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Fitting Revelations for Fit Challenges

Uncover style and silhouette clues from purchased garments
Threads #197, June/July 2018
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Over the past year, I worked closely with Threads Contributing Editor Kenneth D. King as he wrote a comprehensive book on fitting. His goal was to teach the reader how to accurately identify key fit challenges before jumping into making pattern adjustments.

Kenneth recommends a helpful method for diagnosing fit challenges: photographing yourself in ready-to-wear garments from your wardrobe. These clothes send messages, usually in the form of wrinkles, that can help identify how your shape differs from standard sizes. As an unexpected bonus, the photographs may reveal your personal style. 

We took candid photos of several volunteers wearing clothes from their closets, and made an interesting discovery. Each woman’s clothes told similar stories about her fit issues and body shape, no matter what the garments’ silhouette or style. The photos also showed each volunteer’s predominant style preferences. It did not take many examples before we could tell which areas consistently called for alteration to flatter the individual’s figure. 

You can try this experiment yourself at home. As you peruse the photos of our volunteers, be sure to read through all the analyses, even for models who aren’t shaped like you. It’s possible that some of the fit issues you recognize in yourself may occur in a figure type that’s unlike your own. With the information gathered from your ready-to-wear garments, you’ll be able to pinpoint fit challenges, select the most flattering patterns for your shape, and understand where you’ll need to make fitting adjustments. 

Group shot of all participants in the article.

 

Kenneth D. King adjusts test garments on the volunteers, taking cues from the fit of their ready-to-wear clothes. Kenneth D. King adjusts test garments on the volunteers, taking cues from the fit of their ready-to-wear clothes.
Fit expert Kenneth D. King adjusts test garments on the volunteers, taking cues from the fit of their ready-to-wear clothes. From inadequate ease to asymmetry and excess volume, he addresses a variety of fitting issues on  women of different sizes and shapes.
Kenneth D. King adjusts test garments on the volunteers, taking cues from the fit of their ready-to-wear clothes. Kenneth D. King adjusts test garments on the volunteers, taking cues from the fit of their ready-to-wear clothes.

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