perfect fit: happy customers

5 Tips to achieve the best fit possible

Achieving a perfect fit for all your customer is maybe impossible, but with these 5 tips you can improve the fit of your garments.

Read on to find out what you can do to create more happy customers.

Adding stretch isn’t one of them…

Know your target group

In the blog “Why is it so hard to get a perfect fit?” I explained that there is a lot of variation in body shapes and sizes and that it is impossible to catch all these variations in just a couple of size charts.

For example, plus sizes have different proportions, 50+ women often have less waist and tall people obviously need more length.

By using specific size charts for your target group you already narrow some of these variations down.

I researched a lot of anthropometric data and have created several target group specific size charts. When I develop your patterns, we’ll discuss which size charts are best for your target group. But you can also purchase these charts for your own use.  

Size charts

The best size charts for your target group

Review your size charts or grade rules

A garment should fit and look good in every size. However, you cannot just scale a size 34 to a size 54.

To make sure a garment looks good over the complete size range, you need to grade properly and you have to think about how to construct the pattern.

It doesn’t matter if you grade your pattern based on grading rules or size charts. Just don’t use commercially available size charts or grade rules blindly. Because a lot of them make a mess of it.

They assume relations between body dimensions which aren’t there and they ignore relations that do exist. 

For instance, a size range is usually designed for one specific body height. Which means that all length related dimensions are the same over the complete range. However, I see a lot of examples where the pattern is also graded in height. That is nice to keep the proportions of the design the same, but you’ll end up with a terrible fit at the end of the range.

Body proportions

Even Leonardo da Vinci already figured out the relationship between different body dimensions

Use correct basic blocks

Fit is not only about measurements, but also about shape. Although the measurements already take care of some of the adjustments, some aspects need to be implemented manually.

If your target group is for instance muscular, sporty men then you might want to move some of the thigh circumference to the front leg. 

Or when your target group is 70+ men and women, then you might want to adjust the bodice for a sloped back.

It are usually only small adjustments, but they can make or break your garments.

Basic blocks

Finetuning your basic blocks can have quite some impact on the fit of your garments

Fit test across the complete size range

One of the problems with ready to wear clothing that it is often not fitted across the complete size range. A lot of brands only develop one sample in a small size. And if that size is then incorrectly graded then you can take an educated guess what happens.

If they had done a fit test over the whole size range, this would have shown and the patterns could have been adjusted.

Missed opportunity.

With 3D technology, a fit test is very easy, quick and cheap to perform. I have a large database of digital fitting models. Both fitting avatars of average sizes and scans of real people. So whoever your target group is, it is very easy to check the fit and overall look over the full size range.

3D prototyping

Full size range fitting

Be consistent

The last and I would say, most important tip.

Once you found the size charts that suit your target group best, stick to them. That also applies to the design ease you add to your garments.

Make all your models according to one set of size charts and apply the same amount of easy to similar models. Collection after collection.

So your customers can trust that a new design of a slim fit blouse they bought last year will fit the same this year. Or when a straight pair of pants fits well, then a bootcut model will also fit well.

In the end trust pays off in loyalty.

Consistency is key

Best possible or perfect fit?

Even with these tips it is still not possible to create a perfect fit for all your customers. The variation in body shapes and sizes is simply too large to catch them all within a few sizes.

The only way to achieve a perfect fit is to switch to made to measure. Too much hassle you think?

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