This is an edited version of something that Ruby shared on Instagram, but we wanted to reshare as we loved the honesty and sentiment behind it.
Often when I write to our customers, I am speaking about something I am not expert in (like trying to solve all of society’s problems last time). Luckily for all of us, this time I have pretty well stayed in my lane: making clothes. It’s what I do, have always done, always will do. It’s in me blood my friends
Turns out though, writing on a subject I know a lot about is way harder than one I know relatively little about. I suddenly understand the allure of opinion writing and hosting talkback!
The thing is, while making clothes has been part of my daily life since I was 14, there is still so, so much for me to learn.
Liam patterns was launched in August of last year, and a very clear message I got from that was that we needed to increase our standard size range. Since then I have been working on a project to understand how best to do this.
So I’m super excited to say that our next collection will be launching early September, with pieces available off the rack in size 4 to 24. And while we do currently offer Ruby Favourites in sizes 18 & 20, the full Ruby collections will be available off the rack in sizes 4-20 from September also (and we will still offer custom sizing for those who are outside of that standard size range).
A huge part of ‘operation expand our size range’ was to work with a bunch of different people, mostly sized 14-24, to ensure the fits our of product are magnifique.
I am so grateful to everyone I worked with for their insights and enthusiasm. And also for allowing themselves to be vulnerable.
It’s a big deal to get down to your knickers and then pull samples on that don’t quite fit right yet, and then give me useful feedback while I am pinning underneath your armpit.
An unexpected learning for me has been that none of my collaborators knew their measurements, with some letting me know that the thought of being measured is upsetting, triggering and uncomfortable.
I understand what might be driving these feelings. While for so many reasons we are lucky to live here and now, there is still a toxic expectation around what shape our bodies “should” be.
I need to acknowledge the clothing industry’s role in perpetuating this unhealthy, diminishing culture. It’s on all of us to do the bloody work to shift it in whatever way we can.
However, from a purely geometric perspective, there is power in knowing your dimensions. It makes it much easier to buy clothing, whether in IRL stores, or online.
So I’m here to let you know my measurements, what size they translate to at Ruby, and explain how you can take your own measurements so that you are better informed.
Bust 105cm - size 16
Waist 92cm - size 16
Hip 112cm - size 14
As you can see, my body is made up of different sizes. This is pretty standard.
What it means is that when I am choosing a size for myself, I think about the shape of the garment, and how I want it to sit on me.
For example I would likely go for a size 14 pant, but probably a size 16 top. With dresses, it depends on the silhouette. Probably I would go for a 14, but I would for sure try the size 16 on too.
In terms of how to take your measurements - some tips from yours truly:
- Ideally someone else would do this for you. If you would prefer to do this as a solo exercise, make sure you do it in front of a full-length mirror so you can watch what you are doing.
- The tape measure should always be straight on your body / parallel to the floor.
- When you are wrapping the tape measure around, it shouldn’t be too tight, like making a dent. And it shouldn’t be loose like it’s baggy. Think about it being a well-fitting ring you wear on your finger.
- Bust: make sure you are wearing a bra, unless you never wear one. It should be the circumference of the widest point, with the tape going over your nipples.
- Waist: this is the narrowest part of your waist. You shouldn’t be able to shimmy it up and down.
- Hip: the measurement that trips a lot of people up! The “hip” is not the “hip bone”, it is the “booty”. Literally the widest part of your bum. When you hold the tape measure in a circle, if you shimmy it up and down over your bum it shouldn’t get any bigger. It can be helpful to turn side-on to the mirror when you do this as it’s easier to see the most sicky-outy bit