Worried about shopping for clothes online because you can't try them on? Have you bought items of clothing that come up smaller or larger than you thought?

It's a common problem with online shopping. Buy a toaster and you get what you saw in the picture. Buy a cardigan and it could end up clinging to you in all the wrong places.

Unless you are completely standard in shape and size (and few of us are) it's unlikely that the clothes bought from a web shop will fit you like they do the model.

Estonian software company Fits.me has created a solution. It offers a measurement front-end that asks a customer to input their vital statistics (chest size, height, waist size, etc). Then, an on-screen mannequin that has been built to those exact proportions will wear the different clothes being browsed through (for example, a shirt). Subsequently, it allows the end user to see what different sizes will look like on their exact frame.

And, as this is done in advance in the real world - using a robot mannequin - and photographed in thousands of different combinations for the interactive browser, it will look exact, rather than a virtual estimation.

Fits.me itself is now courting retailers to take on its software engine, and has just secured a Series B round of funding worth 1.3 million euros from the Estonian Development Fund. You can also try out its proposed system at www.fits.me.

Unfortunately, it only works with a male mannequin doll at present, but the company hopes to expand it with a female version before the end of 2010.

Will this help with online clothes shopping? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...