Thursday, October 23, 2014

Clothes Fit for a Pro

I am fairly particular about clothing for my mountaineering adventures. I have a fairly intimate knowledge of my body structure, how long my arms and legs are. The diameter of my chest and waist and hips. I am fairly particular about how clothing fits when my arms are over my head pulling, as in ice climbing. Same for the girth of my thighs while high stepping and stemming.

Trail Running Clothing

Some clothing manufacturers have series that accommodate some of these difference with clothing series, such as

  • climbers
  • runners
  • fishermen
  • tailgate parties

So you can find the fit for you. Last year one of these with the various series came out with the next "better than sliced bread" filling and I thought I'd drop into the store to check it out. When I got there I discovered that they only made it in the "tailgate party" sport series and I mentioned that on Twitter. Extremely quickly, one of the CSR's commented that I just need to get it a size up and that all their pros loved it to freaking death.

Clothes for riding

For perspective, the size I normally wear had sleeves about 8" too short, and room for two in the stomach area. Even 3 sizes up had sleeves 4" too short and room for my whole family in the stomach, being the "tailgate party" series. As well, keep in mind that an average pro is paid a fair amount of money to make sure that all their logos match up, and not much else.

Another issue you might run into is when they buy a new pro and change everything. I hate to say this, but your average 5'6" 120 lb alpinist superstar has almost nothing in common with me. When a clothing company changes their entire product line around that body it means I'm done buying anything from them. Seriously. Nothing fits in any size anymore. One year, everything in a size, next year, nothing in any size.

Clothes for alpine mountaineering

I've mentioned before about sheep that force themselves into whatever pros wear, and that's the economic advantage of companies buying pros. Having climbed with a handful, with duct tape over logos, sanded off logos, completely custom gear that appears to be the same colors/styles as the mass produced gear, etc. it's hard not to be too cynical about the whole process.