I queried our Facebook community for science...
Actually, I'm fairly certain the questions asked would not pass a single step in the scientific method. It did however lead to a phenomenal discussion and realization that most women have the same basic complaints when tasked to get dressed...which makes these daily pains...barring you live in a nudist colony.
These are the questions I posed:
- What would you say is your biggest pain point when it comes to your wardrobe? (Basically what frustrates/confuses/overwhelms you?)
- Where do you personally struggle in areas of your personal style?
- Why is it so hard for American women to get dressed every morning?
Lots of great responses, some common themes emerged, and a general frustration towards an industry that seems to work against the majority of women in America who don't have "ideal" proportions or size. Most were at a loss to define their personal style. Many cries from postpartum mamas who are just trying to dress their new mama bodies...which are new and ever changing. And we all have basically thrown our hands in the air with the realities of Covid-19's impact on what we wear and how we wear it.
Here were the takeaways and my solutions...or at least well-intended advice. For the sake of your attention span (and mine), I'll break it into a series over the next few weeks.
Part I: Clothing Sizing in a Broken Industry
The biggest pain point for the Good Morrow Community had to do with sizing! Inconsistent sizing from brand to brand, (even within the same brand!) has made shopping for clothing a huge chore for women in a busy season of life. No one wants to schlep into a dressing room with 3 sizes of each item in hopes that one will fit! This is not a new problem, and with zero standardization in women's clothing sizes, it's not one likely to be fixed anytime soon. Now with Covid, dressing rooms aren't even an option. Women used to shopping in person are forced to shop online where guessing at fit is your only option.
Out of pure irritation, I went live with the ladies in the Good Morrow Community on Facebook to dig into the frustrations over size charts in general. And even though I continually emphasize that a measuring tape is your best indicator of fit, most women don't even have a measuring tape, gone are the days where measurements were more about clothing and less about toxic diet standards. Consumers and are more familiar with using a size chart as a reference point, comparing numbered sizes with lettered sizes and taking a shot in the dark. The diagram from the New York Times below illustrates why even size charts are setting women up to fail, even within the same brand houses! I'm a size 8 on average, but my hip measurement doesn't even fall on this chart, but I'm likely a size 10 in over half of these brands.
Solutions: well, I don't have them. At least not at an industry level. Anticlimactic, I know. I will forever aim to boost women's confidence by letting go of their emotional relationship with a size tag, and helping women feel confident in clothing that fits well!
Where do you start? My advice is to dig out a measuring tape. (If you don't have one, here's a 3 pack on Amazon for $4. Not an affiliate FYI) Knowing your measurements as compared to garment measurements in the best indicator of fit. As much as I would love for women to never care again for the size on the tag, getting women into clothing that fits well is the best way to breakup with an emotional relationship with the tag. Know your measurements, write them down, look at size charts, pay attention to fit suggestions, shop with consideration.
For those reasons and more, Good Morrow works with several vendors to curate a collection that works for our community. I have spent countless hours just trying to draft a reference size chart for our Good Ones, but even it doesn't work consistently across the board...or even within the same brand most of the time! Because even within a singular brand, I have seen a size L fit a retail size 10 to a retail size 18. (Which by the way drives me CRAZY!) The ridiculousness of a singular size in a singular brand varying by 4+ sizes is why I will remain on my soap box that it's not about the size, it's about the fit! Don't believe me? Check this article comparing 6 different women in the same size swimsuit! It's also why at Good Morrow, we provide garment measurements, sizing recommendations and try on videos. How else can you feel even slightly confident with online shopping?
So here we are, educating ourselves, and working on realigning our relationship with sizing as defined by a broken industry. It may take more work on the front end, but the confidence in your clothing is worth it in the long run. As far as styling and our struggle to get dressed, I'll tackle those topics in the rest of the series.
Cheers Good Ones,