When Small ≠ Small

Posted on

March 20, 2023

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Ok readers, bear with me on this one - I am going to take you on a journey into the land of sizes. Trust me, it will be worth your time to read.

Many of you will have experienced the challenges of finding “the right size”. Whether it is buying something for yourself or supplying beautiful kit to your customers.

Only last week we were chatting at length with a client who is comparing our Pattern Room sizing to the sizes of the blanks they have been sourcing from a large player. This has revealed to us that not all is as it seems out there in the wild. Mapping Pattern Room sizing to the sizes he is used to is a great thing to do, as then he will be super comfortable supplying to his customers. But we discovered the blanks he was using have some wacky sizing going on.

One would normally think that as you go from XS → S → M → L (you get the idea) they will incrementally get larger. In the industry, this is known as “grading”. The experts will tell you there are a number of ways it can be done, most of which are right, but will result in different outcomes. And despite what some people will tell you, it is not just a case of “zooming out”, nor is it “automated” by some computer program – it takes a skilled pattern maker to get it right.

What we discovered was that the Large was a Large, the Medium was a bit smaller and was a Medium, but the Small was 3 sizes smaller than the Medium, so was really an XXS in our language.

Confused much? Yep, us too.

For years our client has struggled with getting the blanks to fit someone who would normally wear a Small or smaller. Now he knows why.

Making it as easy as possible for your customers to get the right size solves a whole world of problems. Not the least of which is actually getting a product that they like that fits really well. Beyond that, there is the challenge of product returns, search engine reviews, refund requests…you get the picture. Send them a beautifully fitting, beautifully made garments and pretty soon you have a HUGE (or small) fan who just keeps coming back over and over again. And if you are lucky, they will tell all their friends about their experience as well.

Consistency in sizing is super important and helping your customers into the right size garments means fewer returns and much happier customers. It shouldn’t need to be rocket science. Making it easy for you and your customers will result in better garments and more profit. All good things.

Even better, if you can be consistent in sizing across everything you do. Then it means whether it is a t-shirt, shorts, jumper, jacket, leggings…everything is the same size and fits your client properly.

Ok, where to from here?

Start from what you like. Find that one (maybe 2) garments that you simply love. They fit beautifully. They are representative of the size that you think they should be. In short, this is your baseline.

Now, you want to download our fabulous E-Book on how to measure it so that you can cross-check it against the Pattern Room fits & sizes. Now you know the fit that works for you. Our grading (up and downsizes) is designed to take you 1 size at a time up or down. If you don’t want to use one of those sizes, that’s fine, you don’t have to. It’s your choice. Butat least you can start supplying garments which are consistent in fit and size across the range.