Choosing a coat size online is always a bit of a guessing game. When Therma Kōta, a Nordic-inspired Canadian outerwear brand, heard from their customers about the challenges of ordering the right fit, they decided to go back to basics. Originally, customers ordering one of the brand’s luxury shearling coats would choose a pre-determined size. Last season, Therma Kōta decided to start from scratch and offer made-to-measure, which allows the brand to create the garment according to the customer’s personal measurements and preferences.
“Our bodies are all different, so even if we do technically wear the same size, there are factors that come into play like bust size and arm length that can completely change the way something fits,” says co-founder Mosha Lundström Halbert.
The process of creating one shearling coat stretches over approximately three days and it’s all done by hand. Here’s how it works: it takes five hours to cut the fabric to exact measurements and two hours to shave the edges of the wool so that the pieces can be sewn together. Then the seams are tied by hand to ensure that there are no loose threads. Since the coats are also reversible, each piece needs to be finished perfectly inside and out. At the end, excess material is made into a pair of matching mittens and gifted to the customer.
Therma Kōta’s luxe reversible shearling coats start at $1,599. Image by: Therma Kōta
“Our whole philosophy is that we’re not creating excess inventory. It’s not like we’re making a bunch of coats and hoping to sell them; it’s order the coat and we make it just for you,” says Lundström Halbert.
The brand’s pivot to made-to-measure shearling coats has proven to be successful. According to Lundström Halbert, there haven’t been any returns based on a sizing issue since the custom measurement option was introduced last winter. She credits their digital-first presence for allowing the business to speak directly to consumers and to adapt quickly. “It’s a service that I don’t see other people doing on this scale, at this price point and made in Canada too, which we’re really excited about.”