What is Size Ratio in the Fashion Industry?

You know whatever clothes we wear, it has a size number. Clothing retailers keep stock of garments as per standard size ratio.  When we buy a cloth, we look for the size that fits best to our body. In this post, I will cover the use of the garment size ratio in the apparel industry.

In bulk garment orders, buyers place an order it includes multiple garment sizes. For an example, when a garment manufacturer gets a purchase order (PO) for adult shirts, they normally get an order for sizes of Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L) and Extra Large (XL). Size-wise order quantity is different. If the order contains Small - 100 units, Medium - 200 units, Large 200 units and Extra larger 100 units, ratio becomes 1:2:2:1.

In a garment factory, the size ratio is used in the following areas.

1. Order quantity in a purchase order

Sometimes buyer mentions total order quantity in units in their PO and mentions the size ratio. Manufacturers calculate size wise garments quantity need to be manufactured depending on the given ratio and total order quantity.

For purchasing various trims, the factory needs to use the size ratio mentioned in the buyer PO.

2. Cutting and marker planning

At the time of marker planning, size ratio is considered. Total fabric consumption for an order is calculated based on the ratio.

3. Packing and distribution

In many cases, fashion buyers ask for ratio packing, where all garment sizes need to be packed in a carton as per size ratio. Sometimes assortment packing is required where more than one sizes of garments of the same color are packed into poly bags. If given packing size ratio is M: L: XL = 2:2:1, it means you need to pack 2 medium sizes, 2 large sizes and 1 extra-large size of garments together. Ratio packing helps buyers in the distribution of the garment in different retail stores.

4. Use of garment size ratio in retail stores

An apparel retail store keeps garments of various sizes as they know their customers wear different sizes of garments. They are also aware of the size which they sell most. The number of customers for different sizes are different. In the adult shirt store normally, medium size sells most (in Indian). The S and XL size sold less compared to the M and L sizes. 

For an example, if they get 4 customers for M size, they will probably get 1-2 customers for XL size. The garment size ratio may vary depending on the demographics.

Also See: How to calculate size wise garment quantity for the size ratio.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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