Where a garment carries weight

When I mention garment weight, you probably think of the GSM or oz/yd of the fabric the garment is made out of. The discussion of weight in fashion design most often comes up in the context of fabric weight. However, there are other times where designers (and patternmakers) need to take weight into consideration.

One of those is in asking: what area of the garment will hold the weight? This might sound like a silly question, but the garment construction and design rest on the answer to this question (literally). For loose-fitting garments, the weight hangs from the shoulders or straps. For a bra, it is the underband that carries the weight. For a strapless dress or corset, it is the waist that holds up the bodice above and the skirt below it. Where the weight of the garment is carried determines what type of support is needed for the rest of the garment to hold its shape and stay in place on the body.

If you’ve never considered the weight of the garment when you design it, I encourage you to do so. The gravity of the situation is that it can be the difference between a design that only looks good on paper (or with AI) and one that looks just as good in real life.

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