How a Woman’s Perspective Influences Women’s Apparel Design

How a Woman’s Perspective Influences Women’s Apparel Design

When Karina Fernandes joined our Senior Design team in 2023, we welcomed her expertise to bring a fresh perspective to our women’s garment designs. In an industry where fit is paramount to avoid “brandfill,” and with shifts to a younger professional demographic and higher percentage of women, understanding how clothes look, feel, and flatter is crucial for customer satisfaction.

We asked Karina to explain her biggest challenges and the most important aspects of designing apparel that women love to wear:


STORM CREEK: What’s your biggest challenge when designing women’s apparel?

KARINA: The beauty of women is also our biggest challenge—every woman’s body is different. There’s no such thing as an industry standard for fit or sizing. Throughout my career, I’ve worked for companies where a size four could be considered small while an eight might be deemed small in another.

Different companies have different sizing standards based on who their primary customer is. Contemporary brands usually run small. Their small might be a size four or six while an everyday women’s brand might be between six and eight.

This diversity extends beyond sizing preferences to include how women want their clothes to fit. Some prefer a snug fit that accentuates their curves, while others lean towards a relaxed or even oversized fit for comfort.

Navigating these preferences and achieving the right "fit expression" for each garment is a constant challenge. As a technical designer, I strive to ensure that our designs not only look stylish but also feel comfortable and flattering on diverse body types. This involves meticulous attention to detail, from the cut and fabric choice to the overall silhouette. 

Ultimately, our success lies in understanding and meeting the fit expectations of our customers. I ask myself: If a garment is designed to be slim fit, did we achieve that in a way that makes it comfortable and flattering? If it’s designed to be oversized, did we achieve that fit expression so it’s flattering? It’s then up to the customer to understand their desired fit, and our marketing team to clearly communicate fit expression of each garment.


STORM CREEK: Help us understand the importance of “standardized fit” and how you achieve that.

KARINA: Like I said there’s no such thing in the clothing industry as standardized sizing. So, our focus is on maintaining a standardized fit across our apparel line. This means that our small top will fit a woman who wears our small jacket and our small bottom seamlessly.

To achieve this, we rely on a digital tool developed by a leading technology fashion company calledAlvanon Body Forms. Alvanon scans bodies globally, gathering data from thousands of individuals. By analyzing this data, we gain insights into the average sizes of women's bodies, which informs our decision-making process regarding sizing standards for our products. 

The use of Alvanon Body Forms allows us to offer a standardized fit that caters to the greatest number of our female customers. This consistency not only enhances the shopping experience but also simplifies layering options for our customers. For example, our jackets are designed with a bit more room to accommodate mid-layers or sweaters, providing versatility and comfort across our product range.

By prioritizing consistency and accessibility in sizing, we strive to make our apparel line inclusive and enjoyable for everyone.


STORM CREEK: What kinds of things do you keep in mind when designing women’s clothes versus men’s?

KARINA: Understanding the woman’s body always helps when it comes to design. I understand where I need more stretch in a garment, where I need certain details that help accentuate a curve—or hide something, where not to land as far as proportion developmentfor example, many women don’t like when things land on the hip because it emphasizes the hip area, making us look bigger.

Women tend to be very personal about what they like to wear. That’s dangerous for me as a designer! I have to forget myself as a person and what I like and hear the feedback from our customers, including those with different body shapes. This feedback helps me create garments that not only fit well but also resonate with our customers on a personal level. 

In designing women’s clothing, we implement features like princess seams to shape the garment to fit better around the curves, Hi-Lo hemlines for a flattering look on shorter women, and side vents in hems to accommodate wider hips comfortably.

The neckline is important in women’s garments. While men's clothing may feature crew necks, we often opt for v-necks or explore variations in neckline shapes for women's garments to enhance femininity. These thoughtful design elements contribute to creating apparel that not only fits well but also aligns with the style preferences of our female customers.


Storm Creek's Women's Fit

We take great pride in our commitment to providing tailored solutions for women's garments within the promotional products industry. Our dedicated efforts focus not just on comfort but also on creating silhouettes that accentuate and flatter the diverse body shapes of our customers. Through meticulous attention to detail and ongoing innovation, we continuously refine our designs to ensure that every garment embodies both style and functionality.


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Are you interested in learning more about our design process? Read Journey of the Jacket: From Conception to Collection