“Dear I A Samples.
We want to cater for all sizes. Are you able to develop our bra range in both Core and Plus size?”
Occasionally we get requests from our clients or prospective clients who own new lingerie companies to develop their bra range into a wide range of sizes from A cup all the way up to G/H cups or bigger.
We often advise against doing this for several reasons.
The main reason is your budget. Aah our good friend ‘Budget’. The little fella who puts so many of your dreams and creative visions on the back burner, whilst you are thinking “But there must be a way, so many companies offer a large size range”.
This may be true, but that brings us back to the dreaded B word.
Most new designers or start-up companies have limited funds, Even if you budget is in the arena of several thousands of pounds, this is still very little to cover the development, production, distribution and everything else involved in creating a sustainable lingerie/swimwear company.
These are a few of the implications of creating both Core and Plus size bras and the effect it has on your budget.
Tech Pack Development.
If you head over here you will be able to see the steps involved in developing your bra and knicker prototypes and what goes into your Tech Packs.
Unfortunately the cut and seaming of core size bras ( up to D cup) and plus sized bra are very different. To the untrained eye they may appear the same, but it is clear to a specialist that the proportions of the panelling and seam positions vary between the two size bands. Because of this, it isn’t possible to simply grade up from your sample size 34B all the way to a 38GG for instance.
Therefore the processes from design through to the final grades need to be carried out twice, once for core and once for plus size, both with their own sample size and fit model.
Fabrics and Components.
A size 32A and size 36GG bra requires a different level of support, which in turn demands different components and fabrics. For example 10mm wide underband elastic and shoulder strapping will suffice for a small bra size, whilst a larger plus sized bra requires upwards of 15mm wide elastics and strapping.
Almost all materials and notions across the two size ranges will be different in width and durability, entailing the minimums and dye charges (where applicable ) to be met twice or more depending on how large you go.
I have written previously on the challenges of working with fabric and component suppliers here.
This is an obvious one!
Offer twice the amount of sizes and you will need to produce and store twice the amount of stock.
Does your budget allow for that? Ensure there is enough room in your budget for the next few seasons also.
Another point to consider is the probability of you selling a large volume of stock in your first season. It is notoriously difficult for new designers and lingerie labels to get orders in their first season and you run the risk of having a large quantity of old stock being a financial and emotional drain on your business for the next few years.
Photo shoot and Marketing
If you are selling both B cups and GG cups, you are going to want to show this through your photography and marketing. The two size bands, Core and Plus have very different requirements therefore you will need a different marketing approach for the two different customers. As the old saying goes you don’t want to be a “Jack of all trades, master of none”. Choose your niche and zoning in on your market will be much easier.
To summarize, yes, we at I A Samples, can develop your lingerie collection in both Core and Plus size however it is essential, before committing to this, to consider the tasks you are undertaking and whether it will enhance or hinder your new venture.
To find out more on how we can help you develop your lingerie or swimwear Tech Packs and samples you can contact us here.
Look forward to hearing from you.