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Women’s wear sizes are divided into different categories, depending on height. Moreover, size categories may vary according to manufacturers’ specific criteria. Nowadays the hourglass figure is frequently used as fashion industry standard. Nevertheless, a woman with an hourglass figure and a woman with an apple-shaped figure who have the same bust size will not have the same waist or hip sizes. Taking into account the average American woman’s height, standard size ranges try to adhere to variety of constitutions, providing for the "shorter-than-average" height women with "petite" and "half-sizes". Unfortunately, "taller-than-average" women can find their size less frequently.
Correspondingly to diverse size categories, garment styling also differs: e.g., a button down shirt designed for muscular body type will have smaller proportions in hips and waist. For hourglass figures the garment style may include a deep V neck and elements that define the waist. Tracy Anderson, famous celebrity fitness trainer, first of all, considered different body types when designing four original styles of sports leggings. She considers that the women who do her workouts “are just as into fashion as anybody else, they are all very different. One size does not fit all”.
Due to the diversity of size categories it is difficult for retailer to establish fit. The following methods are used: visual and technical evaluation, fit sessions, drafting of comprehensive spec sheet with technical flat sketch showing all garment details, digital measurements and target customers’ constitution analysis.
When discussing various private label retailers with my friends, I heard a lot of positive references of “GAP” brand. Among the reasons people prefer this label were the following: modern design, convenience, garment tangible form and composition, wide range of apparel styles, correspondence to current fashion trends, and, sure thing, perfect fit. GAP apparel always fits correctly as it is designed as casual and comfortable. Their strategy for creating consistent fit lies in the following: considering fabric and trim impact on the way apparel fits, conducting fabric research and development, designing consistent silhouettes, professionally developed spec sheet, elimination of all possible production discrepancies.