Understanding Sizing and fitting for optimum wear

Choosing your gear can be stressful especially when dealing with sizes.

 

We have put together this quick guide hoping it will help alleviate some of the worries you may have. It is based on the most frequently asked questions we’ve had and a long decade of trooping experiences.

The most important thing to remember is that whatever you may be wearing it is NOT a daily wear and should not be thought of it this way. You will be wearing for a day at most; your body may change between trooping session; even during a trooping event (especially after meal) and you must account for the armor you will be adding on to.

While we strive to make our trooping as comfortable as possible, and -IB- aims in providing quality, comfortable gear, the reality is trooping will never be “as confy” as wearing our “civies”.

Best advice I was given when I made my very first costume "It's easier to add a sole in a shoe too big than cut off your toes if it is too small" - same is true for clothing ...​

Vincent - Head Honcho

Choosing Clothes

It is important to triple check your size before ordering. Unfortunately standards have long been thrown out the window and XL pretty much means nothing at this point. Buying XL in the US means buying L in most of northern Europe; and can mean up to 4XL in Asia.

If you hesitate between two sizes, our rule of thumb is that while both may very well fit, the smaller one will be “tighter”while the bigger one will be baggier – choose the one you will mostly feel comfortable to wear for a duration of 8 hours.

For most costumes, we’d also recommand a basic fitting done locally for optimum comfort, obviously for troopers intending to do so and hesitating between two sizes we would recommand to purchase the larger size in order to have more material to work with.

Footwear

When choosing shoes do keep in mind that the same shoe size highly differ in fitting between a sport shoe, a casual shoe and a dress shoe which are frequently tighter/narrower. Our footwear can “feel” narrower than what you are used to; especially if you frequently wear sneakers ( nike, vans, converse…) or work boots (timberland, cat…).

You need to also keep in mind your current walking/standing habits. Many of us spend most of our daily activties with limited standing time, rarely do we now spent over an hour straight standing/walking. The reality of trooping is highly different with session lasting hours during which we do not sit ( or barely long enough to rest our feet properly). This will greatly affect your feet.

Leather will stretch a bit, however we always recommend to take a size higher and compensate with gel sole if need be – it will allow a thicker sock and add to general comfort during long trooping hours

Gloves

Most of our gloves are made of leather, we selected lambskin to give them both strength and flexibility; they will soften and stretch with use.

For the gloves made with fabric ( whole or in part) the fabric selected has a stretch quality to it, adding to comfort.

A tighter glove may be more comfortable as it allowsa better grip; something which can come handy during photo-ops

Trooping Tips

Seasoned trooper will agree that being in costume is vastly different than spending your day in your “civies”.

In general we are no longer used to spend hours standing up/walking. The weight of the armor/helmet will impact posture and increase sweating due to lack of breathability. Trooping can be brutal.

I recommend the use of a compression suit and thick flight socks under any costume you may be wearing,  it will support muscle work and blood flow thus reducing the general fatigue of your body.

If you hesitate between two sizes, our rule of thumb is that while both may very well fit, the smaller one will be “tighter”while the bigger one will be baggier – choose the one you will mostly feel comfortable to wear for a duration of 8 hours.

For most costumes, we’d also recommand a basic fitting done locally for optimum comfort, obviously for troopers intending to do so and hesitating between two sizes we would recommand to purchase the larger size in order to have more material to work with.

Maintenance

Caring for your costume is of course an important part of the trooping process. Washing too often will affect ANY clothing (costume or not).

Our clothes are not pre-washed and could potentially shrink a bit of using a washing machine and especially using a dryer. We tend to recommend hand wash and line dry for our clothing. Steam iron if you must.

The ULTIMATE tips we have is once again using a compression suit under yout costume, even if it “does not require it”. aside from the health benefit described above, it will absorb sweat (and odors) and can be easily machine washed. This will greatly reduced the need of washing the actual costume ( and in some cases alter the hard weathering work you have done). You can then simply hang your main clothes outside to air it out, case need be use some febreeze.

Footwear and leather gloves can be polished with regular shoe polish or other wax. Too much humidity can result in mouldy deposit- these can be removed with a cloth and then treated with polishing agent.

Store your gear in a dry place; keep clothes on a hanger.

Ultimately it is YOUR costume, You spend the hours making it, You get to enjoy it. Get help from the community when you need, but remember You are the Builder !

Vincent - Head Honcho

We listen to Han ! We don't get cocky...

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With over 4000+ troopers served around the world,  -IB- has developped a serious reputation for quality gear and for standing behind our costumes.

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