This information can be saved in a profile and the next time you click on the T logo, you can enter your username and password to retrieve your data. From there, the company suggests which size you should purchase for nearly every item at participating retailers, based on data it’s collected from retailers and users. The idea? Getting you the perfect fitting apparel.

How does True Fit work?

Credit: Reviewed / Jessica Kasparian

Provide True Fit with your basic information and how your favorite clothing items fit.

The company believes that “details matter when it comes to fashion, performance apparel, and footwear” and that “only True Fit has the details.” How does it get those details? It claims to have manufacturing design data and consumer order data from hundreds of apparel and footwear brands, which it compares to personal preference data gathered from True Fit users and other anonymous shoppers. The company keeps track of the style, size, and fit of thousands of pieces of clothing and the buying behavior of the individual shoppers to personalize for you, the customer, how a piece will fit you before you purchase it.

For example, if you are purchasing a sweater from Madewell, True Fit tells you, based on its data points, what size you should be in that specific sweater and also how that sweater will fit you on a spectrum that includes “snug,” “true to you,” and “loose.”

Should you use True Fit?

Credit: Reviewed / Jessica Kasparian

Based on your data, True Fit provides an estimate of how certain clothing items should fit you.

Customers that use the service return fewer items, according to Madeleine Melson, a former client of True Fit. You’re not guaranteed to love the style once it’s arrived at your doorstep, but it at least helps you manage your expectations of how an item will fit. For example, True Fit can help you gauge whether or not you want to size up on that aforementioned Madewell sweater or if you should stick with your normal sizing because the sweater fits oversized.

The service requires you to provide your email and details of your pant size or bra size, but there is nothing invasive that you aren’t providing another retailer with when you order a bra online. For these reasons, what do you have to lose?

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