When producing, whether it be a sewing pattern or a ready to wear line, there is a problem with fitting on yourself only. There’s also a problem with fitting on a dress form only. With yourself, you’re usually emotionally attached to the product so it’s hard to have an objective opinion. It’s also hard to evaluate fit. As a designer, I want to make a 360 around the garment. I can’t do that if I’m wearing it. With a mannequin, well, I’ve written about this before, they don’t have the same posture as humans.
I didn’t realize the importance of a fit model until I worked in technical design, but having a person who mimics your average target customer, usually a size medium, can be the difference between a success or a flop. Hiring a fit model doesn’t cost a fortune, but it can lead to a fortune. What if your fit model has short arms, and you manufacture 1000 pieces with sleeves that aren’t long enough for 90% of people? You might sell, but I guarantee you’ll have a ton of returns. You don’t have to have a great product for it to be a hit. Good sizing can lead the next hottest item. My favorite RTW undies are Hanky Panky thongs. There ain’t nothing special about them, but the fit is spot on.
Wear testing, however, is a different story. If you won’t wear your product, you’ve got some (fit) issues that you must resolve.
Get the point?