Having a dress that fits and feels comfortable is an big part of enjoying your day on the court. For the uniform coordinator in your club, this means having a good range of sizes available for sign-on days, and throughout the season in the uniform shop.
It can be tricky knowing what the right mix of sizes should be, especially when dresses need to be ordered before the season begins.
In our experience working with netball clubs, there are a couple of basic principles that will help take stress out of the process.
- Accommodate all shapes and sizes.
- Plan for top up orders.
- Choose a supplier that has consistent sizing
Making Sizing Simple
Accommodate all shapes and sizes
It is wise to always have a couple of dresses in the very smallest and very largest sizes, so everyone feels welcome. Not being able to accommodate new players because they aren’t “mainstream” sizing is no fun for you or the player. But it is easily fixed by having just one or two at both ends of the spectrum.
Look at what has happened in previous years and keep in touch with the rest of the Committee. What do they think numbers will look like? Were there any surprises last year? Are there any age groups where there is always lots of demand? It won't be a guarantee of what will happen this year, but it is a good starting point.
Adding some dresses with extra length is also a great option. Most suppliers should allow you to order extra length with no extra, and it means you’re covered if some extra tall players come along (or have growth spurts during the year).
Plan for top-ups
Usually clubs will order around November for the next season, and will often do a bulk order to secure volume pricing. That is definitely worthwhile and an important way to manage your Club’s budget.
Keep in mind that demand might be different than your forecasts (in terms of popular sizes), and putting a top-up order of dresses in February is easy and will still get your dresses to the club early in the season.
Choose a supplier who has good experience in supplying netball dresses and is known for reliable sizing. That means their dress sizing doesn’t change between orders, and is consistent with size charts they provide you.
Most suppliers will promise this before you order. The best way to really test their sizing is this way:
- Ask them what the tolerance is for returning dresses, e.g. if you receive a dress in L10 which is 5cm different to their sizing, can you have it replaced for no cost?
- Have they been using the same factory to produce their dresses for at least 3 seasons?
- Best of all, ask other clubs about their experience. References from other clubs is a great and independent source of feedback.
In a Nutshell
Choosing sizes for your entire club can feel overwhelming, particularly if its your first time as a uniform coordinator. Don’t worry too much!
Its always hardest the first time and keeping an eye on these tips should make the process simpler.
We are always happy to give advice on a no-obligation basis. Get in touch if you have any questions!