8 tips on choosing garment types for your fashion collection 11 min read

Summary 

  • Crafting the perfect product mix, aligned with consumer preferences, can ensure the success of your fashion collection.
  • Leveraging the different ways of classifying garment types can simplify your selection process.
  • Technology can also provide invaluable support by enabling data-driven decision-making. Streamline your work today with Audaces360 free trial! 

Having a strategy to select the garment types for your collection lies at the heart of the fashion industry. 

This decision shapes the entire design process and it considers factors such as seasons, target audience’s age and location. 

Recognizing its value, we have compiled expert tips to assist you. They include tactics for maximizing the use of excess inventory and expanding your customer base. 

Enjoy your reading! 

What are the garment types?

The industry usually divides garment types into three broader groups. Then, you can break each one into more specific types of clothing: 

Top/Upper body

  • Shirts: dress shirts, blouses, t-shirts, tank tops. 
  • Sweaters: pullovers, cardigans, hoodies. 
  • Jackets: blazers, bomber jackets, denim jackets, coats. 

Bottom/Lower body 

One-piece 

  • Dresses 
  • Jumpsuits 

Make sure to include items from each group in your collection. This way, you enhance the chances that your target audience will like the clothes. It will help you cater to their preferences and increase the appeal of your collection.

Learn more: A step-by-step guide on how to make a clothing line

Audaces360 free trial.

7 ways to classify the types of garments 

Creating different groups helps organize and categorize garments. It also makes it easier to track inventory levels, identify gaps, and plan for future production or purchases. 

In addition to assisting you in designing your collection or your company in manufacturing garments, there are additional benefits. You can extend this division system to your e-commerce platform, for instance. 

It makes it easier for your customers to filter and search for specific garment types. This leads to a more efficient and personalized shopping experience. 

Here are the most common ways to classify garment types: 

1) Occasion 

The most classic way to categorize clothes by occasion is formal and casual. 

The formal category includes garments suitable for formal events like weddings, graduation ceremonies, and galas. Examples include suits, evening gowns, cocktail dresses, and floor-length dresses. 

Meanwhile, the casual category encompasses garments for everyday wear or less formal occasions. For example, jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, casual dresses, and shorts. 

You can also create subgroups. These will help you have a clearer view of the types of clothing that make up your collection. In the context of an online store, they can also be useful. 

Think more deeply about the context in which customers will use them. Examples of subgroups include: 

  • Workwear 
  • Activewear 
  • Swimwear 
  • Sleepwear

Learn more: A practical guide to sell clothes online and achieve more success

2) Seasons 

It is another typical division, even used for haute couture collections by major fashion houses. You basically divide them like this: 

  • Spring/Summer (SS): it includes garments designed for warmer weather, typically featuring lighter fabrics, brighter colors, and looser fits. 
  • Fall/Winter (FW): it encompasses garments suitable for colder weather, often featuring heavier fabrics, darker colors, and layered looks. 

3) Material 

This division of garment types plays a significant role in creating a collection. Ideally, in addition to separating fabrics, you should also divide them based on the properties of each material. 

Here are some suggestions to help you: 

  • Weight: lightweight fabrics like cotton silk are ideal for summer, while heavier fabrics like wool are better suited for winter. 
  • Warmth: consider the insulating properties of the material. Wool and fleece are warm, while cotton and linen are more breathable. 
  • Drape: take into account the way the fabric falls on the body. Silky fabrics drape elegantly, while denim has a stiffer drape. 
  • Texture: this is about the feel of the fabric, such as smooth, rough, soft, or crisp. It influences the message that the garment will convey, which needs to align with the designer’s vision.

Learn more: 9 fabrics with the perfect fit to use in your fashion collection

4) Functionality 

A man and a woman hiking using appropriate garment types.

Classifying garment types by functionality focuses on the purpose and intended use of the clothing. 

Put yourself in the shoes of the person who will wear the garment. Women who exercise, for example, look for comfort and support. 

Take this into account when thinking about the design of the garment. In these cases, aesthetics cannot compromise function. 

Another example is clothing brands for adventurous people who go hiking or play sports in nature. It is worth considering fabrics with technology that protect against the sun and that are robust and resistant. 

5) Cultural or regional influence 

This caters to the different influences based on the geographic location where you’re launching your collection. 

Try exploring local materials and traditional techniques. A great example is handmade lace, with unique characteristics and braiding styles found in different parts of the world. 

Another factor is climate variations across regions. For example, a resort in a tropical location might have a longer warm season compared to a colder climate. 

6) Target age 

Classifying garment types by target age is a common practice in retail. These are some of the most common categories: 

  • Baby & Toddler (0-4 years): it focuses on comfort, safety, and ease of movement. Prioritize soft fabrics and designs that accommodate diaper changes. 
  • Children (4-12 years): it balances comfort with some style. Use durable fabrics, fun prints, and colors. 
  • Teenagers (13-19 years): it caters to trends and self-expression. Offer trendy styles, a wider variety of colors and patterns, and options that reflect current fashion influences. 
  • Young Adults (20-35 years): it targets fashion-conscious consumers. Go for trendy and timeless pieces, with a focus on quality. 
  • Adults (35-65 years): it usually focuses on comfort, fit, and quality. Offer classic and stylish pieces that flatter different body types. 
  • Seniors (65+): it promotes comfort, ease of movement, and utility. Consider offering easy-care fabrics and practical features like pants with elastic waistbands.

Learn more: Everything you need to know to design Gen Z fashion

7) Manufacturing method 

This grouping system comes into play when the garment’s construction deviates from the industry’s standard practices. 

They often involve manual processes. For example, skilled artisans that employ traditional techniques. They can be hand-weaving, embroidery, or tailoring to create exclusive looks in limited runs. 

These methods require meticulous attention to detail and result in high value-added items with unique features. 

It could also refer to producing clothes items using specialized machinery not commonly found in mass production facilities. 

For example, knitting machines can create patterns and textures that are difficult to achieve with traditional methods. 

Additionally, techniques like laser cutting or bonding can offer clean finishes and innovative designs. 

How to create a strategy to select the garment types for your collection?

Three women working in the apparel industry selecting the garment types for a fashion collection.

In addition to the most common division we have seen before (top/bottom/one-piece), there are also other grouping systems: 

Basic/Trendy/Concept 

  • Basic: items that are essential to form the foundation of a casual wear wardrobe. Examples: tank tops, blue jeans, t-shirts. 
  • Trendy: clothing pieces that reflect the current fashion trends. Examples: certain kinds of lengths and sleeves, or specific colors that dominate the season. 
  • Concept: the central idea or theme that drives the creation of a collection. Designers use a concept to inform the overall design, silhouette, fabric type, and mood. 

Classic/Fashion/Avant-garde 

  • Classic: these items are timeless and enduring formal wear pieces that remain stylish for years to come. Examples: tailored blazers and the famous little black dress. 
  • Fashion: these garment types encompass both trendy and classic pieces. It refers to the current trends and styles of fashion design. Examples: revision of classic pieces like shirts and tailored trousers. 
  • Avant-garde: it is often experimental, innovative, and uses unusual materials or techniques. Customers usually wear them for special occasions. 

Benefits of varying products in your collection mix 

Varying products in your collection mix can offer several benefits. It can make your brand stand out from competitors, positioning it as versatile and customer-centric. 

The benefits include: 

Niche expansion 

Entering a new niche involves some level of uncertainty. By offering different garment types within that niche, you can feel the market. This helps assess customer preferences without committing to a single style. 

A diverse product mix also caters to a wider range of preferences, attracting a larger customer base. This is especially important when entering a new niche market where customer preferences may be unclear. 

You can also allow customers to create complete looks within your brand. For instance, a working woman can buy trousers, shirt, blazer, and accessories, fulfilling her entire need. This convenience can increase customer acquisition and brand loyalty. 

Innovation 

Innovation allows you to incorporate new materials, technologies, or design features that can elevate your products. This could include moisture-wicking fabrics in activewear and wrinkle-resistant shirts for workwear, for example. 

It also helps create a unique selling proposition and set your brand apart. Experimenting with new dyes, sustainable materials, or unexpected design elements can make your products more visually interesting and capture customer attention.

Learn more: How does technology in fashion impact the textile industry?

Inventory usage 

Utilizing versatile fabrics for different garment types within a collection can improve efficiency and reduce waste. For instance, a high-quality cotton fabric makes a practicable choice for both shirts and dresses. 

Offering a variety of garment types leads to smaller production runs for each item. This can be more manageable and less risky compared to large-scale production runs for a few styles. 

With smaller runs, you are less likely to end up with excess inventory if some design doesn’t perform according to plan. 

Consistent use of material throughout your line can reinforce either your brand identity or the collection theme.

Learn more: Discover 8 best practices for optimizing apparel inventory management

Market adaptation 

A diverse collection allows you to adapt to seasonal changes. You can offer lighter fabrics and swimwear in the spring and summer. Then, transitioning to heavier sweaters and jackets in the fall and winter. 

This ensures you have relevant garment types year-round and avoid getting stuck with unsold seasonal items. 

Remember, the fashion industry changes fast! Including a mix of trendy and timeless pieces allows you to capitalize on current trends without significant risk. 

You can add new popular items to your main styles to keep up with what customers like. 

Manage your collection’s garment types with Audaces solutions 

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You can even have real-time access to every piece of clothing progress directly from your phone, with the mobile version.  

Teams can access and share data effortlessly in a central environment, ensuring everyone is on the same page. 

Audaces Idea 

Audaces Idea enables you to create precise technical drawings, ensuring exceptional detail and information accuracy. This eliminates errors and streamlines communication between design and development teams. 

Easily apply and edit prints with intuitive and user-friendly tools. By minimizing repetitive tasks, you can focus entirely on your creative vision! It will free up your time for more design exploration and project development. 

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FAQ

What are the garment types?

The industry usually divides garment types into three broader groups: Top, bottom, and one-piece. Then, you can break each one into more specific types of clothing.

What are the ways to classify the types of garments?

Occasion, seasons, material, functionality, cultural or regional influence, target age, and manufacturing method.

How to create a strategy to select the garment types for your collection? 

You can organize your collection using grouping systems like Basic/Trendy/Concept or Classic/Fashion/Avant-garde.

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