40 point checklist to designing a better fitting leather jacket

With brands accommodating sizing for the 5’10 models of the industry, it is obvious why us women 5’4 and smaller have such an exhausting time finding garments that better fit our frame, let alone match our level of style. Designing a “petite” version of a garment (as most retailers have been attempting for some years now) is much more than just shortening hems by an inch. In all honesty, shortening a hem by an inch, for starters, is still not enough for the right length, but shortening the hem length and calling it a “job well done” does not magically create a better fitting garment. If designing and producing a beautiful and quality garment for a taller woman requires a certain level of work and craftsmanship, why would a garment for a petite woman not require the same level of craftsmanship? This is where the 40 Point Checklist to a better fitting leather jacket comes in.

40 point checklist to designing a better fitting leather jacket with designer Frankie RodriguezI apologize deeply if this comes off a bit strong. My intentions are not to damage the reputation of any brand but simply to make a difference for all of us who have struggled for decades with this issue. I understand that for many of these brands, it’s difficult to take the road less traveled and attempt something that has never been done before. And for these brands, the idea of taking that monumental of a risk means risking their profits. For me, this isn’t about profit. This is about creating something beautiful, that you as a petite woman deserve. This is about creating something beautiful made with you specifically in mind.

Over the last 10 years (not including my college days … those days seem so far away right now .. ha!) I have been studying, testing, and documenting several different measurements and fits with multiple models no taller than 5’4 to discover the most common fit issues and frustrations with shopping for garments, and all of the points of measurement that are required in order to achieve the best fitting garment for women of our delectable stature.

This is why for every new jacket design, whether a ready-to-wear garment or a bespoke one of a kind piece, I follow a strict 40 Point Checklist for designing a better fitting jacket. Because simply shortening the hem length is not the ultimate end to the problem. Creating a beautiful and meticulously tailored leather jacket, or any garment, requires the love and care of master craftsmanship and dedication to providing a piece that feels as though it was made specifically for you. Because this time, it is. And I want to be absolutely clear with you about the dedication that is in the details of every piece designed and created in my studio.


Every new design will begin first with a detailed 40 Point Checklist of Measurements to achieve a better fitting, beautifully crafted design. Below is a list of the 40 non-negotiable measurements used when drafting each new design from scratch in the studio. No detail is overlooked. No measurement is deemed unimportant. With every point serving a crucial purpose in the design. I’ve included the checklist below to let you in on just a small portion of the design process and I hope it allows you to see the love and craftsmanship I place in every single piece designed and created just for you.

  1. total shoulder girth
  2. total upper chest level
  3. total bust level
  4. total ribcage level
  5. total waist
  6. shoulder seam
  7. half front neckline
  8. center front neck to shoulder tip
  9. front to mid-armhole
  10. half front upper chest level

11. half front bust level
12. half front ribcage level
13. bust span
14. half front waist
15. half back neckline
16. center back to shoulder tip
17. halfway across shoulder blades
18. half back upper chest level
19. half back bust level
20. half back ribcage level

21. half front bust level
22. half front ribcage level
23. bust span
24. half front waist
25. half back neckline
26. center back to shoulder tip
27. halfway across shoulder blades
28. half back upper chest level
29. half back bust level
30. half back ribcage level

31. center back length
32. back total length
33. shoulder tip to center back waist
34. total arm length
35. underarm length
36. forearm length
37. biceps circumference
38. elbow circumference
39. wrist circumference
40. hand circumference


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