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F* Sizing

It's just too wild for me.

Allegra Raff

Feb 28, 2024

You might have noticed that "standard sizing" is, uh, flawed.*

Sure. It can get you into the right playground.

But then, are we doing monkey bars or slides?

Or to translate that into clothing-fit-speak: do we have 16” from your shoulder to your natural waist with a 64” chest, or do we have 18” from shoulder to natural waist and a 34” chest? Or… some other combination entirely?

(*You might have even wondered if there was something wrong with YOU that you weren't more "standard," and I promise you: there is not.)

Do you remember that lesson in Algebra?

I somehow managed to graduate from a rigorous-bordering-on-traumatic high school (I’m not ready to talk about it) without actually mastering those “how-many-possible-combinations-are-there?” calculations.

But I did come away with this important understanding: Calculating the possible number of human proportions? The answer might as well be infinite.

Ok, let’s say we’re considering just EIGHT (out of many possible) body measurements, which is about how many most Raff Co. Clothing Demi Custom designs require. Each of those can vary by, IDK, 4 to 40 inches, depending on the body part. My human brain can’t even comprehend how many possibilities that is. If you’re calculating this, feel free to share what you come up with (and will you teach me how you did it?).

But as far as I’m concerned, the possible number of human proportions might as well be infinite.

So, what are your actual measurements? Standard Sizing doesn’t know. Standard Sizing doesn’t care!

Considering all these possibilities isn’t even Standard Sizing’s JOB, as far as Standard Sizing is concerned.

But as we know, it matters. Sometimes it matters a lot.

This lovely shirt is feeling sad about the idea of standard sizing.

By the way, calling Standard Sizing “standard” is pretty misleading. Here’s why:

Individual brands can choose whatever they want as their “standard.”

And it can vary wildly from brand to brand.

It’s not based on you, obviously. It’s not even based on what an “average” or “median” set of proportions is. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE TRYING TO CALCULATE SUCH A THING? Spoiler: they didn’t. A brand’s “standard” set of proportions is just…based on someone the brand picked. One random person. (H/t Amanda at Clotheshorse for revealing some of the inner workings of this process, first hand, in her podcast about the clothing industry.) And as we just saw, that person the brand chose represents one set of measurements out of what are effectively infinite possibilities.

So, to recap:

Through zero fault of your own, a brand’s designated “standard” proportions may not resemble your actual proportions AT ALL… and it can matter A LOT.

That’s why I don’t make standard sizes.

I make To Measure.

Softly, Allegra

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