The shift, that timeless A-line that wears well anytime, has gone high-tech for a perfect fit.
Megan Dietz, a software developer, and Kelly Metzler, a graphic designer, met two years ago on a website for crafters. It didn't take them long to figure that they had something in common; neither could tolerance poorly fitting clothing that lacked in style and sustainability. WearTheShift.com
was born, a startup that partners vintage materials with an algorithm for sizing that ensures a custom dress with a perfect fit. Finally, style for plus- and petite-sized women, the "criminally underserved," says Dietz.
Creating dresses that skim the body comfortably, whether the wearer is curved like a delicious apple, pear or string bean, is the secret. Customers are encouraged to enlist the help of a friend in taking horizontal and vertical measurements (as illustrated by a video) for the best result.
"We pump the measurements into a program and it churns out a pattern. It's pretty automated," says Dietz, a plus-sized gal herself who came back to Pittsburgh following a stint as a magazine publisher in NYC.
It's also great for the geek who likes the idea of computer-generated attire, she adds. "I love that they're comfortable and easy to wear. It's an anchor piece that expresses your style."
The duo works out of a studio in East Liberty with two seamstresses. The company got off to a strong start with the help of Kickstarter
, the online creative funding platform that helps entrepreneurs to raise funds and conduct beta tests. Wear the Shift sold out of beta spots (for discounted dresses) in two days.
"When you think about our company, two things set us apart," Dietz says. "One is custom fit, the other is our tiny carbon footprint. We want to use our company as an engine for good. We'd like to make money, but we want to make people happy with our dresses and try to reflect that in the way we run our business."
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Megan Dietz, Wear The ShiftImage courtesy of Wear the Shift