Fitting logic pt. 2

Regarding Cricket Lee’s handy dandy Fitting SystemTM aka Fit Logic comes Clothes That Fit the Woman, Not the Store from this morning’s NY Times. Not surprisingly, the system hasn’t been a big hit (my previous article is here). From the NYT article:

So perhaps it is unsurprising that the sizing system, called Fitlogic, has hit some bumps in the road. Macy’s, which stocked a single style of Jones New York pants made with the Fitlogic sizing system, said it would cease carrying the line. And Nordstrom, which is carrying a single style of pants from Garfield & Marks, said it had no plans to expand use of the sizing system.

The reporter Michael Barbaro, lists the downsides as:

…what would make the system appealing to shoppers – multiple versions of the same size – is what turns off retailers and clothing makers. Three times the number of items requires more display space and creates more risk of unsold inventory.

Retailers that commit to it must find space for more merchandise, train workers to understand the new sizes and explain the new system to customers – a struggle for stores that already have few employees on the sales floor.

…that retailers and clothing makers thrive off sizing confusion. Consumers who find a brand that fits are likely to stick with it and a standard sizing system would encourage them to visit other stores.

The system also creates more work for clothing manufacturers. To make one pair of pants using Fitlogic sizing, Garfield & Marks, which designs clothes by hand, had to create three patterns.

As I’ve said over and over until I’m blue in the face, the solution can only be derived by making the details of sizing more transparent. In other words, we need to put actual dimensions on product hang tags. The downside to this practice would be that many consumers don’t know their actual measurements. They tend to under report their measures in much the same way they under report their weight.

There’s a related article, A Woman, Full of Hope, in the Dressing Room too. It’s a very short article, a critique from a reporter who tried the FitLogic system and found it lacking -ultimately due to the styling which is nothing I haven’t already said before.

…it certainly makes sense to acknowledge that not all women are built alike. But despite the fit, I did not rush over to the cash register to buy the pants. If I wanted high-waisted black pants without front pockets and a narrow waist band, I very well might have. But they looked more like something my mom might buy.

This of course, directly relates to designing your styling and sizes to suit the needs of your profile customer. One such company I profiled recently was Al Qud jeans. Their jeans are sized specifically to permit the range of motion common to Muslim worship practices. Still, I have no doubts that the average (non-Muslim) consumer would still say these jeans were vanity sized just because they didn’t fit them. I give up.

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  1. Mike C says:

    RE: women knowing their measurements

    We offer pants in three inseam measurements. We find that its not uncommon for women to have no idea what the length of their inseam is. They almost always know whether they are short, ankle, regular or tall though.

  2. Diane says:

    If I were to produce a line of pants they would be sized by waist and inseam. Men’s pants are not sized by short, regular or tall but yet women are expected to settle for this sizing where the “tall” is 33 to 34 inches before shrinkage. I started wearing men’s jeans in high school (remember Landlubbers?. It doesn’t take very long in the dressing room to know that a 36″ inseam will be perfect for me after they shrink. Of course, they don’t fit in the waist but at least they’re not high waters! Any woman that orders pants from a catalog would have to know her inseam. People who sew know the value of measurements!

  3. Beth says:

    Just wanted to say that I think it is absolutely a wonderful idea! I remember “Chic” jeans and loved them because they fit my “shape 2” body!
    I say the segment on the “Today” show today and I am really interested in trying some of the jeans. Where is the most reasonably priced outlet to get them. And by the way Cricket, the lady on the show today showed very poor taste in some comments she made. Mind you, I LOVE Walmart and Target, but she should have kept her thoughts to herself.

  4. Clara Rico says:

    If you sized based on actual measurements, is there a way you could provide rulers to the retailers. Either disposable paper ones like at IKEA or reusable ones. They would have to be longer than one yard. But I know that pharmacy companies give flexible rulers with their logo to doctors so we could to. I’m sure the retailers would appreciate the extra something to help the customer and the customer would be able to take their measurements at the store. Then only try on the clothes that would fit.
    The only reason I’ve bought bras at Victoria Secret is I liked having someone measure me and then bring me all the bras they had that size. (Of course later I realized that I fit better in a different size than what I “should”.)

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