February 9, 2015
Apparel decorators operate in a competitive market today. The key to sustaining and growing business is happy customers.
Many factors go into a executing a final product that customers love. At the forefront of the list are design, style, color, fabric and fit.
As the T-shirt market has grown and evolved, so have the choices for ladies’ T-shirt styles and fits. Gone are the days when a woman’s only option was an ill-fitting unisex shirt with no shape, wide shoulders and sleeves that were too loose and long. It’s a good thing choices now exist because today’s woman demands more than ever from her clothing.
Studies have shown that women have three primary considerations when searching for the correct fit: physical, aesthetics and functionality. Women also now expect trendy styles, comfortable fabrics and a range of colors. Decorators who pay attention to the importance of fit for their female customers will have an advantage over those who don’t.
WHY THE RIGHT FIT MATTERS
Women will go to great lengths to find the right outfit for an event or outing, and fit is a big consideration in the garment they choose. The right look and fit set the tone for the day and make a woman feel comfortable and confident. However, clothes that don’t fit can make a woman feel uncomfortable and even self-conscious.
Today’s women don’t want to settle for less than feeling great. That is why finding clothes that fit correctly is no easy task. The purchasing process can become lengthy as a woman searches for the right clothing. However, when she finds that right fit, she knows it will make her look and feel fabulous. She also becomes loyal to that brand.
JUNIORS’ AND LADIES’ FITS
Yes, there is a difference between juniors’ and ladies’ fits. But confusion reigns in our industry because fit and sizing standards vary, as does terminology. Often, juniors’ sizing is sold for women. Retailers have recognized the risk in confusion and have traditionally marketed juniors’ and ladies’ fits clearly by having separate departments. But even that line is blurring as women’s tastes favor younger styles and more shopping is now done online instead of in stores.
The juniors’ fit is tailored to the tween who tends to wear more narrow, fitted garments. True ladies’ fits flatter a woman’s silhouette and curves. Selling a junior’s piece to a woman with a developed figure simply doesn’t work. However, a ladies’ fit that includes a modern cut with a longer length mirroring the concept of the juniors’ piece does work.
SELLING FIT TO YOUR CUSTOMERS
Good news! There are flattering fit options in women’s T-shirts, so cut through the clutter and become knowledgeable about fit. There are two keys to selling the right fit to your customers. First, ask your customer how she wants the shirts to look and fit. Second, understand the fit options and specs your supplier provides. Have your female employees and customers try them on so you can see how they fit. Then, you can recommend fit and spec with confidence.
Take that extra step to offer fits that flatter your female customers. It’s a smart move in a crowded market. As a result, your female customers will appreciate working with you and they will love the T-shirts that make them feel wonderful.
Rebecca Clements is chief marketing officer for LAT Apparel and Deanna Miller is senior marketing manager for LA T Apparel, Ball Ground, Ga.
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