As most of us recognize every time we go into a fitting room, the sizing in women's wear is less than perfect.
One reason for this is the designer's and manufacturer's lack of uniformity in their sizing measurements. Another reason for this is that we all have a unique shape that cannot be defined by one size.
If three size 12 women go into a fitting room with the same pair of size 12 pants, those pants are not going to look the same on all three women.
Your goal to getting a good fit is to forget about size and focus instead on the construction of the garment. Choose garments that are constructed to match your body type and you will get a better fit.
Your body type can be very angular or very curvy or somewhere in the middle. Angular bodies have wide shoulders and are generally narrow through the hips, creating a "vee" shape. Curvy bodies have softer, rounded shoulders, are generally fuller in the bust and hips and have a definite waist indentation, creating an hourglass shape.
Another way of identifying body types is by looking at the "bone to flesh ratio." Angular bodies have visible collar bones, wrist bones, shoulder blades, etc. Soft, curvy bodies never show any visible bones and always look "fleshy."
Weight gain or loss has very little to do with your body type. Your body type is determined by your shoulder/hip balance, the amount of waist indentation you have and your "bone to flesh ratio."
If you are more angular, choose garments that are more angular or structured. Garments with straight edges and hems will work well. Architectural designs will also flatter an angular body.
These garments would all work well on an angular body.
(This leather jacket has asymmetrical button detailing and has a definite vee shape which flatters an angular body.)
(This suit has a strong shoulder line, a vee neck, a fitted skirt and is made in a geometric houndstooth print The overall impression is one of angles rather than curves.)
(This dress creates a very structured look with the angled peplum and tapered skirt.)
If your body is more on the soft and curvy side look for garments with curved seams (such as the "princess" seam) and curved edges (lapels and hemlines).
Well-dressed women always know how to dress the body they have and do so with confidence.