Creating Women's Sizing Using Standard Sizing Charts vs The American Average

Creating Women's Sizing Using Standard Sizing Charts vs The American Average

As a newcomer to the fashion industry, I'm trying to get my sea legs around production. I have an idea of what I want to achieve, but achieving it is complicated.

THE GOAL: Create a dress that looks good on many body types, that is durable and useful, and that makes people who wear it feel amazing.

Sizing plays a huge part in how dresses exist in the world... and the sizing question might be the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION I encounter.

It's hard to create bigger sizes in an economical way (more fabric = more $$), but we gotta face the facts that the average American woman has a 38.7" waist.

I have done some shopping around for size charts... there are so many variations of size chart.
Check out this Unique Vintage size chart
And the size chart on ModCloth
And the size chart on Kohls

My concern is that a person with a 35" waist can wear a 38" dress, but a person with a 38" waist can't wear a 35" dress (without feeling uncomfortable, and the point of this dress is comfort). So I don't want to count on people to size down. That seems to violate the core principle of the dress.

The average US woman's waist is 38.7", making the average woman an XL or an XXL. One of the important factors of this dress is that it's comfortable and flattering for people who are of many different body shapes, and the US fashion market really underserves the average woman (here's an article).

Having a 4" difference between XL and XXL doesn't seem like a lot when I think about 4" of fabric, but it's hard to visualize. I've been trying to see what that difference looks like on online pictures, but it's hard.

So now it comes down to practical considerations... what are the costs associated with one size vs another? Is that a cost that can be absorbed by the price of the dress?

Stay tuned... we're going to find out!

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