Whilst exchanges are possible, there is a fee involved so it's best to get the sizes right the first time. Over the years I learnt the following;
Don't forget the girth. In most cases (costumes that have attached leotard, attached briefs, attached hotpants or attached long pants) the GIRTH will be the most important measurement.
Always measure your students wearing just a leotard. Clothing layers can add inches to measurements. If you can't get your teens out of their dance pants, make them pull them up underneath their armpits, like 'Harry High Pants'. Why? Pants worn too low will mean the crotch seam will be a couple of inches down the thigh, this will give you a false girth measurement and you'll end up ordering a costume that potentially 'swims' on the student.
Take a true measurement. Don't add on 'room to grow' when taking the initial measurement with the tape measure. Why? When you look at the chart you want a true indication of where the students measurements fall otherwise you're making decisions with false information. At this point you can make an informed choice on whether to go up a size if you feel the true measurements are borderline or crossing sizes.
Very general 'rule of thumb' on ages for children's sizes. Assuming average size and average height.
XSC = 3 and 4 year olds.
SC = 5-7 year olds.
ISC = 7-8 year olds (those who have gone through that growth spurt where they shoot up before filling out).
MC = 8-10 year olds.
IMC = 9-11 year olds (existing customers note; this size falls halfway between MC and LC).
LC = 11- 13 year olds.
XLC and XXLC are sizes for rounder shaped bodies ages 10+.
It is harder to give a 'rule of thumb' for adult sizes. It is always best to measure, however if needed the following is a guide.
SA = Ladies 8
MA = Ladies 10-12
LA = Ladies 14 - small Ladies 16
XLA = Ladies 16 - small Ladies 18
XXLA = Ladies 18 - small Ladies 20
Waist measurements. As all costumes are made from multi directional stretch fabrics, if the waist measurement is out by up to 2 1/2 inches but all other measurements fall comfortably within the one size, stay with the majority size as the fabric will stretch.
Very thin and very long in the body. If a student is very thin but their girth measurement is a size bigger, keep in mind when determining size that if the fabric isn't required to stretch as far horizontally it will actually stretch a bit more vertically. For example; A student's bust, waist and hips are at the beginning of a size range, but the girth is the beginning of the next size. Order the smaller size. If in doubt, call the office with these tricky ones and we'll help you.
Sizing with our sizing leotards. Two things I've noticed over the years:
1. Students will often tell you that they are happier in the smaller size of two leotards (sadly peer pressure re body size is to blame)
2. Parents will nearly always want the bigger size so their child can have five years growing room.
Solution, check for yourself. Check the briefs section of the sizing leotard to make sure it's not baggy in the bottom. Also check the straps, you want to comfortably fit your fingers underneath and be able to lift a little off the shoulders. Don't forget to hand wash our sizing leotards every so often. Constant trying on will cause the fabric to stretch, especially if larger students are trying on sizes too small for them. Hand washing will bring the leotards back to the correct shape.
The importance of the inseam. If you're choosing long pants or a long unitard costume, remember to check the inseam measurement. Our costume leg lengths are long to cater for the taller students, however, occasionally it will be necessary to put a tall student up a size to accommodate their leg length.
RELIABLE FIT AND CONSISTENT LOOK
At StageGear we know that costumes that fit, make dancers look and feel confident onstage. We take numerous steps to ensure a reliable and consistent look. We cut pre-production size sets to ensure that our grading is correct and we test fit our patterns on custom made mannequins which conform to our size chart. We adjust our patterns to reflect stretch characteristics of each fabric and our skirt lengths are proportionally graduated. Our collar measurements are graded for each size and always feature a secure closure. All style-lines and trim placements are proportional to ensure a uniform look on stage. And our pant inseams are longer to accommodate taller students. Finally, state-of-the-art cutting and sewing equipment promotes superior construction.
EXTRA LARGE CHILD SIZES (XLC, XXLC)
This size is specifically designed for the rounder body shaped child, not petite or pre-teen. For these dancers although their chest and hips may indicate Medium Adult, the adult size is much too long and thin. Our XLC pattern has been used successfully by many studios and enables the entire class to appear on stage with a consistent look. XLChild, XXLChild, XLAdult and XXLAdult costumes are cut to order and cannot be returned, exchanged or cancelled so order carefully. For accuracy students should be wearing a leotard when measuring.
LEOTARD SIZING KITS
If you have any concerns regarding fit, take advantage of our sizing kits. No need for a tape measure (except for student's leg length if choosing pants), just try the leotards on them and choose the best fit. Sized to specification, child or adult leotard sets are available for purchase to assist in sizing your order. Remember to hand wash these sizing leotards every so often, over time fabric will stretch and give a 'false size' if not washed. To order sizing leotards please contact the office on 02 9984 0433.
CALL THE OFFICE
Whilst we cannot work out all your sizes for you just from your measurements, we can help with the students whose measurements seem to fall across a number of sizes or other queries. Just give us a call and we'll help you.