Why I Don't List Sizes on Garments
Sizing is arbitrary. I’m considered a petite in some brands and a medium in others. I’ve worn dresses that are size 2 and others that are size 6. I’ve worn size 9 jeans and size 26. And frankly, in a society that equates smallness with beauty, I wasted too many days pairing my self-worth with the number inside of a garment. Over time, the sizing of brands has shifted and expectations of women become more and more unrealistic, providing us with a no-win, moving goalpost based on a broken definition of beauty. I never want other women to feel less than because of an arbitrary number that often changes.
Back in the day when everyone shopped in stores, I remember the minor inconvenience of trying on multiple sizes to get the right fit, and the feeling of falling in love with a piece only to have it not fit my body. Now, with the rise of online shopping, the minor inconvenience of trying on multiple sizes has ballooned into a major inconvenience. There’s a lot more guesswork that goes into buying online, and when you’re buying from sustainable or ethical designers with higher price points or particular return policies, it’s often not possible to order multiple sizes to try on. And if they don’t work, you then have to trudge to your local post office and pay to ship it back.
This happened to me more times that I’d like to admit. In one instance, I finally found an ethical, made-to-order shoe company within the United States that made a style I’d been wanting for ages. I saved up and bought the shoes. I waited for the shoes to arrive. I tried them on and walked around my house and realized they were way too big. If you’ll indulge in a little more drudgery: I boxed them back up and contacted the company to start the return process. They were super sweet and sent me a shipping label. I had to find a place to print said shipping label because I didn’t own a printer. I dropped the shoes off at FedEx and waited for a replacement pair that was one size smaller. When said replacement pair finally arrived, they were too small. A previous version of me would have been like, ‘it’s fine! They’re cute! I can deal with crushed toenails!’ But today-me can’t justify uncomfortable or painful clothing.
There are obviously bigger issues keeping us up at night, but size and fit drive me crazy. Shop for denim online? Tried that this year too, and the same thing happened, where I was between sizes. I still love these brands and styles, but their sizing just didn’t work for me.
The reasons I love making my own clothes are manifold, like the ability to choose the fabric I want in a color that suits me. But the most important reason is fit. By making my own clothes, I make items that actually fit my body and my lifestyle.
The reason I decided to only create made-to-measure clothing for clients is because I want to take into account the whole person. Working with new clients, I take at least seven measurements (some couture houses require at least 30). I ask where they want the length to hit, how long they like their sleeves, and which type of neckline they prefer. With few exceptions, I believe everything about a garment is customizable, because everything about a body is unique. And my pricing is the same regardless of size. (The only factors that change the cost of a custom piece is if the fabric is pricier per yard, or if there are complicated customizations.)
No, my garments aren’t going to be for everyone, but I wanted to offer an option for people like me who were between sizes, confused and irritated, and tired of all the guesswork.
Selfishly, I wanted to offer what I was looking for: custom, made-to-measure pieces in natural fibers, simple and timeless silhouettes, in a color and design that makes the wearer feel like themselves.