Tag Archives: hourglass figures

6 Tips for a great fit. Lesson #1.

Does a ‘great fit’ or ‘perfect fit’ leave you wondering what that really means in terms of your clothes? These days with most everything being ‘off the rack’ ‘ready to wear’ or ‘prêt-à-porter’ you may not be aware that your clothes don’t actually fit well at all. Even when special items are ‘custom made’ ‘made to measure’ or dressmaker made you could still be left wanting a great fit or perfect fit. So here are a few tips for things to watch out for. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but let’s start with these.

Example – Let’s assume that you don’t fit the typical fashion model profile or standard size. Actually most people don’t fit into a standard size perfectly, because sizes are determined by averaging a set of statistics by manufacturers.  (By the way, you are the perfect size and shape you were meant to be, so celebrate your curves! Go ahead and look the fabulous person you are.)

These 6 tips are for dresses, tops and skirts.

EHC FS 2016- Elise

EHC FS 2016- Elise (3)

EHC FS 2016- Elise (2)

  1. Enough fabric and ease across the bust line. No straining of fabric here.
  2. Waistline is cinched in at the right level. Notice that the waistline of the dress doesn’t present any horizontal buckling of superfluous fabric or diagonal wrinkling in the front, side, or back.
  3. Ease of fabric draping or flowing over the hip line, no stress or stretched out fabric here.
  4. The hemline is horizontally even from the floor front and back, even in stilettos.
  5. Sleeves are set in at the right directional angle. No two people’s arms hang the same way! Enough room at the sleeve cap, or top of the sleeve, no straining of fabric here either with ample room for freedom of movement.
  6. Fit across the shoulders from sleeve to sleeve is wide enough, ending just at the shoulder joint.  The problem is usually too wide (too much material) or too narrow (not enough material).

Again, these 6 tips are true for any figure, and true for dresses, tops and skirts. Next time we’ll look at some other examples of well fitting points.  Cheers! J


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Design patterns and fittings

Design patterns and fittings

An integral part of a couturier’s expertise involves the fitting of a garment properly.

A good design may not necessarily be seen as a good design if it doesn’t fit properly and if it is unprofessionally finished. But almost everyone has come to accept ill-fitting clothing as being normal these days or is unaware of just how a well-fitting garment should look and feel.

For couturiers the matter of fitting a garment well on their actual client, who is the end user, is a crucial skill not only in terms of client satisfaction but ultimately in the couturier’s self-confidence.

This differs from designers creating garments to fit a ‘standard size’ for production as well as ‘made-to-measure’ which is produced to order from an adjusted block pattern. An inexperienced designer may well not realize a bad or impractical design until much later in the process – it might even be concealed until after a prototype has been invested in or until after an item has been produced.

No matter how many details of fit are considered for production line or readymade garments, they will never be a perfect fit for everyone or perhaps anyone. Production line specialists also do alter a design for its own efficiency consequently compromising what was originally planned.

Creating garments for any figure that has more than two dimensions (such as paper dolls), and specifically very curvy or atypical figures, requires much more thought and experience. Given that not every design will work with every figure, and I don’t mean hourglass versus columnar, I’m talking about the fact that some designs for curvy hour glass figures may not work as well for a more extreme hourglass figures.

Every seam, dart placement and easement affects how a pattern is cut. Making adjustments for a more extreme shaped figure is not just a matter of grading it up or down but reconfiguring the entire pattern shape.

Back to fit. Garments should neither fit too loosely or too tightly. Very loosely fitting clothing appears to have no fit at all and too tightly fitted clothing makes a person look overweight and awkward. Fabric should not bind, ruck, twist or buckle, should shape and hang and lie comfortably over the figure in designs with fullness of fabric or body skimming designs. Sleeves should be set in at the angle that the arm hangs – as everyone’s is different! The upper arm shouldn’t bulge in any sleeve. Trousers shouldn’t cut into the cheeks; they need to skim and slim front, back, around and underneath.

For women who have ample bust lines, it is particularly telling in wearing a ready-made suit jacket buttoned under the bust causing star burst shaped wrinkling fabric straining around the button (which it should never do) while the lapels reach away from the decolletage rather than caressing it. Most women have a larger set of measurements for the front half than the back half of the bodice – this is instinctive or obvious. However, if you lay a ready-made jacket flat out you will notice that the front and back panels are equally wide with some allowance for the bust curvature. Ladies, you should be able to button up a jacket and not provide excuses such as “Oh well, I just would leave it open anyway” Real power suits fit well and exude confidence not apologies. J…



Photos of YSL exhibit.


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