Design Horror Stories


28 June 2023

Design Horror Stories

We all know how tempting it might be to cut costs at the beginning of your brand journey and look for the cheapest way to get your first samples. However, this can end up causing far more problems than it’s worth. Not going to the experts and taking the time to find a reliable long-term design and a manufacturing partner can leave you with huge design and fit issues which then cause delays and incur extras costs when resolving, so investing in the right design and manufacturing partners from the very beginning can save a lot of time, hassle and money in the long run.

At Bodywear Lab we understand bodywear requires specific know-how and we have over ten years of experience in this industry, so there is no guesswork when it comes to your designs. We aim to get the first samples as close as possible to the finished product, saving costs on sampling and speeding up the whole process.

There are some key tell-tale signs of bodywear that haven’t been designed and pattern cut by industry experts, so we wanted to highlight these issues and tell you a little bit about how we avoid making these mistakes.


Bra bands should provide at least 80% of the total support, so shoulders should definitely not get sore and cause marks. Bras that create red strap marks have not been constructed with the right shape and materials to offer sufficient support. This not only leaves the customer longing to take their bra off as soon as they get home but also can be visible when wearing thinly strapped tops. Which is never a good look, is it? Our decade of experience sourcing and designing contour-specific products has taught us all there is to know about sourcing appropriate materials and creating that perfect fit.


“The bra’s main function is to support the weight and structure of the breast.” Red hurt lines caused by wires digging into the skin can be painful and highly irritating; and will not win you any repeat customers. This can be the result of poor choice or quality of wires, materials, and components. Lingerie-specific sourcing involves a lot of knowing the right suppliers and testing the products. We have already done the research and development here, so let us show you the way. Our dedicated sourcing team is committed to finding the very best quality materials and findings that meet client’s individual needs.


Comfort and coverage shouldn’t be too much to ask for, should it? The glaring downside of these faux-pas will leave customers feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable. This simple to solve ordeal needs expert pattern cutting and fitting so that the product sits perfectly on the body. Our in-house design team can help you make the most of your creative vision; working alongside you to transform a concept to fit your target audience. We can suggest the best possible fabrics and components, to complete your design process and work together to make sure that the design will not only look great off the body but on your customers too.


We have all heard the figure that 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra in the UK, but is this always at the fault of the customer? Bra fitting and manufacturing is a complex subject and when this isn’t done by experts in our field, the shape and fit can end up being way off. Our experienced pattern cutting team put the time into getting your fit right, performing multiple fit-tests to really make sure that we get it right. We then use state-of-the-art industry-standard technology to digitise your patterns and build out the desired size range. This process allows us to ensure paper patterns and measurements are accurate ahead of production, minimising any possible issues that may arise and creating a coherent, dependable collection.



Just like there shouldn’t be gaping at the top of the cups, there also shouldn’t be gaping on the sides. Specialising in bodywear means that we recognise the fundamentals of perfect bra fit, and we know how to get there. We understand how important it is to have high-quality samples that accurately depict your brand, so you will see an accurate representation of the fit and style from the very first sample. We produce showroom samples in final fabrics, tailored to your colour and size requirements, to give a true look at each individual piece and diminish any possible problems that may arise starting production.


A smooth silhouette and no “hungry bum” effect are essential to successful bodywear. We like to start with strong patterns, then work through fit and grade testing to make sure that your designs work across all of the intended size range. At Bodywear Lab, clients can select whichever size range they wish, and we will always work with you on building a range that represents your target customer and is designed specifically to their size range.



Wires sitting away from the body is one of the most obvious and unpleasant bra fitting issues. Incorrect wire placement is usually due to poor pattern cutting or not enough support in the band or wings. Creating a strong bra pattern takes a specific level of expertise, so don’t kid yourself into thinking that any pattern or sample maker can produce a good bra shape.


Don’t waste your time and money letting another horror story happen. Bodywear sits closest to the skin, so you can’t get away with launching collections that do not fit well or selecting the wrong materials and components. You have only one chance to make a good first impression. Do not waste your time and money by cutting corners at the beginning of your journey. Come straight to the experts and let us use our ten years of experience to help you get exactly what you are looking for, the first time around.

Now that you know what to avoid, discover our services team to get your design right.


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What is Brands of Tomorrow?

Brands of Tomorrow is a curated program, designed to support the growth of an exclusive group of creative entrepreneurs embarking on the journey to develop their businesses in the bodywear sector.

Interested? Find out more on our sister company,
London Contour Experts website.

What is Brands of Tomorrow

Brands of Tomorrow is a curated program, designed to support the growth of an exclusive group of creative entrepreneurs embarking on the journey to develop their businesses in the bodywear sector.

Interested? Find out more on our sister company,
London Contour Experts website.