We asked about your biggest style and fashion struggles.

Stephanie has answers!

I'm petite and I struggle with finding clothes proportioned for my size

It is a challenge finding a good fit when you’re shorter than average. If you’re petite, your tailor is your best friend. You can always have clothing hemmed shorter. The trouble is when you lose the look of the outfit by simply chopping it off. For instance, if a sleeve or a pant leg is fitted then flared, cutting 3” off the bottom has the effect of losing the distinction between the two and you wind up with something looking fitted when it was meant to be loose or vice versa. That’s where you want to be sure you have a good tailor who understands how to adjust something to fit properly without losing the intended style of the item. When you buy an item from SDD, don’t hesitate to let us know if you would like something shortened and we will discuss the best way to adjust your piece to fit you the way it should.

I’m 5’11 and curvy. I struggle to find clothes that fit and are flattering

Petite women would die for your height, but if you’re a tall girl, you know the struggle is real. Clothing often doesn’t fit properly. Long sleeves don’t reach your wrist and pants are all cropped (and not in a good way!) First tip: always check the hem width on pants, tops and skirts (that’s how much fabric is turned up at the hem.) If there are a couple of inches of hem, you’ve got a decent amount to play with. A tailor can drop the hem to the max and that may be enough, particularly if you add a piece of fabric on the inside as a facing. If there isn’t much in the way of a hem to let down, ask yourself if a pant could look good worn cropped. No, I don’t mean just wear it as is (likely awkwardly short,) but fold the pants up a little more and try them with a boot in cooler weather or sandals in summer. I know it feels strange to have pants hemmed when you’re tall, but that can be a fairly cost-effective and simple way to deal with short pants. The same tip applies to sleeves. You might not want a sleeve to hit one inch above your wrist, but if you can choose a purposeful length, you can achieve a great look buying a top off the rack. Sometimes clothes just really doesn’t work on a taller body because nothing hits at the right spot. When you buy from SDD, don’t just choose a piece off the rack if it isn’t going to fit as it should. Instead, contact us about tailoring it to fit you. We will cut it with extra inches just where you need them!

For me, my main struggle is proper fit and finding clothing that fits my style

This is why we started the Made to Order collection. Not only can you choose the fabric and colour you want from among several beautiful options to create a style that really works for you, but SDD will make it just for you in YOUR size (even if your size is large on top, medium at the waist and hip and 2” shorter than the sample!) If you aren’t sure what’s right for you, the designer will meet with you, whether in person (following safety protocols) or online to discuss the best choice for you.

Finding the right fit for my body type - often there are styles which don’t flatter my body type but that is all that is available

Don’t ever settle for clothes that don’t work for you!! Some trends will be great on you and some won’t. The trick is figuring out which ones will work for you and often, the main issue is fit. Sometimes, simply lowering a neckline a little, taking in a waist, letting out a hip or hemming a skirt can make all the difference in how you feel in an outfit so talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about and can help you see when something will work with adjustments or isn’t worth your time. Any chance you get, do try things on and try to pinch the clothes in spots to see if you can figure out what would improve the look. The more you try, the better you’ll get at knowing your body and what it needs. Try not to get discouraged and see it as a failure on your body’s part. It’s not you, it’s the clothes! “Standard sizing” is anything but one size so clothes that aren’t tailor-made for you may very well not fit you as wonderfully as they seem to fit the model. When you buy from SDD, contact us about any fit concerns and we’ll walk you through measuring yourself if a meet up isn’t possible. We’ll do our very best to make the clothes fit you, not the other way around.

Clothing that isn’t stiff, I don’t have to constantly pull or tug at anything, and “hide” my mom tummy

We wish that everyone could love all their parts, but we get that that isn’t the case for most of us. Many women aren’t too thrilled about some aspect of their bodies, but we want to help you to see what we see - you’re gorgeous (yes, you!) and all you need is the right clothes to help you see what we see. Chat with the designer about what styles would be most flattering on you. Often, a few adjustments to a piece of clothing can make all the difference in how you look and feel in something so let’s talk about what we can do to give you confidence in your look! If the clothes fit you the way they should, you should never need to fiddle with it so when you order from SDD, always contact us about any concerns you might have before we cut your piece so that we can tailor it to your needs. We’ve been buying more and more natural fibre fabrics like buttery bamboo/cotton knits since the pandemic hit and we aren’t likely to go back. Your clothes should fit your body and your life so comfort is important!

Pants that fit my body shape are not available anywhere due to trends, so I live in leggings (which also don’t fit perfectly, because for the hips and legs to fit the waist is always too tight)

Don’t settle for pants that don’t fit! If you can, try buying from a designer who will do split sizing (cut you a pair of pants that are a large waist but medium hips and thighs for instance.) Before you buy something off the rack at SDD, contact us. We may be able to make you something that will fit your body, not try to force a square peg into a round hole (it didn't work when we were toddlers and it doesn’t work now!)

The photo not meeting my expectations or my body looking weird in it

We appreciate that shopping online can be tricky. It’s true that different screens can show colours a little differently and clothes don’t look the same on everyone. That’s why SDD posts different pictures of garments worn by multiple models where possible and encourages clients to send in their own photos of themselves in clothes they’ve purchased so that shoppers can see how they fit on a body more like their own. That’s also why we make sure to quality check every item to be sure you’re satisfied with the workmanship of each piece. We stand by the quality of our garments so please reach out if you have any concerns.

For more on fit, subscribe for access to "Do My Clothes Really Fit Me? - the essential read for achieving the perfect fit on any body type

My style struggle is that most are designed for a slimmer body type

That is tricky for sure. SDD produces clothing in XS to XL, but we love to make women happy with their style so if we can adjust a pattern to work for you, we are happy to help. For a nominal fee, we can adjust many patterns to fit XXS or XXL and are happy to provide split sizing (different size top vs bottom) as well as various other adjustments so do contact us to discuss your style needs. We may be able to help!

Closet space 😉

We can’t help you with this one. No promises we won’t keep producing killer pieces you’ll want to purchase lol. Seriously though, if you do have a closet full of clothing you don’t wear, we do have some tips: go through your clothing with purpose and pull out all your faves. Do a little Marie Kondo exercise and get rid of all the things left in there that don’t bring you joy, but also the ones that haven’t fit in a decade. Let someone else love and wear them! Keep the pieces that are versatile and work for different seasons (check out this blog post on transitional pieces) and think about new ways to wear things like prints (see this video) to breathe new life into your current wardrobe. 

Figuring out my style e.g. I have no clue what to do with accessories

This is a skill you CAN acquire with practice! If you want to chat about it, feel free to contact the designer and you can talk about your clothes specifically. Otherwise, keep experimenting. Follow some great stylists and influencers like Emily Chase @emily.shoppingsoulmate, Gina MK @ ginamkstyle, Alyssa @msbeltempo, Monroe Steele @monroesteele or Katie Sturino @katiesturino to see how they wear their clothes. It might just give you ideas of new ways to pair the clothes and accessories you already own. For SDD styling ideas, follow us on socials (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok) and see how the designer and her talented models like Judy Deboer, Ava Aman or Emma Labrosse styled SDD garments.

I struggle to find quality fabrics that wear well and are easy-care.

SDD always chooses beautiful fabrics. We always recommend cold water wash and hang dry because we want your clothing to last as long as humanly possible. Heat actually helps break down certain fibres like spandex/Lycra more quickly and can affect shrinkage so cold is always best. That said, we wash all our clothes in the washing machine, not by hand because who has the time? Read more about making your clothes last here.

I struggle with finding cute tops/t-shirts/blouses that aren’t crop tops!!!!!

OK, so we love a good crop top here at SDD. That said, as always, we’re happy to make a top longer if you like. Also, have you tried high-waisted pants and skirts? That’s pretty much all we do around here and they combine really well with crop tops. You might be surprised how great you look in them! Read more about how to wear a crop top here and watch a little video about why we love high-waisted pants here.

Pre-covid: to actually go out to shop

Those who couldn't get out to shop have loved the influx of more brands selling online and SDD is happy to join their ranks. That said, we’re itching to be able to meet some of you in person again so subscribe to get updates on any upcoming events as the world’s situation continues to improve.

The environmental cost and labour practices used by most manufacturers

SDD is proud to be a slow fashion brand. That means that we try our best not to produce a lot of garments that won’t be sold and encourage clients to choose clothing that is perfect for them both in fit and in style, making as many pieces as possible to order. That’s why you’ll often see clothing on the SDD Shopify site tagged MTO Sample. These pieces are made for the model who was photographed so they’re limited in sizing, but you can always order it in the size you like. Split sizing (different size top vs bottom) is available as is lengthening or shortening a garment to fit your body. Please contact us to discuss any adjustments you'd like to make to your item.

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Stephanie Davis Designs

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada