The 5 Top Rated Dresses From Nordstrom Are Insanely Flattering

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Where to use it: More than 30 retailers, mostly international, including Acne Studios, Asos (its U.K. site), and Esprit.

Look for:  "Virtusize" or "Fit Visualizer" on the retailer's website.

Men or women: Esprit is offering it on select women's styles. I Love Ugly is a New Zealnd Men's retailer offering the tool. Other retailers offer it mostly for women's apparel, but some of the overseas stores—such as Asos, Acne, and Monsoon—include a few men's styles.

How it works:  This tool compares the size of a garment you already own to the size of the garment you would like to purchase. You can either find an item you own that's already listed on the site, or measure something you have in your closet and enter the information. Our reporter picked a skirt from her closet and entered its waistband measurement (across the skirt when laid flat, not her waist measurement) and the distance from waist to hem. Virtusize then showed a silhouette of the skirt she was considering overlaid on an outline of the skirt she already owned. You can click into different sizes to see how each one stacks up against the already-owned sample garment. You then choose your size based on the comparison.

Our take:  The Virtusize models offer a cool way to see how things really fit, and you don't have to measure yourself. We can't wait for this to roll out on the sites of more U.S. retailers.

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Where to use it: More than 30 sites, including, New Balance, Nordstrom, and Shoebacca.

Look for:  "Show me how it fits!"

Men or women:  Both.

How it works:  Shoefitr used 3D scanners to analyze shoes from hundreds of brands. It uses the data to show you how a particular shoe will fit and to recommend the best size for your feet. You answer just a few questions, such as, What size do you usually wear in a similar-style shoe? Do you usually have to go up or down a half-size when your shoe size varies? Then it not only tells you what size your should buy, but also shows you a graphic of how that particular one will fit compared with the average shoe of this size, how the arch compares, and how much toe room the shoe provides.

Our take:  We would use this tool every time we bought shoes online if we could! With just a couple of steps, our reporter felt confident that she could pick shoes that wouldn't kill her feet. Just one question: Why aren't more retailers using it yet? (Zappos, we're talking to you!)

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Where to use it:  Five Bloomingdale's stores in California, Maryland, and New York. After you get your scan at the walk-in store, you can use it to shop online for well-fitting clothes at more than 150 sites (in addition to Bloomingdale's), inclduing Banana Republic and Vince Camuto.

Look for:  Sign in at to access your information after you get the in-store scan.

Men or women:  Both.

How it works:  Head to a participating store and register using the computer outside the Me-Ality kiosk. Then step into the Size-Matching Station for a free scan. Inside, a wand circles your body twice, collecting 200,000 points of data. Seconds later, your best-fitting styles and sizes for items designed by partner brands are displayed on a touch screen. Print it and go shopping. To shop online, use the "Shop Now" tab on the Me-Ality website to view your sizes for the retail partners.

Our take:  We wish the service were available at more locaitons. Also, the scanners at the Size-Matching Stations use the same technology as the full-body scanners used at airports.

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Levi's Curve ID Fit Finder

Great for: Finding the perfect fit of Levi's Curve ID jeans. Take the two-step quiz at to see jeans that take into account the ratio of your waist to hips, and the curve of your bum, Our reporter found 25 pairs that the site promised would fit and flatter her shape. It even lets you select the inseam length—no more guessing whether you are short, regular, or tall.

Men or women:  Women.

Shipping: Flat $7.50.

Returns: 60 days from purchase; unlimited for defects, without excessive garment wear.

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Great for: Short and tall shoppers. This site has you covered with inseams 16 (for shorts) through 38 inches. Enter your desired inseam and see pairs from tons of sites across the Web. You can also sort by rise, brand, and price.

Men or women:  Both.

Shipping: Varies, based on the site.

Returns: Varies, based on the site.

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InStyle Essentials

Great for:  Smaller- and bigger-chested women. Tired of peekaboo blouses that gap at your chest? Or ones that sag at the chest? Try one of the four blouse styles at InStyle Essentials ( They are sized by bra measurements, ranging from 32A to 40H to help ensure that the shirt contours your body correctly. You can choose a classic button-down, a tuxedo style, a tunic, or a blouse with a neck bow. All the shirts are white. The button-down includes an extra button at the bust.

Men or women:  Women.

Shipping: Flat $10.

Returns: 14 days from receipt.

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Great for: Women who hate shopping for bras. Take the quiz at, and this tool uses an algorithm to find what you will like, from style to size. Then you receive five bras in the mail to try free for five days. Pay only for what you keep; return the rest with free shipping.

Men or women:  Women.

Shipping: Free for home try-on orders; flat $8 for other orders, free for orders of $50 or more.

Returns: 30 days from purchase.

This article appeared in the May 2014 issue of ShopSmart magazine.

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Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2006-2014 Consumers Union of U.S.

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