This is why the clothes you buy online don’t look the same in real life

We’ve all experienced the frustration of ordering an outfit online, only to have it turn up looking and fitting completely different to the way it looked on the model.

Whether it’s a dress or a pair of jeans, the disparity between what is advertised and what you receive – especially when it comes to sizing – is something that seems to happen all too often. And while this isn’t a new problem, it has always been a mystery figuring out how on earth the said items look so good on the models photographed on the websites, and not so good when you try them on at home. Until now.

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Speaking to Refinery29, a series of e-commerce stylists dished the dirt on the secret tricks used to fool consumers into thinking an item of clothing looks and fits in a way that it may not actually do in reality.

‘There is so much work that goes into deceiving the public, making them think that something is going to look the same on them as it does on the model,’ London-based stylist Aisha Jimoh told the publication. ‘I think if you don’t know anybody that does this for a living, or if you don’t do this for a living yourself, you just have no idea.’

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She went onto explain that stylists and image retouchers work as a team to create the illusions consumers are shown on the models. For example, a jumpsuit that supposedly fits a 5″7 model perfectly, may show up a lot longer than it was advertised to be and it’s all because it is shot ‘against a big white board or a wall so that the legs can be superimposed over the images of the model,’ the stylist admitted. Even the colour of certain items can be altered through retouching.

Another anonymous stylist, known only as H, explained that such techniques have become the norm when shooting clothes for online retailers, saying ‘there’s non-stop pinning and clipping for every garment.’

So, the next time you order something online and it doesn’t look how you expected when you put it on – remember it’s not because it you who is wearing it, it’s because you don’t have a team of experts working their magic behind the scenes…