The Feminine Mystique
What to look for: Try fabrics that give a little when you apply tension, maintain their shape and have a good hand feel.
2) Construction. Because of the need for a little more flexibility in women’s styles, knits are often a better choice. Both Rubin and Gaudet agreed that designing and manufacturing a woven is, by its nature, a difficult process because the piece requires more tailoring. “The wovens are really tough,” affirmed Gaudet. And as such, in order to make them wearable, Rubin explained that woven fabrics must be nipped and tucked all over the item to create its form-fitting silhouette. Princess side seams are often included, which are “panels” of fabric that are stitched together around the middle in order to better hug the body, he added.
But despite a less labor-intensive design, knits aren’t meant to be inherently shapeless. To avoid a boxy or dowdy look on a women’s polo, Gaudet explained she adds a dart around the bust and tapers it at the waist. “Also, if I make it a little longer and shape it around the hip, that kind of helps, too, so you’re really showing the woman’s body as opposed to straight side seams,” she said.
What to look for: In wovens, princess seaming as well as fabrics with even a slight bit of stretch will help fit everyone. When it comes to knits, notice how the item is shaped, particularly around the middle. “If it’s on a hanger and you’re holding it up, if it just kind of hangs and the shoulders collapse, it’s probably a boxy fit,” said Gaudet. To be clear, we’re going for a “vase.”
3) Sizing. “In order to accommodate a wide range of body types in a given style, we generally keep the fit in the middle of the road,” Rubin said. This includes the offering of two distinctions—classic fit and trim fit. Although, he added, the company has a very wide range of sizing available, these two different silhouettes help distributors find the most flattering shape for