Clothing design: Fit for every body

Six women standing together, each with an arm joining other arms in the middle.
Photo courtesy of Kade & Vos

By Rachel Webber, Washington State Magazine

Inside an old yellow craftsman house, sewing machines whir, sketches adorn the walls, underwear and tank top prototypes hang from clothing racks, and a cat wanders through the living room.

Debbie Christel’s childhood home in north Tacoma has transformed into the headquarters of Kade and Vos, a start‑up company helping women get the clothes they need.

“We ask women, what do you need to be comfortable?” says company cofounder Christel ’08. “Our design process doesn’t go through a weight-biased filter. We don’t take a small pattern and make it bigger. We know that doesn’t work.”

In the United States, 67 percent of women wear a size 14 or larger, while designers typically design for a size four or six. That can make it a real challenge for American women who wear a size 16 to 18 to find something that fits well.

It took just a year for Kade and Vos to launch their first clothing line, and it all started with soft, breathable cotton underwear. If the underwear isn’t comfortable or distorts the body, says Christel, then whatever you put on top of it isn’t going to look and feel right.

Read the complete story on the Washington State Magazine website.

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