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Fitting Revelations: Read Your Clothes to Identify Key Fit Issues

Uncover style and silhouette clues from purchased garments.

I worked closely with Threads Contributing Editor Kenneth D. King as he wrote a comprehensive book on fitting. His goal in putting together Kenneth D. King’s Smart Fitting Solutions (The Taunton Press, 2018) was to teach the reader how to accurately identify key fit issues before jumping into making pattern adjustments.

Kenneth recommends a helpful method for diagnosing fit issues: 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.

Editor’s Note: This article highlights some of Kenneth’s foolproof techniques for solving issues of fit. For his complete explanation of how to read the wrinkles, decipher the message, and fix the fit issues, you can purchase Kenneth’s book at the TauntonStore.com.

volunteers reflect their personal style
Test garments worn by our volunteers reflect their personal style and help refine fit before final garments are made. Photos by Liam Goodman.

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.

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. Photos by Liam Goodman.

You can try this experiment yourself at home. As you peruse the photos of our…

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