Fashion fits You

What does Molding means, and how does it affect our outfit choices?

Molding (INSTAGRAM).jpg

Here's a fact for you: there is one measurement chart for each Country and all of them variate on the shapes of their natives. This little piece of information is responsible for the effect of when you go to a shop and feel like nothing fits you well! And that is what we are going to talk about on this article.

What is molding?

Maybe flat pattern, moulage or draping, are complicated terms that you never heard of, so they are basically foreigner concepts to you, even though they are active parts of your wardrobe every single day!

So, what exactly am I talking about? I'm talking about the part of fashion responsible for making those wonderful fashion illustrations into the real deal! From the process of drawing to existence, the middle is called molding!


Molding in its essence is the technique one applies to make garment. Is the tool one uses to read and interpret a certain model and make into the three- dimensional world!  

Perfect! Molding is a tool and a technique, that is important because without it we would stay in the past without all the technology we have in the fashion industry today.

There are 2 types of molding: a two-dimensional one that is called flat pattern and a three-dimensional one called moulage or draping. Nowadays is common to apply both combined, and a lot of brands and boutiques master both techniques. There are not better or worst in this scenario, since both tools are equally important depending on the situation and occasion.

The History of Molding

To explain a little bit more about the methods we as fashion designers and modeleurs use, I'm using examples!

You know when you see an old movie where there is a tailor, kind of constructing a suit using a real person as the platform where he is "drawing"?


That's the classic example for the 3D molding we called Moulage! This french word is responsible to label the oldest of the 2 types of molding there is! Moulage or draping is this method a person uses when he/she is making a garment directly in the human body or mannequin.

The second example is those very old molding magazines that some of us (including me) had the chance to put our hands on, they were molding magazines from the end of the XX century used by all women to make clothes! A lot of women from these period used to have sewing machines and were able to use the standardized flat pattern and build amazing pieces of clothing from scratch, using little imagination and a lot of technique!

The standardized measurement system was created during the XIX century out of the necessity to create military uniforms to the soldiers. Later in the next century, more specifically in 1968 the International Standardization Organization (ISO) made sure that size graduation ( SS - S - M - G - GG, for example)  would be standardized in each Country respecting all the different kinds of biotope.

Which brings us to the standardized measurement charts we have today, one in each Country having different measures for specific sizes, because a person that uses a size S in one Country doesn't necessarily wear S in every other Country in the world.

Molding in our lives

We decided to talk about molding in this particular piece instead of talking about any other pillar of fashion (colors, silhouette,  or texture) because the shape (pillar, mother of molding) is the most important one when comparing measurement charts around the world, which is exactly what we are trying to compare, more specifically between Europeans and Latinas!

This brings us to the original problem of these article:

Why sometimes finding the perfect piece seams so hard?

Because we live in a globalized world, where there are thousands different measurement charts that vary from Country to Country and from brand to brand! This is one of the greatest challenges we have as fashion designers and modeleurs today in the manufacturing industry.

If however you are struggling to find some items you need for the season and you were wondering how to put this info in practise, here comes some tips:

First step: Look inside instead of outside

Go to your wardrobe and take a deep look in everything you own, try on your clothes (everyone of them) to see what are the ones you like the most (almost every time they will be the ones that fit you better). This exercise will show you 3 things:

1 What are the brands you shop the most and therefore, have a measurement chart that goes with your body type.

2 What are the clothes and the shapes you feel more comfortable in (I for example like wearing skirts more than pants, and long sleeves cardigans better than t-shirts, so next time I need to shop I have in mind what are the pieces that I'm really going to wear!).

3 You will have the chance to organize your wardrobe. Once again, you will SEE everything you have and IF you really need new clothes, this will save you from going shopping for the same item you already have and couldn't find!

Second step: Stick to the list

Are you really lacking some pieces? Not a problem!

You have 3 options here:

1 Go to the brand that you are comfortable with (you saw it in the last exercise! Is probably the brand responsible for the majority of items in your wardrobe) this will save you some time and is an assertive shopping.

2 The Country you are in doesn't have your favorite brand. No problem! Because you tried on your entire wardrobe in the last step you will have in mind all the details you really love in your clothing and you can spend less time looking for items you won't wear. Go to the shopping area with your list and don't be afraid to try all the pieces you find interesting, really try it on, sit with them, stand up, see if they are really comfortable or if they have the molding you really like. Decide as soon as you are sure you have the right piece in your hands.

3 Second hand! YES!  Never entered a second hand store because you don't believe in them?... Ok, but we can prove you wrong! There are thousands of second hand stores, and we are preparing some juicy tips for you over the next months! Personally, almost everything I have comes from a second hand stores, or were gifts from someone that lived through the 50ths. I LOVE old pieces that nobody likes for 2 reasons: they live forever (better quality, better fabric, better sewing, better embroidery… they are real clothes!) and they are one of the kind!

We are preparing a whole series on second hand shopping so we can help you find exactly what you need, but for the time, google some second hand stores in your block and give it a try! You mind find something unique.

We hope you like this article and you find it helpful!

Any questions? Please write us bellow!


Written by Mariana M. Iwanaga conjunct with Rafaela M. Glaser.