Workwear / Garment Sizing & Fit for Today’s Workforce
This webinar provides insight and practical advice to help you assess your strategic objectives and chart your path forward.
Today’s workwear / uniform providers require different garment size & fit approaches that address gender and ethnic diversity, broad age ranges and global increases in BMI. There are more options for the workwear users for better fitting clothes that address different body shapes, garment wearing preferences and inclusive sizing.
Alvanon has helped professional clothing providers across different businesses such as the government, hospitality, white-collar, entertainment, school uniforms and more, in Asia, Europe and the Americas better understand how to optimize garment fit and sizing for their diverse workforce.
The good news – In today’s world, there is an overwhelming abundance of available data that can be analyzed and translated in conjunction with deep industry knowledge and expertise to achieve specific business objectives in improving sizing and fit strategies.
Webinar topics include:
_Common causes of garment fit and sizing inconsistency in the workforce,
_How to fit one style to both genders, all ages, sizes and body shapes,
_Implementing and unifying garment fit across a broad supply chain,
_Measuring of the workforce and how to guide them into the right garment size,
_Return on Investment – Reducing returns, Reducing product lead times, Reducing inventory- carrying cost, Reducing proto samples
About Don Howard, Executive Director, Alvanon: Don has over 30+ years’ experience in apparel retail, design and manufacturing. He joined Alvanon in 2010 as a consultant and was named Executive Director in 2013 to head Alvanon’s global consulting team. He established Alvanon’s renowned professional Development Series training program and is a recognized expert in pre-production process assessment, technical design and product development with a particular emphasis on implementing sizing and fit standards. Don previously served as Vice President of Technical Design for Ann Taylor, where he established and maintained excellence in product fit and quality.
About Emily Robertson-Hood, Senior Consultant, Alvanon: For 20+ years Emily has led teams of Engineers, QA, Patternmakers, Graders, and Technical Developers in the fit, construction, and global manufacturing of apparel products ranging from denim to down. She has led teams at Levi Strauss & Co., Lands’ End, and Eddie Bauer.
At the end of every Alvanon webinar we offer an opportunity for listeners to submit questions for our presenters to answer. The following FAQ’s were compiled from the most popular questions and topics brought up in this webinar. While watching the webinar if you have any questions be sure to return to these FAQ’s, if they are not answered feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Size and Shape by Region
Q: Is it the ease over body that is different by region (ie US vs EU) or are the body shapes different too? What about other regions like African countries compared to North America? Also, what about how they prefer to wear their clothing in different countries/continents?
A: There are body size, stature and shape differences around the world. The question for a workwear provider is “at what point are body differences significant enough to differentiate with product alternatives?” There are SKU count choices to consider. Quantifying these differences will help a company determine the ROI of this practice
Just as body shape, stature and size differ by region, how people wear their clothes (tighter or looser) varies. Offering fit ease options and visually detailing the differences can be a strategy to meet this challenge.
Q: For a truly global uniform how many fits should a uniform co offer? Is Asian, European and US necessary?
A: Having different fits by region will give a better result, but as noted above, this can be costly in terms of SKU count. Combining fits for several regions might be an acceptable trade off, achieved by looking at body data to determine population similarities and differences.
Q: Is it so much different between North America vs South America?
A: Yes, there are significant body differences in stature, body size and shape between people in North and South America.
Q: What is the best size to break from regular to plus sizes for men and women and create a new block?
A: Creating a size break as bodies evolve to big/plus is an excellent practice; it’s driven by what size range you’re using (alpha, numeric, UK, US, EU, etc) and the number sizes in your size range and where your product is sold globally.
Q: What are your extended sizing recommendations using alpha sizing between Plus, Big and Tall, and Tall? Is it possible to have sufficient coverage?
A: It is possible to use Alpha sizing in PLUS and Big Men’s AND it is possible to have sufficient coverage. The intervals between sizes may not be an even grade like we are used to seeing in smaller sizes. Quantifying logical intervals between sizes is aided by the use of body scan data.
Q: Can you explain the differences between short, regular, and tall grade? Aside from the body length or girth, how do you anticipate change in sleeve length, for instance?
A: Effective stature adjustments relative to “regular” height product need to anticipate all POM’s affected; HPS to Apex, CB Neck to Waist, Rise Depth, etc. in addition to Arm Length, Inseam, Waist to Floor, etc. Using body scan data to quantify the adjustments used for height conversion specifications is optimal.
Q: Do you have the data on body growth into plus sizes? ie, how are the critical points such as bust, shoulder, waist, hip changing from your research?
A: Yes, Alvanon has extensive experience in helping companies develop PLUS strategies around a good core body standard, PLUS body growth, and PLUS garment grade.
Body Growth vs. Garment Grade
Q: In the webinar you said that garment grade differs from body growth. How can one use the Body Growth data to create accurate grade rules? This might be a topic for a webinar.
A: Good news! This is already a webinar! You can view our 3D: Beyond the Core Size webinar, where we discuss Body Growth data and Garment Grade guidelines in detail, here.
Q: Could you give some examples of how garment grades could differ from body grades?
A: One really good example is the shoulder: the body shoulder grows at a much slower rate than the chest/bust. If one followed the shoulder body growth exactly, the difference between the shoulder and chest would be huge at the larger sizes. There must be gives and takes as actual body growth is considered to create a manufacturable garment grade.
Q: Customers often ask for Unisex fits how do you cater for that?
A: Most retailers address this by paying attention to overall product design, ease over body, and product adjustability built into the silhouettes offered. Product also needs to consider gender differences in body shape, stature and girth.
Q: Is the trend of having work wear in unisex sizes to reduce SKU’s?
A: Though the prospect of reducing SKU’s by only offerring unisex garments is enticing, men’s and womens bodies are different. The best fit is achieved with separate women’s and men’s products.
Q: Can you talk a little more about the data analysis tools? What type of algorithms are you using and how do you help companies apply this? Do you look at historical sales sizes, returns etc. – how do you determine the cause of returns is sizing vs. styling?
A: Alvanon analyzes body data, in combination with our Team’s 100+ years of cumulative industry experience in sizing, fit, and manufacturing to make the best, commercially viable recommendation for a brand or retailer client. Each client’s strategy and objectives are different: target customer age, athleticism, region of the world, etc. These variables, along with sales by size analysis and returns data are factored into Alvanon’s recommendations.
Q: Does Alvanon work consistently with ASTM in developing standard body dimensions /fit with updates every 10 years
A: Yes, Alvanon is a part of the ASTM committee and also manufactures the ASTM standard forms.