Why Fit Is the Most Important Aspect of Style, and Where to Find Made-to-Measure Clothes Online
By Alice Randell
When you invest in clothing (at any price range), you’re investing in your presentation. How your clothes fit you matters. Just grazing 5 feet tall, I figured that if I was going to rock out my outfits, then they had to fit my diminutive proportions perfectly. Instead of buying clothes off the rack and getting them tailored, I decided to learn more about the modern couture movement through companies like Esatta, Sumissura, and Fame and Partners.
“Clothes are made for an average form, certain generic measurements, and no one really has that ideal average form. We all have something different body-wise, so most likely when you put on clothing it’s not going to fit perfectly,” says designer Rebecca Moses.
A recent survey by SizeUSA, set out to discover to what actual American sizes are and why there is a such a mismatch between this and the clothes we find in department stores.
“We heard a lot of complaints from consumers about not being able to find clothes that fit them, which is what led us to develop this project,” which was jointly sponsored by manufacturers and the U.S. Commerce Department, says SizeUSA director Jim Lovejoy.
“Clothes made today are based on the hourglass shape for both men and women,” he says. “We found men are now leaning more towards what we call the inverted triangular shape, their shoulders wider than their hips, while women are going the other way, pear-shaped, with hips wider than shoulders.”
So if you try to put a “rectangular” body into an “hourglass”-shaped designer garment feels a lot like putting the square peg in the round hole.
Using a specially designed body scanner, the company took electronic measurements of some 10,000 American men and women in a range of ages, races, sizes, and locales. These measurements were then used to create a mathematical model of today’s “average” body. “Not surprisingly, it’s not exactly the body shape the fashion industry has been using to create our clothes,” says Lovejoy.
Still, don’t expect your local mall to be full of better-fitting clothing right away. While Lovejoy hopes the new Size USA report will eventually change the way all clothing is sized, he says it will likely take some time before manufacturers make major changes.
Before I introduced myself to modern couture, I wanted to learn more about exactly why off-the-rack clothes can go so terribly wrong.
Most Common Issues with Fit
Sleeves should end at the wrist, not halfway down the hand (it makes you look like you haven’t yet grown into your clothing).
Waistbands should fit so you can slide two fingers between your flesh and the garment, too loose or too tight and you won’t get a nice line (and it won’t be comfortable either!).
Busts are the other tricky fit point for many women. If you have a top that has a horizontal seam across the front it should either sit just under the bust or at the waist, never across the bust, and this is a particularly common problem if you have a large bust.
Shirt buttons shouldn’t pull or gape, particularly across either the bust or stomach. If they do the shirt is too small and you need to go up a size and potentially have the shirt altered to fit your shoulders or waist.
Additionally, here are some bleak statistics I found.
- 60% customers have problems finding the right size in online shopping
- 60% order the size they usually wear
- Only 3–5% would take measurements of themselves to identify the right size
- Self-measuring and size identification often lead to wrong results (Note: I learned that this is why Esatta uses high-tech body scanners to increase accuracy significantly)
Make Mine Customized
We might not all be Naomi Campbell-perfect, but we can at least strive for our very own version of perfection, starting with services that provide the perfect fit every time.
A step between off-the-rack and modern couture, are global brands that are catching on to the issues related to buying off-the-rack. Archetype Solutions is the brainchild of Rob Holloway, former CEO of Levi Strauss and Co. This computerized system takes body measurements and other details provided by the shopper, including style and fit preferences, and turns it all into a custom-made garment — for a price that rivals off-the-rack styles.
However, if you are going for a tailored look, the modern couture movement is the ideal way to make the best of your investment.
Esatta uses body measurement technology and brings exclusive designs from emerging designers to customers through personalized, made-to-measure craftsmanship. Their mission is to “combine excellent quality, innovative technologies and socially conscious global supply chain to inspire everyone to look and feel great every day.”
I decided to give Esatta a try as they currently serve the professional women’s wear. A perfect fit statement suit has always been a piece to add to my lean yet high-quality closet, and Esatta recommended me a few modern, fashionable suit options based on my body shape. So I tried Esatta and loved my “modern couture” experience. The fit was perfect, and I got so many compliments on my tailor-made suit. They are also the most sustainable and eco-friendly made-to-measure option on the market.
Another option is Sumissura, an online tailor where you can customize clothing with any details you want I was so thrilled. Blazers are the epitome of a young professional or a professional at any age for that matter. From choosing the fabric and style of a blazer, for example, to even adding your own initials where you want them, the customized options at Sumissura are endless.
You might also want to try Fame and Partners a personal atelier; meaning they create custom, bespoke clothing that suits your personal style and fits your body.
These services translate the quality craftsmanship of an atelier service to the modern, fast-moving fashion world. With Fame and Partners and Esatta, your piece will be handmade by an artisan seamstress, just for you.
Comparing custom clothing to clothes you buy off the rack is like comparing a fine woolen to burlap. Unless you have the perfect and lucky body shape, there is no comparison! One was made in bulk that you hope will fit you, the other was hand measured, and in many cases, hand tailored. Each garment is individually constructed by using dozens of key measurements to achieve the fit you prefer. A lot of people underestimate the power of a perfectly fitted wardrobe. Here are a few reasons as to why a well-fitted wardrobe can be beneficial to you and your lifestyle.
Custom clothes are made to fit YOU
How often do you go to the store and pick up a shirt “in your size” only to find that it’s too full, too long, too large in the collar, etc? No matter, it is usually short of your expectations. How many times have you asked, “do these shirts run small or large?” That is if you can find a salesperson to help you.
Getting clothes custom fitted eliminates questions like these, and eliminates any doubt you have about the clothes you buy. You pick everything from the desired fit to the type of fabric; down to the button thread color if you care for that level of detail. Having a custom fitted wardrobe is like having your own personal line of clothing. They fit your style and your physique!
Stand out from the masses
Today’s clothing is mass-produced around sizes that, to most people, are “good enough.” A perfectly fitted wardrobe will make you stand out because it accentuates all of your fine features. If you dress like you have prepared yourself effectively, that message will be clear.
Your appearance is a look into your lifestyle. Custom clothing allows you to be your best. Seek a professional in a better store. You will find a better product, better service, and free advice. The result is clothing that lasts longer and feels better.
Quality that lasts a lifetime
You want clothes that will stand the test of time. Fitted shirts may be in now, baggy shirts may be in tomorrow, but a proper fit will never go out of style. Clothes that fit correctly last longer because they don’t face certain wear and tear that occurs with improperly fitted clothes. Anything too tight will wear more quickly, too loose or too long looks like you don’t care.
When I received my piece from Esatta, I was excited because I felt like I was a part of building the future of fashion — a future where the supplier knows the right size and fit of all customers, provides a good understanding of what looks best on you, and produces using ethical and sustainable methods.
If you are ready to see what a perfect-fit feels like, try Esatta — guaranteed to make you look at your best.