How to make e-tail work for you (from the men who know)

The boys from Formal Friday share their insider tips for buying menswear online

Man Style

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Unsure how to measure your shoulder width? Or pant length? You’re not alone. Menswear designers Teemu Muurimäki and Toni Tervilä from Formal Friday share their five-step go-to guide for online shopping.

Need to know

How to get the right fit?

Different brands have different size charts and that’s why online stores give you the critical measurements so that you can compare those measurements to your body or against clothing in your wardrobe. It’s often easier to do the comparison using a garment you already own since there’s less margin for error. Measuring your own chest circumference three times gives you quite often three different results. A garment lying flat on the table is much simpler task.

However, we at Formal Friday wanted to make the size selection process more intuitive, visual and fun. That’s why we asked five guys of different sizes to come by at our studio to try all the garments in different sizes. You may simply select the guy closest to your own size, and skim through the whole collection on him.

What pitfalls should we watch out for when buying clothes online?

Make sure the online store has a clear returns policy and instructions how to proceed if you happen to choose the wrong size. Once you receive the package, try the clothes on before ripping off all the labels.

You should also take into account possible customs taxes if buying from an international store.

How to judge fabrics when we can’t touch and feel them?

Always look for the fibre composition. If it is not stated on the website, rest assured that the garment is not of top quality.

You could also contact the customer service. If they are happy to tell you where the fabrics are sourced, you have most likely found a brand that pays attention to the quality of the fabrics.

What are the pieces you can never go wrong with buying online?

It’s always easier to buy knitted jersey garments online than woven pieces of clothing, due to the natural stretch. Buying a suit online might be quite challenging even for the veteran online shopper, but T-shirts and sweaters are pretty much low-risk purchases.

What’s the one piece you recommend buying in every colour?

During the hot summer days all the lighter and airy pieces of clothing come in handy. Having T-shirts, singlets and short-sleeved shirts in different colours and prints makes your clothing easy and versatile. 

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