Perfect-fitting clothes are not an urban legend. Here are some tips on how to shop for an outfit that flatters your curves and is comfortable too

Are you constantly wrestling with your wardrobe, struggling into clothes that are too tight, too short, or so loose that they flap around and get caught in things? Not anymore. You can get the perfect fit, too - try these tips for size!

Don’t fear the big ‘L’: Inhale, pull up the zipper, exhale. If that’s how you squeeze into everything from your jeans and skirts to that awesome little black dress that used to fit perfectly five kilos ago, this one’s for you! Sure, we’d all like to be a size small, or even extra small, but the tiny label marked ‘S’ or ‘XS’ should not be the focus of your attention when you shop for clothes. An outfit that’s too tiny for you can actually make you look heavier!

“Garments that cling to you make you look fatter,” says Leah Feldon, author of Does This Make Me Look Fat?! “I can’t stress this one enough. Tight clothing can make even a model sprout bulges.”

Bottomline: If it doesn’t fit, just ask for a bigger size.

But don’t go overboard with the XXL! Modest is not the same as frumpy. Tents are for camping, and pillowcases are bed-linen, not wardrobe staples!

A T-shirt that is a perfect rectangle can hardly sit beautifully across a typical S-shaped feminine frame. Okay, so you don’t want something that clings to every curve and reveals all those awkward bulges. But don’t pick something that you’re absolutely swimming in, or it will conceal even your shapelier aspects. You’ll end up looking either like a column of fat, or a scarecrow!

Watch that seam: Ask a friend or your sister to hold a top, dress or kurti against your back before you buy it. The seams at the sleeves should be right where your shoulders start. Small sizes are made with smaller shoulders. If you’re tall, your shoulders will be larger, so you need a larger size. There’s nothing wrong with that! Nobody wants to end up looking like Euclid’s definition of a straight line (length without breadth), so buy clothes that respect your splendid stature.

A rounded shape: Real women’s trousers have curves. If trousers, Capri pants or jeans go straight down at the hips, they’re most likely either men’s pants, or have been made by inexpert dressmakers who don’t know how to cut trousers for women. Look for trousers that curve around the hips to get the most flattering (and most comfortable!) fit.

Full-sleeved splendour: Full-sleeved tops that end above the wrist-bone create an undesirably urchin-like look (as in, children that live on the street, not Kate Moss’ pixie-haircut look from the 90s!). Avoid this raggedy effect by picking full sleeves that cover the wrist properly. You don’t want to look like a child wearing clothes it has outgrown!

It is possible to be comfortable and chic. One of the best ways to do that is to pick clothes that fit like a dream, so that you can sail through life looking effortlessly stylish!