5 Signs You Might Need To Refresh Your Brand’s Sizing

Anyone who has shopped for women’s clothes knows that sizing is frustratingly tricky and confusing. Developing sizing as a fashion brand on the production side can be just as frustrating and tricky. It is hard to find a sizing solution that fits just right. It takes a lot of knowledge of your customer, research and expertise, and sometimes trial and error to get the perfect sizing for your brand. How will you know when it might be time to refresh and improve your sizing? If any of these five things occur, you might need to give your sizing an update.

Your most popular sizes aren’t in the middle of your size range

Let’s say your brand offers sizes XS-XL and you sell way more L and XL than anything else. This might mean that your sizes run small and so customers are buying a larger size than they normally wear in order to get the right fit from your brand. If you know your sizing is true to size, a heavier concentration of sales on one end of your size range could mean that the average customer in your target market is not the same size as the middle size in your size range. Ideally, you’ll sell the most of your middle size (ideally also your base or sample size) and the sizes up and down from it. If your sales skew one way or another on your size range, it might be worth considering adding additional sizes on that end of your range to bring that best-selling size back to the middle of the size range you offer.

You get many returns/exchanges because the size wasn’t right

Returns for size reasons can also mean several things. It probably means that your sizing doesn’t run true to size. Another factor that can contribute to this is that the size chart on your website may not accurately reflect your brand’s sizing. I’d check there first and make sure it is a correct representation of your product’s sizing. If it is, take a look at the sizing of your brand. You want the sizing to be easy for your customers to understand and relatively consistent with what they’re used to from other brands. (Hint: ask your customer’s where else they shop and take a look at those brand’s size charts). If your brand’s sizing is vastly different, it can confuse the customer and create more returns or exchanges when the size isn’t what the customer expected.

The sizes that are tried on and not purchased the most are the ones at the ends of your size range

This can be a deceiving indicator, but still one to note. It might seem like you don’t have as many customers who wear those sizes and be justified in cutting those sizes from your range. This could be true, but it might be that your size grade needs adjusting. The sizes farthest from the base/sample size of the pattern will have the worst fit. That’s why it is important to get a size run made of a new design and test the fit beyond just your sample size before you order bulk production. If the sizes on the ends of your size range get returned more often or if they’re tried on, but not purchased, it could mean that the grading needs to be adjusted so those outlier sizes get more attention and better fit. 

You get comments from potential customers saying “I wish you sold this in my size”

This is an easy indicator that you might want to expand your size range! Customers taking the time to tell you they would buy something if it came in their size is great news for you as a brand. It means that if you can logistically offer more sizes, you do have a market who will buy them.

All your styles of a certain fit sell way better (or way worse) than the rest

If all your more fitted styles sell way better than the looser ones or vice versa, this should make you take a critical look at your brand’s sizing. This is partly a fit issue, but it can be a sizing issue as well. Certain markets and certain market demographics prefer different fits. Generally, a more mature customer prefers a more relaxed fit whereas a younger customer is comfortable wearing tighter-fitting styles. If certain fits sell better than others for your brand, definitely take that into consideration when designing new styles. Where this might indicate a sizing issue is where your customer is using fit as a work-around for size. For example, I am always on the smallest end of brands’ size ranges. If a brand doesn’t offer XS, I can sometimes get away with a S in a fitted style, but I know a S in a looser style will be way too big. The same can happen on the larger end of your range. If you sell more of your looser-fitting styles in your largest sizes compared with other styles, it might be that those customers really would have ordered a bigger size in a different style if it had been offered. 

Sizing can be confusing and tricky for both customers and brands. As your brand grows and has more sales and customer data to make decisions from, you might see signs that a sizing refresh is needed.

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