Master the Art of Fitting Clothes!   

Jill Ralston for Fabulous Fit®

Barneys Yello Dress.jpg

personal style...

Getting dressed is not always easy, but feeling great about how we pull it all together can be really fun.  Inspiration can be as simple as a $13 pair of sterling silver earrings from the street vendor or a simple Chanel jacket created by you. “L’Instant”, says Chanel, with her fabulous pull on pants and sweater; her neck adorned with one small white flower. I love that. 

When I think of life’s memories, the first thing that comes to mind is what I was wearing. Always.  I love style. Style supersedes weight, height, body singularities, age, and can even fix a really bad attitude.  If you are new to this, stay close. No experience is necessary in learning to create fabulous clothes in your personal style.

simplify your life!

Do you have anything in your closet that just feels like you?  What fabric is it in? Pull it out and really take a look. Is it the cut? The feel of the fabric? The color?  Maybe it’s something you wear every day (think sweat pants), that can be easily translated into silk, wool, or linen; to be worn on any occasion and look fabulous.

The best way to start a closet or a lifestyle collection is to start with a few basic pieces; thus we always start with the favorite dailies. Analyzing why you gravitate to wearing certain clothes is always an eye opener.  Maybe you have several pieces you love or maybe not.  If not, go to your photographs and recall a time that was absolutely fabulous. What were you wearing and how did you feel?  (This cannot be about your wedding dress with the 25 ft long train or if you were hypothetically, 30 lbs. lighter and 30 years younger).  

If you are still at a loss, and many people are, just get as close as you can to something we can work with. Anything.


The take-away from this is to re-create what works. The translation can be as simple as Palazzo pants, a straight skirt with heels, and unmatched sweater set, or that Chanel “L’instant” …created by you. If the clothes feel good, and the color and proportions are right, you will know what I am saying. It’s the energy.  People notice. No one knows what suits you best better than you do.  Style is about paring down your wardrobe to a few pieces that work together.  It’s simple.  If something in your closet doesn't make you feel comfortable, confident, happy, or sexy it might be wasting space.  

In  my collections, (and closet) I start with storyboard piles. Inspiration is where it all begins for me.  Many designers are inspired by snowflakes, or sand on the beach; but that, so far, has never been my inspiration in designing clothes.  Seems sad. I am inspired by the streets. When I start thinking about what I am creating, I jam through my iPhone for lost pictures of strangers who couldn't wait to show off their new "put together" for colors or clothes;  like wearing serious construction boots, way before the runway found them.  I forget about why I didn't feel inspired.  The roll begins.  The storyboard will give you direction.  So that's where we start.

follow your story...

Just with a random collage of inspiration (which can be anything from pattern covers to magazine photographs) you will discover a natural trend for your colors, necklines and statement.  Trendy, flashy, bling, all shows up.   See how everything you choose can be translated for you!  

Great clothes create energy and a few really thought out pieces will simplify your life.  In real life, I work until the last minute before I leave for a trip (I think we all do), but I am completely confident that whatever I grab for my suitcase works.  I don’t even think about it.  When I finally relax at the airport, I sigh and wonder at the ease with which the look came together.  It’s because it was already planned, way in advance, when I found those very few pieces that work together.  Similarly, should your best trip plans go astray (sometimes they do), with simplicity, your clothes can change plans with you.  Coming SOON…”Packing for Urban Travel”.

Once you understand the proportions of your body, your easy wardrobe and individual style just follows.  Maybe it's adjusting a waistline to hide that holiday pooch, or layering fabric to create an uneven hemline to hide an uneven body.  The list goes on and on.  Not to mention the parts of our body we might want to embrace!

When you follow our simple, yet designer-level philosophy of anchoring fit and honoring grain lines, you'll laugh with disbelief at how easy it is to create clothes that make you feel powerful and comfortable every time you wear them. 

how to measure...

Horizontal Measurements

  1. Measure your shoulders from shoulder bone to shoulder bone, across the back.

  2. Measure your front chest from arm crease to arm crease.

  3. Measure your chest by placing the tape above your bust, around your body just under your arms, (with arms down at your sides). Also, measure the width of your front and back chest separately.

  4. Measure your bust-line around the fullest point of your bust.

  5. Measure your under-bust by placing the tape under bust and around your body.

  6. Measure your waist by placing the tape around the elastic on your waistline.

  7. Measure your upper hipline (about 3 inches down from your waist) across your stomach and upper hips.

  8. Measure your hipline by placing the tape around the widest part of your hips.

  9. Measure your thigh two inches down from the top of your leg, at the widest part of your thigh.

Vertical Measurements

  1. Measure your vertical bust point by placing the tape around your neck (like a halter) from bust point to bust point.

  2. Measure your front vertical waist point by placing the tape at the front collarbone down to your waist.

  3. Measure your bust-point by placing the tape at the nape of your neck to your tip of your busts. Note the distance between the bust points.

  4. Measure your vertical back waist point by placing the tape at your first vertebrae and following the spine to your waist.

  5. Measure your vertical back hip point by placing the tape at your first vertebrae and then following your spine to the widest part of your hipline.

Additional Measurements

  1. The upper arm measurement is taken with the tape around the widest part of your upper arm. (Arm relaxed at your side).

  2. The final body measurement, for the length of your jacket or dress, is taken with the tape at your first vertebrae and measuring down the back to your desired hemline.

  3. The inseam is measured from the top of your leg (inside) with your legs slightly apart, keeping your body straight.

choosing your size...

       One Fabulous Fit®Fitting System will increase measurements to 3 sizes, or about 3 inches at any area. Larger sizes can be created by layering another Fitting System over the top of your already padded dress form.  Choose your best size by the smallest measurement (bust, waist and hip measurements) compared to the form.  For example.  If your bust is 36 and your hips 39,  Size 8 is best to accommodate your bust and then build out the hips.  If your bust is 33, your waist is 28, and your hips are 39, Size 6 is best to match the bust measurement.  You can then shape the dress form with the Fitting System to match the bust and hip measurements.  COVERS ALSO AVAILABLE IN BLACK!!

  life style...

Consider how your weight might change and how your body moves.  When you know you'll gain that extra five pounds on the road, you might need a few extra outfits.  (After all, even rock stars, and politicians have only "ranges" for weight.)  Shaping pads on the dress form will show you what the extra 5 lbs. (or so) looks like in your clothes.  If you need extra individual pads, we have them.


Time to Create It!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jill Ralston FIT MADE EASY!©