Although it may sound counterintuitive, brands and stylists may want to rethink apparel sizing, and prioritize fit over style.
During a webinar last week, sponsored by Fit:Match, Kim Apodaca, executive stylist; Desiree Atalia, celebrity stylist and designer; Demina Becker, senior sales executive at Fit:Match, and Hillary Littleton, senior growth marketing manager at Fit:Match, discussed why fit is so critical in styling clients as well as for all consumers. The session included an overview of the Fit:Match sizing technology and how it can address the customer pain points around fit.
Littleton began the session by describing Fit:Match’s value proposition and how it is positioned for business-to-business companies as well as for consumers. For fashion shoppers, the platform allows them to shop with confidence and have a personalized shopping experience while “never having to try on clothes again,” Littleton said.
For brands and stylists, the technology is easily integrated into existing platforms, and drives higher conversion rates and higher average order volume while increasing repeat purchases and reducing returns. But why should fit be a priority over style?
Littleton described the fit-first approach and the platform as a “game-changer” and said “knowing what fits and eliminating fit risk [while shopping] means that you can really focus on style and color, which makes the shopping experience much more personalized, enjoyable and satisfying.”
Fit:Match uses 3D mapping, and “2D matching,” which means the online shopper is not shown items that will not fit. Littleton also explained how the technology can be integrated into a brand’s app, at a physical retail store, and on a website.
Atalia, who specializes in styling celebrity athletes, said sizing is a nightmare and noted that her clients “have two different sizes throughout the whole year: off-season and during the season measurements.” Aside from the weight fluctuations, Atalia said no two brands are sized the same.
“So I physically go and I measure them with a measuring tape at least twice a year,” Atalia said. “Their weight fluctuates by season; so sometimes one season they’re 15 pounds heavier and then the following season they’re like, ‘oh look, I didn’t gain any weight’ — so it’s a never-ending battle for me.”
Apodaca agreed that fit and sizing are challenging and said, “Sizing is everything to me.” Apodaca said she can “go and buy a luxury piece for a client and if it doesn’t fit them well, it looks like it’s 10 bucks. Similarly, you can go and get a [$10] piece from Zara and have it altered, and someone might think it’s a Max Mara blouse. So, for me, fit is everything.”
Apodaca said when working with clients, she constantly has sizing and alterations in mind and works to mitigate “fit risk,” which is, for her clients, when they lose confidence in their bodies and fret over poor sizing that appears to make them look over- or under-weight. “I had this gorgeous Oscar de la Renta gown on my client, and I know that I could take some of the volume out of the skirt, and I know that I can tweak it here and it’s going to suit her frame exactly,” she explained. “But she doesn’t see that, so there’s an element of doubt. And it’s my job to explain to her how we are going to do this and bring in the tailor so she can see it and feel it and gain the confidence and reduce the fit risk.”
The panelists described Fit:Match as revolutionary in its approach to reducing fit risk and addressing other consumer sizing issues. In regard to sizing, Atalia and Apodaca said brands can do a better job of marketing fashion apparel.
“I feel like Nordstrom does a good job of showing how a garment lays and falls on a certain body type,” Atalia said. “I think that’s really important. Most consumers are not knowledgeable about clothing and fabric. For example, knowing how silk will fit a certain way compared to cotton.”
But if the fit and sizing are right, Atalia said, “there’s no reason why everyone can’t wear a trend.”