About “Today’s Fit”
A few years ago, Vogue and I decided to collaborate and to develop a collection called Today’s Fit by Sandra Betzina.
Using realistic body measurements in 10 sizes, Vogue created garments that run true to the numbers—including increased dimensions for the waist and tummy. I also asked Vogue to make the pattern sizing alphabetical, so buyers will know the fit they’re getting is different from anything they’ve tried before.
Today’s Fit Patterns aren’t based on standard measurements that are several decades behind the times. Research for the line started with 47 measurements from a University of Arizona study of 7,000 women. Based on these measurements, Vogue created an entirely new sizing block to fit the shape of today’s woman, increasing the girth across the tummy, lowering the bust shaping, and varying the cup size from B to D.
Once a pattern company establishes the block, the pattern is graded (that is, a standard number of inches is added or subtracted) to make different sizes. I work closely with the pattern grader to establish the fit for each size. Few people are equally small or large in every area of their body. For example, larger women need more fabric through the bust, but not in the upper chest and shoulders. In these sizes, I graded up (increased) areas such as the bust, waist, and hips, while “holding the grade” in the upper chest and shoulders. Other sizes needed an increased back width but a standard upper front chest.
When it was time to make the garments, I reduced the sleeve ease to create a smoother sleeve cap while increasing the upper-arm sleeve width. I also created better-fitting necklines and made an entirely new crotch shape to eliminate baggy seats in pants.
Finally, with finished garments in all sizes, I held forums where volunteers of all shapes and sizes tried on the garments. The patternmaker, the pattern grader, a dressmaker skilled in fit, and I were there to critique the results. Then the patterns were refined yet again.
Today’s Fit patterns from Vogue run true to measurement, so you shouldn’t be in for the usual fitting surprises. Choose pattern size according to your full-bust and full-hip measurements. The full-bust sizes range from 32 in. to 55 in. (81.3 cm to 139.7 cm), and the hip dimensions run from 34.5 in. to 57 in. (87.7 cm to 144.8 cm). The patterns are multi-sized since few women are one size all over.
- To learn more about the process of what goes on before one of my Today’s Fit patterns ever appears in the Vogue Pattern Book read “Design Behind the Scenes”, an article I wrote for my friends at Pattern Review.
- Click here to download a current copy of the Today’s Fit Line Drawings.