A Better Understanding of Fit: Measurements vs. Style Preference

If you haven’t realized it, fit is a much more complicated concept than what many retailers and shoppers think.

 

Retailers seem to be clueless about fit as it relates to their shoppers and shoppers are confused about fit as it relates to their body. As a stylist, the main job was to bridge the connection between product and customer based on an understanding of fit.

In the past, I coaxed many shoppers into appropriate silhouettes because shoppers were not actually the authority on their fit, I was. In many cases, the right fitting garment was not actually the right fit for some shoppers. Some people were just more comfortable in the wrong fitting item because they preferred the style. On paper, if we did a comparison of their body measurements to their garments, the fit reading would read “error”. But in real life, preference is everything.

This revealed something very interesting about shoppers: When it comes to fit it's all about preference.  
 
Some shoppers are concerned with fit as it relates to their specific measurements needs. FIT = MEASUREMENT TYPE OF SHOPPER Some shoppers are very interested in how things fit as it pertains to measurement preference. This shopper has specific body measurements that needs to be accommodated (inseam, larger neck measurement, longer than usual arm length...) .   To this customer, fit is all about matching their physical measurements to the actual garment.  These shoppers body measurements are outside of standard apparel sizing. They may be athletes with longer limbs,  women who have smaller waist and bigger bottoms, petite people...etc. Whatever the case, these customers are concerned mostly with figuring out how the garment will match up to their specific fit needs.

Some shoppers are concerned with fit as it relates to their specific measurements needs.

FIT = MEASUREMENT TYPE OF SHOPPER

Some shoppers are very interested in how things fit as it pertains to measurement preference.

This shopper has specific body measurements that needs to be accommodated (inseam, larger neck measurement, longer than usual arm length...) .  

To this customer, fit is all about matching their physical measurements to the actual garment. 

These shoppers body measurements are outside of standard apparel sizing. They may be athletes with longer limbs,  women who have smaller waist and bigger bottoms, petite people...etc. Whatever the case, these customers are concerned mostly with figuring out how the garment will match up to their specific fit needs.

Some shoppers are only concerned about their style as fit in their eyes could vary. FIT = STYLE SHOPPER The second type of shopper is all about style preference.  This shopper generally understands how clothing fits their body and is concerned with achieving a desired silhouette.  Clothing items may not fit to the exact measurement comparison, but they prefer what they prefer.  Traditionally, some stylist may not be able to accommodate this shopper, by the book these shoppers may not be choosing the "best" garments for their size or shape. But in reality, they are choosing the best garments for who they are. This personal preference usually takes precedent over fit preference but the satisfaction is the same. 

Some shoppers are only concerned about their style as fit in their eyes could vary.

FIT = STYLE SHOPPER

The second type of shopper is all about style preference

This shopper generally understands how clothing fits their body and is concerned with achieving a desired silhouette.

 Clothing items may not fit to the exact measurement comparison, but they prefer what they prefer. 

Traditionally, some stylist may not be able to accommodate this shopper, by the book these shoppers may not be choosing the "best" garments for their size or shape. But in reality, they are choosing the best garments for who they areThis personal preference usually takes precedent over fit preference but the satisfaction is the same. 

 
The hybrid shopper is everyone at some point depending on the garment. Fit= Measurements + Style Then there is the combination shopper. This shopper can be the fit preference shopper or the style preference shopper depending on the channel and or need. They are motivated by the same desires as the previously mentioned shoppers but other factors such as price, brand and advice may sway them toward one side or the other. In some cases they may be more measurement oriented in other cases they may be more interested in style. Asking the right questions can help retailers better understand how to categorized these shoppers. 

The hybrid shopper is everyone at some point depending on the garment.

Fit= Measurements + Style

Then there is the combination shopper. This shopper can be the fit preference shopper or the style preference shopper depending on the channel and or need. They are motivated by the same desires as the previously mentioned shoppers but other factors such as price, brand and advice may sway them toward one side or the other. In some cases they may be more measurement oriented in other cases they may be more interested in style. Asking the right questions can help retailers better understand how to categorized these shoppers. 

 

 

 

For more information contact me directly Jessicavcouch@gmail.com.

 

Jessica Couch

Fit technology and Retail innovation Consultant, writer, entrepreneur, creative , algorithim lover