Making Clothes in One Size? Please Explain.
Ok I have a lot to say this month. I'm going to talk a lot about sizing and my approach to sizing and then give some recommendations for other sustainable brands I love that offer a wide range of sizes.
Let's get this rolling. First not many people have asked me this question, but I'm going to answer it anyway - why do I mostly make one-size or limited sizes? So glad you asked! I'll explain...
Here is some stream of consciousness thoughts to begin, then I'll expand on each one.
- I am testing styles and general temperature to see what people like
- I try to make styles that look good on a range of sizes
- I like oversized silhouettes
- Making size ranges is difficult especially if I only have a limited amount of vintage or found fabric and sometimes even new fabric is limited (often times I buy the entire roll!)
- Small inventory, so try to make size ranges that fit most people
Ok I'll start with the first bullet.
I am testing styles and general temperature to see what people like
Something that I've struggled with as a new business owner who designs and makes all of the clothing that's available to buy is-- how much do I make. Actually, I think this is also an issue with large manufactures too, haha :) Since I am planning every step of the process from designing, to buying fabric, to cutting out the patterns, to sewing, listing, and marketing every piece, overproducing is even more time consuming and costly to me as a small business owner.
I try to make styles that look good on a range of sizes
I am a big believer in--if it fits you and you like it, then it's your size. I think sometimes (ok, most times) we can get wrapped up in the dang size on the tag instead of just looking at how we look in the piece of clothing. Or even, how we'd like to look in a piece I try to make styles that I think will look great on a wide range of body types. Also, my personal style is very much of a loose fitting, easy vibe which leads me to my next point...
I like oversized silhouettes
This is just something I've always liked and not in a hide my body kind of way, I just think it looks cool and effortless. Don't get me wrong, oversized can look sloppy, but not the way I do it!
Making size ranges is difficult especially if I only have a limited amount of vintage or found fabric and sometimes even new fabric is limited (often times I buy the entire roll!)
Ok so let's talk about fabric sourcing for a sec. It's a bit of a challenge I must say, especially during the pandemic. There are a couple of good fabric stores in the OKC metro but not a ton, they don't have a huge selection, and it's often hard to find sustainably made fabric. There are a lot of great thrift stores near me, but they don't often have big bolts of fabric, which gets me to my next point--since fabric is limited I often only have enough to make 2-8 items of clothing. So let's say I can find enough to make 8 pieces--if I made 2 small, 4 mediums, and 2 larges that is pretty reasonable for a size range. But typically I'm finding enough fabric to make 2-4 pieces max, then the math becomes a bit harder. Do I make 1 small and 1 medium, or 1 small/medium and 1 large/XL? You can see where the dilemma starts to set in and where I begin to try and make styles that will look good on a lot of different body types.
This is where I'm at right now, but I know I will eventually move on from this and be able to make more sizes. Especially when I can travel safely again, there are huge fabric warehouses full of deadstock fabric in Dallas, LA, New York, etc. Also, not sure if you knew this, but I share a space with a fantastic tailor/alterations business called OKSewCo and she can actually perform magic, so if you see something of mine you like but doesn't fit quite right, OKSewCo can fix you up right (if you live in OKC--wink).
Small inventory, so try to make size ranges that fit most people
This really goes along with my last section above; I am a small operation right now and so I am making limited runs of pieces and have a small inventory. In some ways I see this as very special and even as the business grows I still want it to have this small batch vibe, but for now this is where I'm at. So that means I am trying to make pieces and styles that fit a wide range of body types by only making one size.
**Now let me make a disclaimer right here--I know some probably find fault with my statement "fits most people". I know there are lots of absolutely beautiful people that wear something larger than an XL. Let me tell you it hurts that I cannot be completely and TRULY size inclusive right now, but guess what? There are a TON of amazing stores out there that are catering to plus sizes (and I hate even saying plus size, why can't we just say "size ____"? are 00 minus sizes?...I digress) So let me name a few and send some good vibes across the interwebs:
Big Bud Press makes lovely, colorful easy to wear pieces up to a 5XL, made responsibly with NAFTA certified fabric and non-toxic dyes, in Los Angeles. Check them out here: bigbudpress.com I have one of their jumpsuits and wear it once a week and loooooooove the damn thing.
Ominana makes ready-to-wear and made-to-order pieces from a range of ethical designers from around the world. I love the Striped Cape Dress by Mati and have the Fari Striped Harem Pants. The dress and pants go up to a 6XL. Check them out here: ominana.com
House of Flint makes drool worthy linen creations that make you want to move to the english countryside, make sourdough bread, and rub lavender all over your body while drinking tea. They have ready-to-wear and made-to-order styles up to XXL. Check them out here: houseofflint.co.uk I haven't bought anything from them yet, but have my eye on the Wrap Culottes and Vintage Staple Shirt.
Red Sky Feminist Circus makes small batches of boilersuits, coats, chore dresses, and lounge sets in fun colors and fabrics. I have two of their boilersuits and constantly get asked where they are from. Often times things sell out in a matter of minutes! Plus, the owner is HILARIOUS and I love her social media presence. They make boilersuits up to size XXL, but like many of my pieces, her stuff is meant to be very oversized and roomy. Check her out here: shopredsky.com
Wow, ok that got a little out of hand there. If you are still with me, I'll wrap this up. What I'm hoping to get across here is that I am fully embracing this slower, smaller, simpler approach to fashion. This is where I'm coming from, this is my philosophy, my thing. And I hope that helps you understand my products and me a little better!
Please drop me a line below with what you think about all of this. Also would love to know any other sustainable brands out there that I should add to the list.