I am trying to design a T-Shirt. I *could* just use the cut of a T-Shirt I like, tweak it here and there for my aims and be done with it, but the masochist in me wanted to look at the figures and develop my *own* standard measurements.
I guess I’m as bad as the rest of them. Look at this:
Image taken from HERE
So a size 8 can vary wildly in size even within a brand’s different ranges? Does the Marc Jacobs diffusion range buyer have a bigger waist than the designer range buyer because she has more money for cake?
I know why it is done. Every range of clothing is targeted at a particular demographic. A range targeted at a 20 year old is not going to look good on a 50 year old, even if she has similar measurements -women are made of soft tissue, things just don’t stay where they are supposed to. Young, slim women have a slightly easier time: gravity, illness and child bearing hasn’t yet taken its toll. There is still no ‘normal’ size – there are still the issues of genetically bigger bust or hips that make buying dresses a nightmare, but they do at least have their bust still sitting roughly where it is supposed to sit, and their posture has not yet decided to do its own thing.
Add on a few dress sizes, and even with the young and it gets challenging. A 41 inch hip measurement compared to a 36 inch hip measurement is a whole new kettle of fish. A group of girls with a 36 inch hip measurement will get away with wearing the same skirt with little complication. A 36 inch hip measurement is basically bone that has been fleshed out. Within that group there may be heavy boned ultra-toned girls, or lighter boned less toned girls, but the difference can only be so much. Introduce the 41 inch hip measurement and that girl has the same bones underneath, but the flesh can be distributed in a myriad of ways. The 41 inch is a measurement taken all the way round. There is no accountability for how the flesh is distributed – be it on the bum, on the hip (high/low), on the thighs… evenly throughout. That makes a BIG difference to how a pattern is cut.
Then of course there is the 36 inch hip girl who likes to wear things tight, and the 36 inch hip girl who likes a bit more ease.
There is no standard measurement and there can’t possibly be. Women are NOT standard.
So how is a fashion designer supposed to decide upon measurements? Particularly a fashion designer like I aspire to be, who, doesn’t believe her clothes are for a particular age group, more a particular mentality. (no. I’m not saying they are mental…. although….).
The problem with fashion is it is overly providing for the young and slim (those Easy people who don’t complicate matters by putting lumps in strange places), and leaves the bigger and older girls with a limited and often uninspiring choice. Companies like Pepperberry, Bravissimo and Long Tall Sally are making inroads, I guess. But it’s so limited when you compare to the mass market. I was pleased as punch to find Levi’s’ BOLD CURVE jeans – for the first time in my life i have bought trousers that don’t gape at the small of my back. I’d really like them in Red. Levi’s, Are you listening? RED, PLEASE.
(I did say please).
Meanwhile. How is a girl possibly supposed to come up with average measurements for above average clothes? I don’t want to make easy fitting clothes, I want the clothes to fit easily.