Sometimes clothing can look and feel great when you stand in front of the mirror with your hands by your sides, but as soon as you sit down things are a different story. The items shift around and what was perfect fit becomes unflattering and uncomfortable. The way to avoid these unexpected fit problems is simple: remember to do the sit-down test for all clothing

Here are some specific things to note when you do the test for different items.

Skirts and Dresses

Lengths creep up when you sit, especially when your legs are crossed. Straight skirts and dresses creep up even more, while flared silhouettes are more forgiving. Make sure you’re happy with how much these lengths shorten when you’re seated. 

Trousers, Jeans and Shorts

Check that the waistband is comfortable and doesn’t dig into your skin. Do the rises feel too high or low? Is your crotch point comfortable? No wedgies!

Also, is the length sufficient? Like skirts and dresses, pant lengths creep up when you sit, so make sure you feel adequately covered when you’re wearing shorts. Furthermore, trousers poof out over the tummy and hip area when they are slouchy and/or pleated. Make sure you approve of the poof. 

Jackets and Coats

There is no need to feel like you can do a yoga class in a jacket or coat. But you have to be able to drive and pick things up off the floor. Stretch out your arms when seated and reach for something by your feet to make sure you can manage.

If possible do the sit-down test with the layers you expect to wear underneath the jacket or coat.


Sit, stretch out your arms in front, and make sure that nothing pulls uncomfortably under the arm, across the arm, and that the length meets with your approval. Low necklines fall even lower when you sit so watch for that too. Perhaps you need a camisole or some magic sticky tape after all. Last but not least, make sure that the buttons don’t gape when you sit down in a button through style. The correct bra might also sort out this fit challenge.

Of course, we can do all the tests and still have fit challenges later because items fall and fit differently after movement. But with the sit-down test you will at least eliminate a lot of the surprises.