What Changes With Your Body As You Get Older. Let Us Celebrate
What changes with your body as you get older? & What Rey House Clothing is doing to change with you.
As women and men age, there are several changes that take place in our bodies. These changes are often associated with hormonal shifts, lifestyle, the aging process, diet and nutrition and this can impact various aspects of health and wellbeing. In this blog I don’t want to write about the hackneyed reasons of menopause, diet, lifestyle and the aging process for women. I want to talk about the findings we have found relating to clothing fitting and what I believe we need to do about it and celebrating maturity not bemoaning it.
The forces of gravity mean that we tend to shrink in height as we get older. When someone asks you your height in your 20s you may very well be a couple of cms shorter by the time you reach 60. We tend not to stand as straight in our mid years as we did in our 20s, our shoulders and upper back are more rounded and lean slightly forward, no matter how much time we spend in the gym or doing yoga. Our addiction with our phones and sitting at computers has made this worse. If we developed a tummy or bigger bottom, bust or hips this can also affect the shape of our spines and thus our body shape.
As we age our muscle tone reduces and the effort to increase and maintain muscle tone can result in believing that we need to get down the gym and hang onto it. Whilst I am not disputing this as I am not in the medical profession or health and well-being, I do believe that diet can play a major role in this and cutting our refined sugar and processed foods can help reduce this. The impact this has on our bodies is that the muscles are not as firm, taut and dense as perhaps they once were. This impacts how our clothes look on us. The muscle may have been replaced by a bit more body fat and this also impacts how our clothes fit and look on us.
As we get older the distribution of where we carry our weight can change. This is not a sad situation that we must all apologise for and beat ourselves up about. “I wish I was young again” Blah, blah, blah. It is part of life and I for one do not want to be 20 again. As westerners we tend to get bigger round the middle and perhaps as women, we get larger busts and bigger bottoms and thighs too. There is strong evidence that sugar and refined foods and our love of carbohydrates is part of the cause and possibly hormones in animal products. This means that what fitted us around the waist few years ago does not now. Clothing that is tight around the waist is one of the most uncomfortable situations. Our bust may have got bigger and sit lower and our bottoms may have dropped a bit. This means that our tops can gape and the widest point of the shirt that we put on is not the widest point of our bust. The front and back rise of the trousers are not long enough to cope with where our bottom has dropped a bit and even more uncomfortable, if one has a flat bottom or a bottom that has grown a bit. If we then continue to add weight and become what is known as obese, there are whole host of other changes that take place. This is not about obesity, this is about normal natural changes through living and carrying perhaps a few extra pounds than we would perhaps like to carry.
We are all shapes and sizes genetically
We are all blessed with different genes and things that make us different. Over 60% of people struggle to find trousers the correct length because some people have long legs and some have short ones genetically. The nuances apply to just about all body measurements. In our research even how long your shoulder measurement is and the distance between your top and bottom hip can make all the difference to what fits you and what does not. Most of these measurements are skeleton structure and not weight distribution. Thus, if you take these genetic attributes and then layer on what happens with aging, it is no wonder that over 90% of the population say they find it difficult to find clothes to fit.
The need for more measuring points
At Rey House we believe that there is not enough attention paid to some of the less obvious measurement points. A professional tailor will take into consideration all of the points, but not many of us have the funds to afford a Saville Row suit or actually have the need for one.
By not paying attention to these aging nuances, such as where the high point of your shoulder actually sits rather than where it would be if it was completely vertical, is a mistake that we believe many brands make when making clothes. You can get away with it when someone is young and their skeleton, posture and muscle tone can carry it off. However, as you age and the changes we have discussed above occur, these measurements become really important. In a nutshell we believe that clothes need to become more 3 dimensional. With the advancement of AI and managing big data, we at Rey House are using hundreds of more measurements to define the blocks to then be translated into designs and clothing shapes that we believe are more conducive to actual real living bodies. We are taking over 300 measurements to help us gauge a more accurate fit. It is impossible to get it 100% accurate to be able to shift the dial from 8.2% easily finding clothes to fit, but if we can get close to say 60% this will be great progress. Technology is the best way forward and will negate the need to customise everything at one end and mass produce to a specific and dated process at the other end.
Another stage to consider
During the development of Rey House, the data gathering and working on the designs and gradings, it became glaringly obvious that fabric and the fabric construction plays a major part in the development of clothes that actually fit, perform and make people feel good about themselves and what they are wearing. We are focusing on using the best raw materials, ones that are both sustainable, kind to the environment and to humans. Fabrics that feel great, that you want to wear next to your skin, that are as durable as possible and will wash and last. There is enough technology around today to develop these types of raw materials and historically the sportswear brands always had first dibs on the technology with a set of criteria for an end use of a raw material. This is changing with sustainability and customer demand for better quality and “Quiet Fashion” that is sustainable.
We think of a good result as being, the customer does not return the clothes, there is an element of surprise when they touch them as to how nice they feel and another surprise when they put them on and look in the mirror and are pleasantly surprised. I emphasise, pleasantly surprised because many of the people we meet have struggled for years to shop and find things that are right, that their expectations are so low and definitely they expect them not to fit, so when they do, it is a slow response, “Well I was not expecting that” type of response. Apart from customers being made very happy by finding clothes they like and fit, it will in turn reduce the amount of clothes that are returned to the retailer, those made and never sold because they don’t fit, reduce landfill and expensive recycling processes and the mountains of clothes that lay unworn in people’s wardrobes. This is without the impact on self-esteem and well-being, which we like to think is reflected in our 5* ratings online.