When designing a clothing line, one needs to assign style numbers to each design. Style numbers help you and everyone in your supply chain keep track of your designs. Can you imagine a Chinese sewing factory trying to read “Urban Chaos” or “Hot Kitten?” Or what about a boutique calling to order 3 “Delicious Wet Seals?” If you name your styles, then everyone in your supply chain would have to remember the names (and it will show what a newbie you really are). It’s best to keep it simple.
Fashion Incubator says we shouldn’t use names for our styles as it’s not for our benefit, but for those that will work with us (pattern makers, sewing contractors, etc.). Kathleen points out that not all sewers speak English, but EVERYONE SPEAKS NUMBERS. I can’t stress this enough. Numbers are the way to go.
Now don’t go issuing random numbers. Each digit in your style numbers should have meaning and enable you to grow. Use 4 digits at a minimum. However, 5 digits are even better. Code by categories such as:
First number for gender:
10000 – boys
10000 – men
20000 – women
30000 – children
If you are making children’s clothing in a range of sizes, you might instead want to allocate your first number like this as your infant size 3 months patterns will be different from your boys’ size 8 patterns,etc.:
10000 infant size newborn – 18 months
20000 toddler size 2T – 4T
30000 children size 5 – 8
second number for type of garment:
01000 – pants
02000 – shorts
03000 – dress shirts
04000 – knit shirts
05000 – jackets
06000 – accessories (hats, belts, etc.)
then you can further code it by fabric type:
00100 – cotton woven
00200 – cotton knit
00300 – denim
00400 – silk
But I’m not going to divide by fabrication as most fabric costs are similar in my line. You would only do this if there is a significant price difference in fabric costs. Though really, it isn’t necessary as you’d probably be using a different pattern if you were using different fabrics.
What about seasons? Liza D. suggests we use letters to identify Fall and Spring (ie., F for Fall and S for Spring)…so your style number would look like this:
F23003 = Fall Toddler Dress Shirt Design #3
I’m thinking it would be better to incorporate a Fall or Spring category into my style numbers by designating a set of numbers for the particular season like this:
23001 to 23004 = Toddler Shorts Fall Designs #1 through #4
I’d know that my next season (Spring) would start with Design #5:
So my Third, fourth and fifth numbers would be actual design numbers:
00001 – first design
00703 – 703rd design (can you imagine how old I’ll be when I get up to the 703rd design? OMG…LOL)
11503 – Infant Pants Design #503
I’m going to go with the 5 digit style number as I could easily outgrow the 4 digit system in a few years. A 4 digit system would limit me to 99 designs in a category. It would be a safer bet to use the 5 digit system and be able to incorporate up to 999 designs per category.
Here’s so more info about issuing Style Numbers:
On the home front, we just got back from Philadelphia where we had a successful Kidney Transplant meeting. Things are going along as planned and My Sunshine Girl is doing well. Thanks for your continued prayers!