Solving the Biggest Puzzle in the Universe
By Jack Stone
Buying and selling clothes in any market is difficult. Some days at Stone Harbor we find it frustrating. You see, when our customers shop in the Twin Cities or Duluth, they have the clothing shops they are comfortable with and they know what styles and size they are going to find. Unless they are very familiar with our active, outdoor clothing, they may get very confused. We carry some of the best known and highest quality you can buy anywhere. Each manufacturer is bringing the clothes in from different areas of the world and sizing is different in many ways.
Let’s start with RAB, which is a European technical wear company. They cut their clothing with longer arms to accommodate climbers. This is great for us 35″+ guys who have trouble buying off the rack. On the other hand, much of their clothing is cut trim, which doesn’t always work for some of us but the regular fit does. We might just have to move up a size. The same is the case for women. One of the problems we have is that whether it is as a man or a woman and we tell them that they need a larger size, we many times get the response that they don’t wear a size large or extra-large. And they are right. The sizing may not be what you are used to, but it is in this particular cut.
On the other hand, for men and women, we find the ExOfficio, Sherpa, Kuhl, Marmot FjallRaven and Outdoor Research are pretty true to size. Women’s wear is a little harder to predict than men’s, as many of you know. With women, when you go to Lole’ and prAna, you will find fitting sometimes a challenge. This is when we are proud to be a brick and mortar store in this digital age and to offer you, our customer, the chance to find your right fit before you buy. And if we don’t have your size in stock, let us know and we can do a special order just for you.
Mostly what we are saying is, don’t look at the size on the garment and assume it is going to fit. If you have to size up and that bothers you, remember it isn’t you. It is the manufacturer. We would gladly clip the size tag out of the garment if it makes you self-conscious. You are going to look good no matter what the size says.