THE HARD TO FIT, FUNNY THING...
Posted on 04 February 2017
I have had the pleasure of being in business for myself for going on 3 years. Some of you may know that Artista started in the back room of my house, with the terrifying purchase of one $3000 super fancy combination serger. I worked nights and weekends while going to another job full time. I overpaid for small cuts of fabrics and crafted my own patterns out of sketch pad paper. I made hilariously bad clothes at first, too, by the way. I battled through fear and self-worth demons to find the courage to quit my day job and strike out full time – my dream. I back pedaled, ran out and got another job a month into being on my own. It took me another year to quit again. Through it all, I’ve had some decent instincts, but more importantly, I’ve had great love and support. My friends, family, and clients have literally fueled me through times when sheer will wasn’t enough. I have identified over time beyond the clothes, beyond the business, it is connection with people that feeds the ever burning fire in me. And I’ve learned a few things about you along the way, too. Here is my love note to you.
Early days. On left, working at my first home "office", no doubt snapped after an all-nighter. On right, my husband showing his unwavering support for me and the business in his custom Artista Aquaman costume.
The long torso, the big butt, the big boobs, the small boobs, the hard-to-fit funny thing
In the last three years of trade shows, online business, and one-on-one fittings, I’ve been consistently startled by one thing I hear from many clients. Thank you for this, because I realized I was saying it, too. Take a deep breath and hear this: women, you apologize when clothes don’t fit you. You’ve apologized, apologized to me (me???) about your long torso, your big butt, your big boobs, your small boobs, or the otherwise hard-to-fit funny thing about your body. I’d like to flip this around.
Designers & retailers do the best they can to create sizes, shapes, and fits that will sell to the masses. The goal is, after all, to make money I suppose. If the clothes don’t fit, something isn’t wrong with you. Depending on where clothes are made and who the designers are, fit varies greatly between brands. Another possibility why garments don’t fit is something frankly may be wrong with the pattern. I’ve had this happen with one of my own patterns. In this instance, the S-XL fit great and the 3X was a disaster. We figured it out after we got returns with feedback. So hear that again – sometimes, it’s the decision or fault of the manufacturer.
Absorbing ill-fitting clothing as your fault is a message women have received and repeated internally. My guess is this is part of the old school, destructive mantra to change ourselves to fit a certain mold. It’s a small concession to make, a small apology, but the underlying message is pretty deep and destructive. I’ve seen so much progress away from this cage. Let’s change this truth about clothes and see it for the falsehood it is.
I have a few more examples for you in case you still don’t believe me. Using big box shops as a reference, I am an Ann Taylor 6, a Banana Republic 8, an American Eagle 14, and a complete no-go at The Gap, because their pants are made for a type of human shape that I simply am not. Every few years, I forget this and wander in, lured by printed corduroys and plaid shirts. I leave empty handed every time. But! The Gap game is still going strong. That elusive shape that I am not is clearly out there somewhere, and in masses large enough to sustain their mega-business.
I’m not even one size in my own clothes, and I love the irony of this. I designed the Artista medium off my own body back in the day, and now I float between a medium and large. So even Artista doesn’t fit me like a glove. Oh, face palm.
More photos from early days. On the left, Artista's first photo shoot ever, taken in March 2014. On right, our second photo shoot and launching of the website.
The message I want you to hear is you’re just fine the way you are. If it doesn’t take the frustration out of clothes shopping, I hope it takes the shame out of it. It is my wish that between me and everyone else out there, someone has the right, perfect fit for you. Maybe I can create a great fit for you, and maybe I can’t. Between you and me, I don’t get it right every time. But in no instance is that you or your body’s fault. I will keep taking cues from you on fit, editing and expanding our patterns to hopefully one day have something for really, truly everyone. Think of it this way. If our clothes don’t fit you, it’s actually a gift to me – it’s a learning opportunity, and thank you for telling me.
I wonderfully cherish each of you for shopping with me, trying on my clothes, and providing feedback. I thank you for supporting me and others out there like me who have a dream, an iron will, and something for you to try on.
Lots of love,
Megan Weinzierl is the founder of Artista Apparel, LLC. She lives in Austin, TX with her husband, their two dogs and two cats. When she isn’t working, Megan enjoys paddle boarding, roller skating, pole dancing, and traveling. She is absurdly proud of and fulfilled by her business. <3