Poll: What is your base size?

Inquiring minds would love to get your feedback as to the size you’re using as the basis of style development. Please answer the poll below to the best of your ability (poll widget only allows 10 responses in case you’re annoyed your size isn’t shown). I realize there is some duplication; each size also has a letter option. If you make lettered sizing, choose the numbered size that is closest. For example, if your base size is a medium but it runs toward the smaller end of medium, select size 8 which is the smaller of the two size mediums. Etc.

Hmm. It would appear the poll I posted may have crashed the server. So sorry. I’ll try to sort this out and repost later. I appreciate your patience.

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  1. Monica says:

    I’ll be interested to see more of these results…when we first picked our sample size we were given looks of horror by our patternmaker and others and were eventually pressured to go down to a smaller size. The reason? “It’s just not done that way!” ???

  2. Theresa in Tucson says:

    I’m glad you provided the back story. Size inflation is a much better term than vanity sizing and much more understandable.

  3. Our base size is a 36F!!! Not that that will help most of the others here.

    This is a point [Kathleen] regularly revisits, and every time counts. I’m interested in seeing results.

    Why should two companies making men’s jackets use the same base size if one line is for jockeys and one line is for sumo wrestlers?

  4. Sarah_H. says:

    This post brings up one of my pet peeves about plus sized clothing. The industry sample size for plus sizes is 16W or 18W….The two smallest sizes in most plus size labels. (At my last position we went from 16W to 24W and fitted on a 16W. Nowadays it is more common to see a range up to 28W or 32W, and I’ll bet they still fit on the 16.) Why? Because it shows better at market. OK, it is also argued that it is hard to find a good mid-range (22W?) fit model. By that size there is more distortion of the figure.. But that is what a plus size is, a body that has added pads of fat that do distort the body shape. Fitting on a size that may differ from a missy size pretty much only in measurements really defeats the purpose of fitting.

    OK. I have vented now. I realize that very few of those debating this post have any interest at all in plus sizes, but it was my specialty and my passion. Thank you for your patience.

  5. Amanda Smith says:

    I am still in the early stages of planning my business and would be really interested to know what is the average sample size. I have a size 6 mannequin which was what I used at college and have been working in this size. I was worried about making much bigger samples because if I am lucky enough to be chosen for any editorial I want to make sure my samples fit the models.

  6. Colleen says:

    For Missy, my base size is 8.

    I find the fit model piece of the product development puzzle curious, too.

    In addition to fitting on the fit model, I recruit a size run of “real women”, measure them, give them a stack of clothes and a questionnaire. I assign them a size, based on their measurements and ask that they wear/wash the clothes, complete the questionnaire and return to me.

    I schedule a meeting w Designers and Merchants and we see the full size run of “real women” wearing our clothes. The “real women” enjoy the process and get to keep the clothes. The product development team gets to see how the fit/grade will translate to the customer. Win Win.

  7. Cherryl says:

    Thank you Sarah for your post. No, you are not the only one interested in plus sizes. I suspect there may be an increasing number of us. I am only starting out and I will be manufacturing very small runs so I will not have to face the horror in a patternmaker’s or contractor’s face when they learn that I too am using a size 22. I am interested in the challange of creating a fit that will be flattering in a very wide size range.

    And thank you too Colleen. I too have sent clothes off to a pool of women. I thought I was a nut for doing this because it was expensive for me, but my group enjoyed the process and in return I recieved a wealth of information. They felt free to give valuable feedback because I was not there and they didn’t have to worry about hurting my feelings or being rude to me face to face. I had someone there to take pictures at the fitting. I not only got to see my fit on a wide range of shapes and sizes which showed me where my problems were. But something totally unexpected… I could see how they felt about my fit. I will likely do this again.

  8. Kathleen says:

    Carol: a clarification of nuance.
    The base size used for Sumo wrestlers and jockeys should be the same -a medium, the midpoint of the size spread. But, [I know you know this] the constituent measures of each respective base size should be different. Vastly.

    Sarah: your frustration is noted (and respected). The poll had a limit of ten responses and as it happened, that drew inordinate resources on the server (so my web host put F-I in time out) and why I took it down. I hope to re-post it once I get some things fixed on the back end. But anyway, I totally agree with you but consider this: plus sizes have done what mainstream lines are increasingly starting to do -namely show the product at market in smaller sizes. Whether the sample shown at market is the sample size used in product development is another story.

    Perhaps the point I was trying to make was lost. Before, the sample size for PD and for market was the same -namely the midpoint of the size spread whatever you called it. The situation evolved when people decided to take a smaller size to market (and for showroom editorial etc) AND to use it in in product development as the base size.

    All that said, it isn’t true that the powers that be don’t care about plus sizes but it has become such a heady mine field that not enough are brave enough to enter or invest in it.

    Cherryl: “horror is relative. Monica lives in Australia; obesity isn’t as prevalent there as here. Oh, and sizing is relative too of course.

    The issue with developing plus sizes can be infrastructure and in two respects. First, is it done at a distance or are you doing it yourself? Handing it off to a provider can be problematic for both parties because most pattern makers don’t have a large array of forms to use. A plus size pattern maker would be a better bet if they have a range of forums in that sizing spectrum. If you’re doing it, you can fit things as you go along to your liking on bodies that meet your ideal customer. For someone else to do it long distance amounts to a lot of guessing until you each reach meta cognition.

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