Thanks in part to e-commerce and the apparel industry’s need to curtail reverse logistics costs and improve consumer satisfaction, fit has become a new battleground. Increasingly, brands and retailers are touting products with better fit attributes, and more and more service providers are launching with a focus on helping perfect this aspect of the business.
In this week’s episode, we discuss the challenges of getting fit right, the consequences when brands and retailers don’t, and how the industry can help consumers find products that work for them.
Joining us are Don Howard, executive director of Alvanon, which uses technology and body shape data to advise apparel firms on fit and sizing, and William Adler, CEO of True Fit, a data-driven company that aims to help retailers personalize the shopping experience by enabling shoppers to find the right products for them.
These companies represent some of the ways apparel is working to solve the fit issue from the design side as well as from a consumer-facing perspective.
Click here to listen to the full episode.
Below are a few excerpts from the discussion.
Howard on why messaging the intended fit of a garment is as important as getting the technical aspects of the fit right:
“[If] I could be a 40 in one brand and come back the next day and be a 42, that has to do with the ease over body fit intent, which is something that they set out to do creatively. So, the jacket you tried on in a size 40 and it was very easy through the midsection, you might be very happy with that as a personal preference but if they decide to take their size 40 and make that very small and fitted on the chest and waist, you’re obligated to go up to a 42 if you don’t appreciate the garment being close to the body. So inherently you could be confused because it hasn’t been messaged to you that you’re not even supposed to button that jacket up…That’s a design silhouette feature that might not have been communicated to you when you were in the store making that selection.”
Adler on how apparel e-commerce could grow if, like music streaming services, the industry were able to market the right products to shoppers based on attributes like fit:
“Before iTunes or Pandora and Spotify, we listened to the same stuff over and over again because we knew what we loved. If you think about that as the brand in the apparel category, it’s the same thing. I know the brand I love…I can go to Amazon and have it shipped to me but there’s zero discovery. There’s nothing that’s expanded our market. All it did was replenish the exact same thing…[With streaming services,] I have music streaming to me that I don’t know who it is. I just know I like it so I’ve expanded my horizons dramatically because they are figuring out the preferences I care about, and that’s what we’re doing with apparel and footwear.”
This podcast episode is made possible by Cotton Incorporated, a not-for-profit company funded by U.S. cotton producers and importers, and whose mission is to increase the demand and profitability of cotton. Discover What Cotton Can Do.