We announced our intention to transition VC apparel to gender-free fits on December 8, 2018. Four years plus one pandemic later, we've finally done it.
The Fitted Fit is Here
When we promised to make VC fits and sizing as inclusive as possible, we knew that that this project would extend much beyond just changing the labels that we use for our current fits and sizing. This evolution is an expression of our values, and as a company that puts values above profit and everything else, we had to do the work to get it right.
Where we were coming from
First, we started collecting data from folks who didn't feel comfortable in our fits and sizing, including through our ongoing open survey VC Gear Doesn't Fit Me.
We then asked a trusted crew of friends to try on gendered fits that we knew weren't going to feel great on them, and tell us why. We are especially grateful for our friends from the trans community who helped us understand their perspectives throughout this process.
This evolution is an expression of our values, and as a company that puts values above profit and everything else, we had to do the work and get it right.
We have always been aware that one clothing company can't be the be all and end all fit for all people, but we wanted to hear what we could do to make our apparel better - from athletes of all shapes and sizes.
Things to consider
Key considerations in fit development and the pattern making process:
- Body length
- Sleeve length
- Shoulder width
- Armpit circumference and drop from shoulder
- Shape of the torso
- General trend away from tighter women's fits to a more relaxed athletic cut
Where we were going
We were able to nail down the Standard fit for our Raglan short sleeve jersey in just a few tries, and released that fit in late 2018 with our Sublimated Reversible jersey. Soon after, we brought the Standard Raglan to the masses with the official Premier Ultimate League team replicas and 1200+ Player Sponsorship Program jerseys.
It's important to note that the Standard fit wasn't meant to replace our "men's" cut or be a "unisex" fit, which is most commonly just a relabelling of a "men's" cut; we wanted to design a fit that incorporated feedback from all genders and matched the recent demand trends that we had seen from our customers.
The Standard fit has been well received, and it also left room for a better fit for many athletes who preferred a slimmer cut, especially those who were big fans of our previous "women's" fit.
Creating the Fitted Fit
This one was tougher to get right, particularly to design a fit that was still slim in the body, but had ample room in the shoulders, armpits and just the right sleeve length. We thought we had it figured out over a year ago, but we still struggled to ensure it worked for athletes from all genders who wanted a more fitted jersey.
It took us three more rounds of sampling and testing, but we are FINALLY happy with where we've landed.
Facts about the Fitted Fit
If you are a fan of our previous women's cut Classic jersey, here's how our Fitted cut compares:
- Slightly wider across the chest and tapered in at the waist
- Roomier shoulders and armpit area
- Looser (wider) and longer sleeves
- Slightly dropped collar* with an increased circumference
- Comparable body length for sizes M-2XL. Sizes XS-S are shorter, and we now have 3XL-4XL sizes for wider and taller options.
*This fit corrects the previously common feedback of our women's cut having too high a neck/collar.
If you are used to our Standard fit Raglan jersey, our Fitted fit Raglan differs in the following ways:
- Body width and chest reduced by 1.75" (compared to the same size in the Standard fit)
- Length reduced by 1.5"
- Sleeve length reduced by 1.25"
- Overall slimmer cut - the waist tapers in.
What size should you order?
As a rule, if you wore a women's medium and felt it was a perfect fit for you, order the medium in the Fitted fit, too.
If you haven't been able to wear a women's medium due to traditionally gender-specific fit features (such as slim shoulders and tighter sleeves), but you're excited to wear a more slim-fitting jersey, please check the size charts carefully and order the size you feel will fit you best based on the measurements - or order up a size to be safe.
If you're using our Standard fit as a comparison, we encourage you to review our Fit and Sizing Guide to help pick the best option based on your current sizing experience and preferences.
We're here to help.
Trust us, we know that your favourite jersey company changing fits and sizing can be a nuisance, but we're here to help you make the best decision every step of the way - and we encourage you to remember why we're doing this:
We want every single person who walks into our tent, shops in our online store, or orders their uniform from us to feel just as seen and valued as everyone else.
Questions? Comments? Ideas?
Please contact us.