• Sherrie Ricketts

    I could see small price differences for use of more fabric if the fabric cost is significant, but most of the time, the fabric isn’t THAT much of the cost of production.

    • There’s not a significant fabric difference. I am a hobbyist sewist. With most patterns and production garments, there’s maybe a few square inches of difference, and the cutting layout is substantially similar. With small garments, like bras, swim tops and underwear, there’s no functional difference. A bra takes 1/3 yard/meter whether it’s a 28A or a 42G because the grain lines and shapes dictate the wastage. A size 4 blouse takes around 2 yards. A size 16 might take 2 1/4, but that’s because of the fabric width, not the shape or cut.

      Nor are the construction techniques different. A seam is a seam is a seam. There are differences in the fit techniques, but those are at the pattern development stage, not cutting or construction.

      Fabric and labor are the cheapest parts of garment production, together usually less than half of the retail value. The money is in the marketing, and they’re exploiting a captive market. The big reason that larger garments are more expensive has a lot to do with fit — the garments are not patterned correctly, so the fit tends be terrible, and people who aren’t proportioned exactly like the fit model who have other choices will choose something else.

      I sew because I got multiple visits from the Boob Fairy (D cup). Mass produced garments that fit my endowment are huge in the waist, giant in the shoulders and sleeves. I’m one of the more common bra sizes, so this is design flaw and I can remedy it easily in personal production. They’re not designing for the actual market.

  • furyleika

    Anything more than a minor difference is because they know that larger women have few options are often stuck having to pay more.

    Aside: If you have options other than VS I encourage you to take them. Overpriced badly made crud as far as I’ve experienced and the marketing is often icky.

  • Anonypilgrim

    As someone who works for a clothing designer and is a size 14, let me explain. Most manufacturers aren’t ripping you off just because you’re bigger. Larger sizes take more fabric, which costs more.

    It’s not just that the actual pieces when cut out are more fabric, but also, how many pieces laid out on a certain amount of yardage. For example, you can cut four small tops out of a yard of 45″ wide fabric. That same piece of fabric will only yield one or two XL tops in the same style. In the example, it takes twice as much fabric to create an XL top, so the price will be commensurate with that.

    That said, if you’re going to spend big money, spend it on a quality garment that makes you feel amazing and looks amazing on you.

    • Joshua Hitch

      I don’t know much about how the process works, so I’m genuinely curious, is there any way to craft layouts to do a mix of larger and smaller sizes so as to be more efficient with a given set of fabric (For example, could you sneak one small and two XL into one of the yards you’re discussing, rather than strictly doing a yard for the XL sizes and a separate one for smalls?