Alvanon, a supplier of dress forms, software solutions and fit research to the apparel industry, sent an intriguing holiday email containing "Festive Fun Fit Facts." We would like to share three of those facts with you, understanding of course, that it's always best to tell children the truth about Santa so they will learn to trust you about other things as well. First, "We all know that Santa Claus is a plus-sized, jolly old elf. But, did you know that 67% of American men and 59% of British men actually share Santa's body shape?"
Second, "The average American gains over 7 pounds in body weight over the festive season. Did you consider this when buying your gifts?" Our comment on this fact is that we really hope that you stay the same weight through the holidays or even tone up with all the vacation days that will allow time for extra exercise. After twenty years of investigating many different diets, our highest recommendation goes to The Mayo Clinic Diet, a lifestyle plan based on research and clinic experience.
Third, "According to the Daily Mail, the average woman in the UK now weights 11 stone or 154 pounds, almost exactly the same as the average American woman, an increase of 1/2 stone over five years. Yet, the average woman is wearing one size smaller than she did five years ago. Santa's press secretary, though, vehemently denies that he has had anything to do with vanity sizing." Vanity sizing is the practice of shifting smaller size numbers up to larger clothing to make women emotionally more satisfied with their purchases. Illogical as it seems to the clothing manufacturers who create garment measurements independently from one another, emotional involvement in sizing is a real one for many shoppers. Some shoppers use sizing as a basis for decision beyond style or actual fit of the garment. As one woman in the Daily Mail article said, "if I can’t fit into a size 12 there’s no way that I’d buy a size 14—I’d just pick another dress with a different cut."
In the preparation process for creating a line of sewing patterns for women's clothing here at Fashion Belle, we have researched the best practices in sizing in the United States and are also aware of the gap between ready-to-wear sizing and the size charts of most existing pattern companies' charts, which are about 3 to 4 sizes smaller. For example, a woman who normally wears a size 12 in read-to-wear would need a size 18 or 20 in a sewing pattern. While on one hand we wish to avoid competition with companies that are seeking to push size numbers smaller than the general average to contribute to their own brand's "vanity sizing" appeal, we also recognize that average ready-to-wear sizes are now way out of alignment with most sewing pattern companies' sizes. So, at Fashion Belle, we are in the process of developing sewing patterns for the home sewing market that fit well and are as true to average store sizes as possible.