I remember, as a young girl, I was a headache to my family tailor, who I ordered designs at whims and fancies. Opportunely, the end result made up for all the grievances as my clothes would receive compliments after compliments for their fit and design. There were few retailers and the ones that were there did not stock everything. So, if I liked a design, it would not meet my size and vice versa. As with few options available, I believed in sticking to my old tailor.
In the late 80’s, there was a little revolution in readymade garments and retail started to flourish. Still, we did not get branded clothes and we had to do with available sizes which we gave to our local tailor who altered it as per our fit. Early 90’s saw a more pronounced revolution with branded clothes finding a taking in Indian manufacturers. As time went by, retailers saw a new awakening with foreign and Indian clothes alike selling like hot cakes, outmoding the role of a tailor or trimming it down to the minimum. The increased spending power also increased people’s preference for readymade branded clothes. India has arrived where readymade brands are concerned but is still struggling to find a parallel footing with its western counterparts where sizing is concerned who have more options than small, medium, large and the extra large that Indians are happy with.
Every country has a different size indicator. Basically, size is determined in four ways:
Population: Population category has a lot to determine size. For example, if a country has more kids or elderly then that size will be produced more. A statistic will tell the sample size, also a manual tape , 2D photographic to high tech 3D body scanners will be helpful to know the general size of that category. Also size is determined depending upon the category that has more purchasing power i.e the earning category or the youth that likes to stay in fashion more.
Data analysis: Another important thing to do is to find out what size of the population need to be covered and what is the optimum number of sizes? For example: In US, the sizes are misses, petite, junior, junior petite, young junior, women, half, men, girls, girls plus, boys, children, infant toddlers etc which again has small, large, medium and XL categories; Where as in India, it is number wise till teenage that then graduates to small or medium as size grows. Again each country has its own way of numbering.
Type of fit: Measurement change with fit-slim, comfort and regular, so this also needs to be taken into account. For example: a regular fit jeans of size 30 may increase to size 32 for a low waist.
Size, country wise: Different countries have different size numbers so a ready convertor at the retail point will help convert the numbers instantly.
Quantity: Depending on what category will sell more, it is decided how many pieces will be there in each size. Lot of innovation is taking place in this direction, for example, in an effort to further understand women’s fit frustration, Levi Strauss & Co. conducted a global survey. Revealing survey findings included:
- More than half of women (54 percent) try on at least 10 pairs of jeans to find one pair they would buy.
- Most women (87 percent) wish they could find jeans that fit better than the ones they own.
- Most women (67 percent) believe that jeans are designed for women with “ideal” figures.
- Very few women (28 percent) believe that jeans are designed to fit their bodies.
And then it introduced a new line of custom fit jeans made to fit the curve of a woman’s body. The new line, Levi’s® Curve ID, utilizes a revolutionary fit system based on shape, not size and was created as a result of studying more than 60,000 body scans and listening to women around the world of all shapes and sizes.
Well, plus size is also giving anew opportunity to retailers.
Mohit Seth, Business Head, Nautica shares,"Size is one of the most important parameter determining the success or failure of the brand. You may have the best product under the biggest brand name, but you still need to have correct mix of sizes to ensure a healthy sell thru. Moreover, an incorrect size ratio means inviting broken size sets, which in turn adds to your dead inventory. This results in going on higher discounts during EOSS, thereby impacting the bottom line downwards”.
Well, size is everything as it accentuates a person’s figure and personality. So, if you are getting into retail or manufacturing your own brand, do a thorough recce to know the sizes and its proper quantity to be kept to avoid any inventory mishap and to meet up the demand correctly.