Up until recently, Missy 0-16, Juniors 1-17, Petite 0P-16P, and Women’s 14W-28W+ have been the standard sizes available for women’s clothing. These standard sizes don’t take into account the differences in each woman’s unique proportions and curves and leaves most women disappointed in the fit of ready-to-wear clothing.
A woman’s only options for getting a good fit have been to tailor off-the-rack clothing or seek out custom, made-to-measure or bespoke solutions. Both of these alternatives can be time consuming and pricey.
Standard sizing is so ingrained, that most designers wouldn’t even think of changing them. According to Christina Wallace, Co-Founder and CEO of Quincy, the teachers she encountered in design school didn’t understand that the standard sizing doesn’t work for most women. She wanted to make her design samples to fit her own body, instead of making the standard dress form size, so she could wear the pieces she designed in school. When Christina asked her pattern-making instructor how to change the standard pattern to accommodate her body, the teacher could not understand Christina’s question. The teacher was not even capable of conceiving of making adjustments to the standard pattern sizing, let alone develop a strategy to do that.
Several female designers have started a revolution that is changing the landscape of women’s clothing sizes. They know first hand how frustrating it is to have ill-fitting clothing and are reinventing women’s sizing options to accommodate and fit women’s body shapes. The founders of Quincy Apparel and Rebecca & Drew Manufacturing are sizing pioneers.
Quincy co-founders Christina Wallace and Alex Nelson created a new sizing system based on the three parts of a woman’s body that vary the most from woman to woman and cause the most frustrating fit problems. Their sizes are defined by bust, hip to waist ratios, and height. They created a fit quiz to help customer find their Quincy Size.
I recently tried the Quincy “Jane” Jacket, a style I would usually avoid because it is typically too boxy and visually adds about 20 pounds to my frame. I was surprised and impressed with the fit! Off-the-rack clothes are usually too tight in the waist/tummy, too short in the arms and legs, and the waists are too long for me. I always need a tailor to get the fit right.
I used the Quincy Fit Quiz to determine my size. The “Jane” Jacket was SO flattering – not boxy at all – and fit my curves perfectly in the shoulders, bust, waist, hips and arm length. WOW! (the arms were a little tight in the biceps, but then I do have really strong biceps!) The styles are “Dress Yourself Skinny” flattering, details are special, fabrics are beautiful, finishes are neat and clean and the fit is superb. The ladies at Quincy are really on to something!
Rebecca Matchett and Drew Paluba set out to create a button down shirt that really fit women. They created the TrioFit sizing formula, which calculates shirt size based on chest circumference, bra-cup size, and height. The Rebecca & Drew shirts claim to solve the gaping bust problem and fit a woman’s curves. To order, customers select their body type (choice between apple vs. pear shape, they call these body types strong & confident vs. soft & smooth), bra band size, bra cup size and whether they are short to average-waisted (average) or long-waisted (long).
These ladies really are creating better fitting garments. I hope other designers catch on…if not, they may be left in these ladies’ dust. Viva La Revolution!