Challenge / by Lana Grant

A very important and essential part of our job as technical designers is to attend fittings. We can't achieve a perfect fit without fitting the garment on a live model and learning about how it fits and do our job in correcting what's wrong. We go to the fittings, in some companies, every day, or in some, 2-3 times a week. So, we all know what a challenge it is.

The challenge starts with coordinating all the parties who should attend the fittings. I know that, in some companies, up to ten people attend the fitting, starting from the design department to the buyers. To ensure that they all will come on time is nearly impossible. Someone will be late for sure, so we will wait.

Now, while we are waiting, the conversation begins. Unfortunately, with this amount of people, there will be several conversations going on at the same time –which typically continues until the fitting is over. You, as a technical designer should be in charge of what is going on in your fitting – tactfully and strategically. Plan it, control it and lead it. Well, that is an ideal situation: in practice, it is often very hard to do.

First of all, besides you, no one will know that you in charge. The designer will think that she is in charge; the buyer will think that he/she is in charge; therefore, no matter what you think or know, there will be a misunderstanding of roles. And that will lead to tension. Tension during the fitting is an integral part of your business.

To be successful, you need to know how to work with everyone by giving them each time to state their opinion, and thus give a little respect to everyone's opinion. At the same time, you need to do your job and fit the garment.

Why do we often come out from the fittings drained and with lower energy level?  Well, try to deal with all those opinions and work at the same time…that is a challenge!

How do you control a room full of different levels of participants? We would like to hear your opinion on this subject. How are your fittings going? What advice do you have for those who struggle on their fittings? All comments are welcome.