How to find the correct size in women's shirts

Ela India Team

Posted on May 20 2024

How to find the correct size in women's shirts


The most common customer query we get is about size.  The biggest problem with online shopping for most women customers is having doubts about selecting the correct size. Do you know how many women customers confess that they don’t really know the right size that would fit them? Too many to count. 

The process of online returns can be tiresome and what could be better than finding the perfect fit, the very first time around? If that sounds too good to be true, just know that you have landed on the right page. 

Over the last six years of running this business, we have come to understand how little most customers understand about finding the perfect fit. But we are here to help. This is an article about selecting the right size for women’s shirts, so read on. 

‘But I get glassy eyed when I read the size guide on the website, ya…’

….Said pretty much every customer we ever spoke to about size guides in general. You’re not alone. 

First up, the reason size guides are confusing for most women customers is that size guides aren’t standardised for the most part. They vary widely depending on the brand in question. Your ‘S’ in Zara might be an ‘XS’ according to another brand’s size guide. 

Some brands feature garment measurements in their size guide, while others feature body measurements. To make things worse, some websites feature size guides that aren’t clear about distinguishing between the two. And a lot of people have no idea what they are looking for, while reviewing a size guide. 

The second reason that women find size guides confusing is that body types can vary widely, especially in India. Standard size guides do not take body shapes that are widely varied from the industry standard, into account. How does a woman who has wider hips than usual figure out if a specific brand’s pair of pants would fit her specific body type? We have understood from the last six years of customer interaction that most customers don’t want to sit and measure out their body and compare it to the size guide staring in front of them. We understand. The writer of this blog post is the same:) I used to get glassy eyed at the idea of picking up a measuring tape and figuring out what to do with it, while online shopping:) Today, I know better of course:)

Here’s why our rate of return is downright impressive. Hint: It’s really really low.  

Do you know what happens when a customer places an order on the Ela India website? The first thing that the Ela India team does, is reach out to the customer and review the size they have ordered against their personal fit preference. We explain the size guide in detail, against the outfit that they have purchased and make recommendations based on what we think they will like. For example: If you purchased the Boyfriend Shirt on our website, then our team will reach out and ask you for your chest measurements, and check to see what kind of fit you prefer as far as shirts go, and the size you have selected in your order. Usually, we recommend buying two sizes bigger in the Boyfriend Shirt. We explain how the shirt fits and revise the order internally based on your preference. 

A lot of customers are very surprised at this level of care in ensuring the right size, and tell us so when we get in touch. The thing is, ensuring that we follow this process ensures that we minimise the risk of return. It also ensures that we delight our customers as far as giving them an assurance about fits.  

A win-win, we think. 

How to use Ela India’s Size Guide

So to begin with, as far as Ela India’s size guide is concerned, we have two types of fits that define our collections. Our shirts are either regular fit- where the small starts at 36 inches or relaxed fit where the small starts at 42 inches. You will find a mention of the kind of fit a specific shirt is, on the product page in the description.  

If you select a small in the regular fit, the chest will measure 36 inches. Likewise, the chest measurement for the medium will be 38 inches and for large, it will be 40 inches and so on.

In the relaxed fit, the small starts at 42 inches on the chest. For folks who like a snug fit, this might sound like a fit that is too loose for their liking. 

Now, fits are a very subjective topic. Someone might like a more snug fit than usual, while others might prefer their shirts to be more relaxed, allowing themselves more breathing space. So what size works for you, will depend on what kind of fit you prefer personally. 

If you like more relaxed fits, then don't hesitate when you see that our small is listed at 42 inches. All this means is that it's a more relaxed fit than your average shirt.

Find your Fit

For someone whose chest measures 34 inches, the XS would be their right size for regular fits. For a chest measuring 36 inches, the small would work. For a chest measuring 38 inches, the medium would be perfect. For a chest measuring 40 inches, the large would work. For chest measurements at 42 inches, the XL would be perfect. In general, I would always recommend going a size higher for regular fits. In relaxed fit styles, stick to the size you usually wear, and don't be worried, looking at the size guide on our website.  

Still unhappy with the fit? Just call us. 

We are kidding. Don’t call us, a Whatsapp text is also fine:) As a business, we have tried to make the process of returns as easy as is possible for a small team like ours. If you still have problems with the fit, all you need to do is get in touch via Whatsapp at 9833006443 and let us know about the problem. Once you get a go ahead from us, you are requested to ship us the item through your local courier. Once we receive the item, we will check it against any kind of damage, and process your return with an exchange. 

Why we stopped offering refunds. Let us tell you a story about a fat cat called Zara. 

Please note that we do not offer a refund on orders anymore. We used to offer refunds in the first few years of starting this business. Since COVID came into our lives, things have become insanely tough in the small business ecosystem. Raw material costs have gone up, customer acquisition costs and overhead costs have gone up, and offering refunds is just not a viable way of doing business anymore.  

Did you know that rich retailers like Zara have started charging customers for returns? That’s right. 

So if a fat cat like Zara cannot afford to offer free returns, can you imagine what it’s like for the rest of us little cats?

Yes, it’s pretty grim.

However, unlike Zara while we don’t charge you for returns, we do request that you ship us the piece at your expense and we will take it from there. 

You will receive store credit for the equivalent amount, or you can choose to revise your order manually at the time of placing the return request and communicate the piece you would like to exchange it for, against the size you need.   

And with that we end this rather long tale about size guides and fat cats and why our customer service rocks (even if we say so ourselves) 

If you’re convinced that you have learnt a thing or two about selecting the right size for yourself, why not treat yourself to our classic mulmul shirt? And if you find yourself at a loss for the right size, you know who to call. Not Ghostbusters. Just us, just us. 

Shop Boyfriend Shirts here 

Send us a Whatspp text at 9833006443



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