Cycle clothing has a bit of a reputation for being punishing fit-wise, but that's because most of us have had a hideous experience with the wrong sort of shorts. Either too tight, too shiny and featuring a chamois the size of a car wash sponge or man-size baggies that create bulk and complement nothing. But it doesn't have to be that way because there really is flattering comfortable kit out there that's designed for women...
Size guides are shown with all products so please do refer to them before buying and yes, Minx knows it can be wince-inducing but MEASURE YOURSELF rather than guessing based on High Street dress size experience. Generally speaking, if you find yourself between sizes then go up one. Minx will tell you in the copy for a particular product if it's generously sized so you don't need to. If your waist brings you in on one size and your hips another - again go for the comfort option. However, if you've juggled with tape measures, pored over size charts and still can't work out what's perfect for you then email or call Minx - she's pretty good at working things out.
The biggest mistake most women make with bike clothing is to buy classic fit cycling shorts too small (leading to the over-stuffed sausage look about the thighs), so if you're between sizes for lycra shorts or tights, or even if you hit the waist /hip measurement but your thighs are sportier than average (and you know who you are), then heed the next size up advice. We won't tell, and it really will look better. Trust Minx on this one. Baggy shorts should be neat through the hip and waist (you really don't want yards of fabric available to catch on the saddle) and easy in the leg. If you are lavish of thigh the legs of a baggy style will never be as loose on you as on a rider with more slender pins, but actually that's OK because extra fabric just adds width anyway. Think about what Vogue would call 'slim tailoring' and that's where you're headed. If you still prefer a more slouchy look (and this will work with flat fronted shorts but not anything with gathers), then go up a size and sling a belt at your waist.
If you want a relaxed fit jersey, buy one with an easy cut. If you re going for a more traditional closely fitting look, have the confidence to buy your size. Don't buy bigger, even if you are trying to hide a bit of winter padding or post-baby bulge. The slim cuts of the new jerseys are body skimming and fabulously flattering. The performance fabrics mean you get the movement you need without the extra bagginess that just seems to emphasise bulk rather than hide it.
The same rule applies to jackets, which tend to be slimmer in shape for serious long distance riding and more relaxed for urban jaunts. Whichever is your style, the cut will give the movement you need and hi-tech fabrics mean you don't need to buy up a size to allow room for layers because the layers themselves aren't heavy - and are designed to work together. Buying too big will in fact reduce the effectiveness of some fabrics - especially those engineered to wick sweat away.
Above all and if in doubt - try garments while sitting on your bike because that's the place they were designed to be most comfortable...