Online shopping. Useful and quick but with one obvious drawback – you can't actually try anything on. How many times have you ordered something only to find it's too short / too long / too tight / looked deceptively slimming on the model when it finally drops onto your doormat? It's probably why a whopping 30% of the clothes we buy online end up getting returned.

Virtual fitting company Virtusize has cottoned onto this and come up with a clever solution. If you're shopping online at Asos, Acne, Monsoon (and many more brands - find the full list here) you can work out if something fits using the clothes you already own and love.

How does it work? With seven weddings this summer and not a thread to wear (yet), our senior features writer Lucy Pavia decided to put this system to the test….

The mission: find a perfect outfit for a wedding using my favourite Whistles dress as a guide:



I've spotted some styles I like on Asos but I want to see exactly how the dimensions of my dress measure up against them.

Here's how you do it:

1. Go onto Asos and pick out a dress you like.

2. Next to the sizing on the bottom right of the item click on the button that says 'Product Measurements' or 'Fit Visualiser'

3. Get out a measuring tape and measure your favourite dress - length, bust, waist and (if applicable) sleeves too and input them. There are also extra options like hip and waist height. Obviously whipping out a measuring tape every time you're browsing for something is a total faff, so the program will save the details of your favourite items so the next time it'll bring them up automatically.

4. Click 'save' and an accurate outline of the dress will be superimposed onto an outline of the dress you want to buy, so you can see EXACTLY how it measures up. Like so....

You can measure your favourite dress against the dress you want to buy to see how it fits



Results: after narrowing it down to five options, the dress which measured up perfectly against mine is this one.

Continued below...

It's already ordered and now there'll be no surprises when I try it on. Easy peasy.

By Lucy Pavia / @lucypavia