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BTS: Co-founder Sara Deluca on Developing Extended Sizing

From its inception, Dovetail Workwear was borne of the struggles that my partners, Kate and Kyle Marie, experienced when trying to find durable women’s workwear options in adequate size ranges and inseam options. Solving this problem has been at the heart and soul of this brand from day one. 

This is not a knee-jerk reaction following the current (very important) body positivity trend in fashion. Rather, Dovetail Workwear’s intentional, holistic approach to providing products for women of all shapes and sizes has been years in the making.

Most small business owners can relate--product development is always a work in progress. In piloting our first product, the Maven Slim Pant, we started with two inseam lengths. We now offer four and are working on more inseams for the future. Same for sizing options: we started with 0-18 and now provide pants ranging from 000-24. 

When we extended these, we developed new patterns and modified the grading in order to get the best fit for the female form possible. One of the tenets of Dovetail Workwear’s brand is continuous improvement. With this in mind, after the first run of our more inclusively sized pants (18-24), we surveyed everyone who had bought these sizes to get their direct feedback. We then invited in our community of working women of all shapes, sizes and style preferences to come in for a collaborative fit session.

At this event, we asked for feedback: where we hit the mark, missed the mark, or needed to improve. We looked at the patterns across our pant styles and compared with other pant brands. This resulted in fine-tuned improvements to our base and extended size grading that’s being applied to our current development cycle. This work is paving the way for better sizing across our product spectrum. In Spring 2020, Dovetail customers will find our clothes fitting better than ever.

kyle marie begley sara deluca dovetail founders extended sizingSara and co-founder Kyle Marie look at denim samples. 

As a small brand with limited resources, we have to choose our battles. Dressing for your "body type” is outdated and fueled by the pantriarchy, so we prioritize our extended size options with style preference in mind. Every bottom style that we make (Maven Slim, Britt Utility, Freshley Overall, Day Construct) is available in multiple fabrics, and for every style, there is one fabric that is currently offered in the 000 to 24 size range. Every jacket and shirt in our Fall 2019 line is available from XS to 2XL. Our Spring 2020 collection’s tops will include 3XL. As we grow and expand our resources, our goal is to have every style available in the full size range, and expand from there. We’re also looking at new design elements that will help accommodate variance in body shapes. From elastic waistband construction innovation to increased rise options, we listen to our customers who write in with feedback and funnel that input directly into our product pipeline. Besides her excellent cooking, there’s a reason our customer service guru Andrea and I sit next to each other. The benefit of being small and nimble is we can hear our customers’ concerns and adapt.

We always say that our end users are the most rocking women out there. They inspire us every day. They are industry disruptors, leaders and innovators. We strive to be the same in the apparel industry. If our daughters can grow up and find apparel options that allow them to realize their full potential in whatever occupation they choose, with whatever style and attitude they rock, then we’ll have made a serious step forward in this journey.

mercy shammah wild diversity dovetail workwear extended sizesCarpenter, outdoorswoman and community advocate Mercy M'Fon Shammah in a Fall Givens workshirt, available in XS-2X.