The basic thing about ready-to-wear is that it’s ready to wear, so it was constructed based on average person measurements and there is not much room for adjustments. It’s ok if your measurements are close, but if you are any good at pattern making you take about 10 different measurements to make a dress, it’s not only bust – waist – hips from size charts. It’s also arm length, width of the back (yep! it could be different for different people with the same bust circumference), width of the shoulder, height of the bust, distance between nipples and so on. Most manufacturers offer sizes based only on bust or hips, and if you think that manufacturers use statistics for all the other measurements except bust/hips for the each size you are wrong. They just scale patterns adding or subtracting inches everywhere for many sizes, that’s why large and small sizes tend to fit worse. So almost any woman, even if her bust and waist measurements are exactly the same as size chart specifies, inevitably will find some fit imperfections if she looks in the mirror wearing any ready-to-made item. Small fit issues are normal, they are price you have to pay for wearing not customized garment. I think that jersey and loose fit become so popular because they mask these small issues quite well.
But if your shape is very different from the average, then small fit issues become huge. There is a point where no amount of stretch that can mask it. And if you are curvy then loose fit is your worst enemy, because it makes you frumpy and can even create illusion of five month pregnancy.
Solution? Well, tailoring. Either from scratch or alterations of ready-to-wear clothes. Both options have their pros and cons, but results are definitely better then trying to find something that fits of the rack.
The only exception: you are incredibly lucky and fit model (woman who was chosen because her measurements are very close to average customer from company statistics) of some brand is your body twin. But if you are far from average it will never happen to you.
There are also speciality shops (mostly in online) which offer clothes for curvy, plus-size, petite or tall customers, but what if you curvy and tall? or curvy and petite? But even if you are lucky enough not to be combination then small fit issues will hunt you even there. Many women are so tired of horrible fit that they gladly welcome kind of ok fit, I understand them completely, but I still search for better fit!
So my next post will be about tailoring.