Fit is all about sizing things up. Not in the sense of making things larger, although sometimes that is an answer. Today on Facebook my friend/colleague Riin Gill, creative soul of Happy Fuzzy Yarn, posted this, which got me thinking:
More proof that women’s clothing manufacturers are on crack: I stopped at the thrift store . . . and bought two skirts. They both fit perfectly (yay!) and if you hold them up together, you can see that they have the same waist measurement. One is a size 12. The other is a size 16.
Sizing Things Up for Fit
Most women are taught that we should be a certain size, shape, height, look, etc. Our response is usually to blame our physical inadequacies when something doesn’t fit, not to ask questions about why it doesn’t fit us. For years I thought something was wrong with me because my jeans didn’t fit. Then I got some that did and realized it was all about having the proper cut and measurements. I admit to being old school, but no amount of stretch will improve the fit of something that wasn’t cut to fit the body wearing it.
There are sometimes problems when sizing things up (or down) from a sample size, but my experience in the past few years is that the people making the patterns do not understand the bodies that are wearing the clothing that is being made. While Riin’s example is one of sizing dysmorphia, she was happy with the fit, just confused by the different sizing numbers. I would bet that if we looked at the sizing guidelines for the two brands they would be pretty similar, just falling into different columns of the chart.
Sizing Things Up for Consumer Ease
I don’t think that companies realize that they are making it more difficult for customers to find things that fit when they use “vanity” numbers or otherwise don’t stick to the same sizing table. I would rather know that I am a size X consistently across brands. This becomes more important as we move more and more online. One of the biggest costs to retailers selling clothing online is returns.
Sizing Things Up for Knitters
If you knit something and it doesn’t fit you don’t have the option of returning it. Plus you have the frustration, disappointment, anger, and loss you will undoubtedly feel, because of all your valuable time you put into the project. Since you can’t try your knitted piece on until it is knitted, we have to control the other inputs to get the correct output. You know, gauge, size, your own measurements. Don’t make something without checking both your and their measurements. Draw a schematic if you have to and make sure that you check your gauge before starting, and after you get into your project. If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t. Sizing things up as you go along will lead to a better outcome.
Riin Gill says
To confuse matters more, I have another two skirts in the same style from the same company. They are labeled the same size. One is clearly two sizes larger than the other.
Riin, that is just bad QC. On of my favourite skirts was a mislabelled size 6. The Universe somehow made me pick it up. Silk crepe de chine pleated Mondrian skirt for $10 on final markdown!
Riin Gill says
I think they just toss all the size labels up in the air and sew them in whichever garments they land on.
Haha! You may be right. Years ago visiting a factory in Hong Kong I learned that QC was done by those too old to operate sewing machines.