Updated: Feb 5
This past year an instagram follower left me a comment that really sank in. She said "I stopped by your booth at Renegade and loved your coats, but I wish your sizing wasn't so exclusive." I'd be lying if I said the comment didn't hurt my feelings. I had never intentionally set out to exclude anyone through my sizing, but I certainly wasn't including everyone either, so she had made a good point. Bottom line is, I felt horrible.
The truth is, in my first year in business, I carried equal amounts of all sizes from XS-XL. At the end of the year I noticed that I was left with almost all of the XL sizes. I chalked it up as a learning lesson and focused on creating more of the sizes that were selling in order to grow my business. However, I was ignoring the real problem...the larger sizes were not fitting. During the past 4 years I've actually had a lot of interest in larger sizes, not only in XL but beyond. However, I usually don't have them on hand because the fit is just not right.
I've been afraid of addressing this issue for a myriad of reasons, the top two reasons always being those common ones we all know (time and money.) Expanding into more size offerings (for starters) means carrying more inventory and investing in more dollars into pattern development and fit.
However with a new year comes new resolutions and I'm placing this one at the top of my to-do list. Although I don't have an increase in "time and money." I do have something more valuable: motivation and know-how.
I spent nearly 10 years of my career working in the theater where I created costumes for women of all shapes and sizes including opera singers, dancers, children... you name it. Bodies come in all sizes, I have seen them all and I have fit them all... I can handle the technical work. I know I can make women look beautiful in their clothes no matter their size. For me, the "know-how" part is easy.
What's more is now I'm motivated. As a person who just had a baby in the past year I'm very familiar with how the body can change. With that change I'm also more acutely aware of how important it is to feel confident at every size and stage of your life. Size inclusion is about giving every woman confidence. I know clothes are intrinsically tied to how we look and feel, and I want everyone to feel amazing!
So here is my resolution in 2020, I'm embarking on a journey to make Coat Check more size inclusive. I'm hoping to expand the line to a size 3X. I know that I will never be able to cater to every body out there, but I know I can do better. It will take time, but this project deserves time.
My first piece of business is to reach out to you for help. I need feedback from real women who wear anything between a "L-3X." I'd love to know more about your struggles, your measurements, and find out what's on your wish list. If you are local, I'd even like to invite you to a fitting party at some point so I can get your feedback directly. So if you are reading this and are interested in giving me some real-life input, please reach out or take my survey at the link below!