Gender-free Fitted Fit
The Evolution of our New Gender-Free Fitted Fit
We. Are. Almost. There.
Wow, learning how to build a truly inclusive line of gender-free fits has been a journey full of twists and turns. We’re not there yet for our full range of Fitted, Standard and Relaxed fits, but we’re making great progress and wanted to share some insight into our process.
Where we’re at…
We are happy with our Standard fit Raglan jersey, available in sizes 2X-Small to 4X-Large; this will remain the main fit for our tops. The care we took in considering a wide range of body types has been well-received.
Compared to our previous cuts, our Standard sizing is much closer to our men’s cut than to our women’s cut. This is due to two main factors: a) many folks (of all genders) who previously chose our men’s sizing like it as-is, and b) the sizing of our women’s cut has been traditionally too small.
With the Standard fit sorted, our next step was to work on our Fitted fit to ensure we are offering a slim-fit top in a range of sizes fully encompassing folks who loved our previous women’s cut.
Can’t you just change the labels?
No. Many brands sell a “unisex” product and/or claim to be “gender-free” without really digging into what it actually means. The most popular tactic is to relabel a men’s jersey as unisex and call it a day.
At VC, we have a steadfast rule that we will NOT just change a label without careful consideration and feedback from as many genders and body types possible.
There's a common practice in the apparel industry where brands either remove or cover up the original manufacturer's product labels. Read more about our position on this in our post Re-labelling 101.
You may have noticed many of our previous products being sold with a label showing “Women’s >> Fitted”. This is something we did as we were working through the process of creating the new Fitted cut; a way of communicating the progression of that sizing range.
For example, our “Fitted Revolution” was originally based on our women’s sizing, with some intentional adjustments to the cut (raglan sleeves allow a wider range of shoulder sizes, slightly wider bicep area, longer body length and less tapering along the sides). All these adjustments were made with sound thinking and good intentions, but many players who would traditionally order a men’s size but wanted to try a more fitted fit were left out – the sleeves and body were simply too petite. We labelled it Fitted, but it was too close to women’s sizing and overall fit.
So, how is this time different?
There’s a lot of trial and error involved! After three sample testing rounds trying to rework our fitted cut to be more inclusive, we realized that it was time to shelf these and instead restart from scratch.
This is a phenomena that we see with design quite regularly. A customer likes an initial concept but wants to change this and that, and by the time a few rounds of revisions have been made, the result is unsatisfactory to us both. We haven’t quite captured what the customer wanted, and what started as a strong design (although perhaps not “right” for the customer) has been ruined.
When this happens in design work, we usually tell the customer we’re starting over, and that’s what we told ourselves with trying to “rework” our fitted cut. We knew we had to get this right before we stopped producing our women’s cut jerseys, and we think we’re almost there.
Want to help?
We are always looking for testers and feedback! If you’re interested in helping us throughout our Fit Project, please complete this form.
Stay tuned for the release of our Fitted fit, and the launch of our Relaxed fit project… a third fit for larger body shapes, or folks who prefer a more relaxed fit, available in multiple body lengths.
In the meantime, enjoy our Fit Project SALE Collection and save at least 20% off on styles with gendered sizing & previous fits.