FAQ

FAQ

1. What sizes are these, are they available in mine?
2. OMG measuring? How is that I don't even. 
3. Option remote fitting
4. How do I give you my measurements and other info?
5. I want this shop item completely custom made with fittings and all! Can I?
6. Can I have this item different in some way? I like long sleeves.
7. I have this idea of my own! Can you make it?
8. It's my girlfriend's birthday! What do I give her? Argh! And what's this gift certificate?
9. This thing doesn't fit. Can I return it?
10. This looks different than I thought. Can I return it?
11. Why is your stuff so expensive?
12. Why is your stuff so cheap?
13. Do you ship with a tracking number?
14. Do you need pictures? Can I borrow your items for a shoot?
15. How can you use fur and leather? The animals!
16. The model is too skinny. Gross.
17. I have a picture of me in this item from you! Want to see?

 
1. What sizes are these available in?


Yours. I sew by measurements of the buyer! 
Until recently all items were available in standard sizes (women's 4 - 12 and gentlemen's XS - XL), however in my few years experience it became apparent that the most satisfactory results for all involved where always achieved by working with the customer's measurements. (Since you needed to know your measurements in order to compare to my size chart there was no escaping measuring yourself anyway. ;) )
Therefore around 95% of the items are now only available by measurements and about 5% are still available also as standard sizes. Here are the size charts: 

Size Chart Women:

Size / bust / waist / hip:

XS : 31.5 / 24,8   / 34,3 
S   :  33   / 26,4  / 36,2 
M   : 34,6 / 28   / 37,8 
L   : 36   / 29,5 / 39,4 
XL : 37,8 / 31,5 / 40,5

Size Chart Men:

Size / chest / waist / hip:

XS: 34,5 / 30 / 36 
S:   36 / 31,5 / 38 
M:  38 / 33 / 39 
L:  39 / 34,5 / 41 
XL 41 / 36,5 / 42,5

For sizes in centimeters, please switch to german view.


2. OMG measuring? How is that even possible?


While measuring, please stand straight, but comfortably. 
If you will wear a bra under the item you are ordering, please measure bust while wearing a bra as well. Please check that the measuring tape is always clearly and straightly horizontal / vertical, using a mirror or asking a friend is a good idea. :)
If measuring yourself is not an option at all, you are welcome to tell me your clothing size, however this is not nearly as accurate and will be treated as an order by measurement on the items that do not have the standard size option (re returns, please read FAQs #9 and #10).
Alternatively, I'm sure your local alterations shop will measure you for not much money!

messen_a_english_kl.jpg  messen_003_b_english_kl.jpg


1. height: of course, measure barefoot from your center parting to the floor
2. neck circumference: place measuring tape horizontally, firm (but not constricting) and measure circumference
3. bust: like 2., at the widest point of the bust
4. under bust: like 2., where the bra sits
5. waist: like 2
6. small hip: like 2., about where a jeans waistband will sit
7. full hip: like 2., at the widest point of your hip, read: your butt
8. leg length: measure vertically from crotch to floor (but not in pumps like our figurine! :P )
9. thigh circumference: like 2., at thigh's widest point, around the upper third
10. calf circumference: like 2., at calf's widest point, around the upper third
11. knee length: measure vertically from crotch to mid knee(but not in pumps like our figurine! :P )
12. front waist length: measure vertically from front neck point to waist
13. back waist length: measure vertically from back neck point to waist
14. crotch measurement: place measuring tape at front waist point and measure past crotch to back waist point

Don't worry, this all looks super complicated but for most items I only need the basics - bust, waist, butt, height. :)


3. Option remote fitting 

My prototypes are made to fit measurements 31,5" / 24,5" / 34" (cm 80/63/87) with a height of 5'8" (1,74m). Many items are a bit complex and human bodies aren't standardized. 
If you often have trouble with the right fit, you're notably taller or shorter than 5'8" or just want to be on the safe side, I offer a fitting even if you aren't in Berlin. What you need for this is skype, pins, scissors and a ruler or measuring tape. 
When ordering, you specify that you'd like a fitting. I then alter the pattern according to your measurements / size and sew a sample piece in a dull fabric, which I send to you. You try on the sample and we conduct the fitting via skype. Afterwards, I do the additional alterations and send you the final item! :)

I charge a third of the listed product price for the fitting (plus shipping*). Should a second fitting be necessary (depending on complexity of the chosen item and body type this might be the case) I charge half of the original fitting price for the second fitting. 
(So if, for example, you chose Blouse C White for 229,00€, then the first fitting is 76,33€ and the second fitting is 38,16€.)

(* if you don't want a tracking number then shipping is around 2,20€ in germany and 3,50€ international.)

 

4. How do I give you my measurements or any other information?

When you click on "display shopping basket", a box appears for order and delivery comment. Anything relevant goes in there!


5. I want this shop item completely personally custom made for me and only me, with fittings and the whole shebang! Can I?

Provided that it's possible for you to come to my work shop a few times for fittings (or fly me out), then of course it is! Depending on the garment, one appointment may be enough, for something more elaborate, or if changes are desired, it might take longer. 
Generally, my rate (for changes in pattern, fittings, etc.) is 40,00 € an hour, but naturally I would quote you an estimation after a detailed consultation.


6. Can I have this item in black / blue / white / shorter / with lace?

Probably, but depends. Send me an email at info@anthracite.de :)

 

7. I have this idea of my own for something very special! Can you make it? 

I'd love to. 
Ordering a custom made piece of a design after your own ideas generally gives you the following package: Consultation, and collective brainstorming, 1-4 designs (of which you can chose one or combine elements), 1-3 fittings (depending on changes or complexity of pattern), a range of color, fabric and material options, and of course the final piece.

Your homework is letting me know as exactly as possible what you're envisioning, pictures really help with this (photos, magazines, sleeve details, fabric, anything. If there is an element in a picture you like, bring the picture!). Of course, you would also have to find the time to visit my work room a few times during the process. I have done fittings via skype and sent fabric samples, but it works so much better in person. 

Due to the high investment of time and effort to get a project like this perfect, the price starts at 500€ for wishes with simpler patterns, the final charge depends on a number of elements (expenses, fabric prices, pattern complexity, changes at short notice, etc.) and can only be determined after thoroughly discussing everything. :)

 

8. It's my friend's / girlfriend's / boyfriend's / sister's / daughter's birthday! What do I get him/her? Arrgh! And what's with this gift certificate?

Well, everything, of course. ;)
If you have her exact measurements then I can act as wise counsel and the order just placed normally. Naturally, this isn't always the case and measuring her without her knowledge is pretty tricky, right? Here is a list of items that make great gifts because the fit isn't too complicated: 

http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Collar-A
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Collier-A
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Dress-K
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Bag-A-Gold
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Skirt-E-Gold
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Kink-Kini-Set/en
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Spring-Special-Dress-A-Blue 
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Spring-Special-Dress-A-Pink 
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Dress-G-Creme
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Dress-F-BlackSilver
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Dress-F-Gold
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Dress-C-Striped
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Oversized-Sweater
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Dress-C-Silver
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Dress-C-Gold
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Dress-C-BlackSilver
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Skirt-B-Black 
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Skirt-C-Brown 
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Boxer-Shorts-Silver
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Fussball-Shorts
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Neck-Corset-Gold
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/NeckCorset-Green
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Belt-B-Silver
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Belt-B-Bronze 
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Belt-A-Silver 

And all the bikini tops here: http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Tops
And any item here: http://www.anthracite-shop.de/Accessories

Of course I still need a rough estimation of her size, but these items forgive if you do not have the exact measurements and still look great. If you have any more questions, just ask, I'm happy to help. :)

You can find the gift certificate HERE.
How it works is explained in the product description, but here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions:

- If your shop account is created in english then the gift certificate will automatically be made in english! If you'd like it in german, please let me know as well. 
- The listed price of 1€ is, of course, rather symbolic since you need to tell me the price. :) 
- The delivery address should declare where the finished product should be shipped to. So probably, your friend. 
 

9. I received my order but it doesn't fit. Can I return it?

If you chose a standard size (XS-XL), then yes.
If you told me your specific measurements, unfortunately not. However, with custom made items, up to two separate alteration appointments can me made at half the ordinary hourly rate.  
Please read my TOS and return policy carefully: 

http://www.anthracite-shop.de/AGB 
http://www.anthracite-shop.de/return-policy

A guaranteed perfect custom fit is only possibly by made-to-measure-tailoring, in which a number of fittings are done to create a perfectly fitting garment. In most cases, this is unrealistic due to the invested costs and time. But since so many people don't fit into a generic size system, I am offering the medium ground explained above.

In my experience, this is a good solution with around 95% satisfaction. 

Even so, I cannot give an absolute guarantee, since a faulty fit can be due to a plethora of factors (not lastly, incorrect measuring), this is not a valid return reason. Payments made can unfortunately not be refunded, since I am unable to resell an item which has been custom made for a customer.

 

10. This looks different than I expected, can I return it? 

If you ordered a standard size, yes. 
But honestly? If it was a joke order with the intention or inclination of sending it back, that really sucks. 
I am one single person who is dedicated to each order. I listen to you and try to fulfil your requests. I don't have a warehouse full of stock mass produced in Asia. Even the patterns of standard sizes, in practice, need to be changed or made 99% of the time, since I don't have employees who do this for me for over 90 items. 

So I alter the pattern (this alone may take days, depending), drive around town an hour to the fabric wholesaler, another hour for other necessities (zippers, thread, buttons, etc.), another half hour to the other place because the first one was out of this one fabric. Then I cut everything and sew every tiny little detail together as perfectly as possible (even button holes are hand sewn) with a ton of love, taking care that it wil last, possibly, a life time. 
Sewing one item will easily take one or more days. Or a week. 

I usually have 12 hour work days, often longer, to make this possible. Broken down, my hourly wage is ridiculous, because in spite of all this, I still want to keep the clothes affordable for you. Please reflect for a moment whether you would work a number of days for the price you paid? Probably not. 
And furthermore, every piece looks exactly like the product image and description. 
I encourage you to please ask any questions you might have! I'll very gladly send you additional photos or fabric samples should anything be unclear. 
My intention with this is not to indulge in obnoxious self pity. I want to clarify that a shoulder shrug and return shipment means, for me, working for days and putting my heart and soul and comittment into it for nothing. I also don't have nearly the amount of orders for it to be a probability that another person will order that exact item in that exact size again next week. 
If something about the item is really bad and I made a mistake, I can completey understand you not wanting it. But if you think you'll just order, so what? then now at least you know that it does matter and has repercussions for me. 

I know my tone is a bit harsh, but imagine working a week on something that is supposed to be perfect for someone, and then that person just discards it and you can think about where your rent money will come from. 


11. Why is your stuff so expensive?

Because I don't exploit workers who live in a shack in Bangladesh. 
Even though I love my job so much that I would also do it if money wasn't an issue (in a utopian world), I still want to earn a living. I did not choose fashion for the money, in fact, most designers can't live off their work. Would I want a reliable income I would be anything besides fashion person. 
But if you subtract all my expenses (material and fabric costs, shop fees, mandatory health insurance, etc.) and think about what you get (custom made items, individualized items, small scale series or unique one-of-a-kinds) and how much time and effort goes into that then my stuff isn't all that outrageously expensive. 

Here is an in depth analysis of price calculation. 

12. Why is your stuff so cheap?

It's important to me to not be financially elitist. I want to be fairly reimbursed for my abilities, time and effort, but I want "regular" people to still be able to afford the items. I want an authenticity and to be there for people who identify with what Anthracite is, not cater to only a tiny percentage of people selected solely through wealth, or, god forbid, an overpriced hype.


13. Do you provide a tracking number?

Of course, I ship all orders with a tracking number and keep it on file for 90 days, but since it usually isn't necessary I don't automatically give the tracking number out to the customer. It's available upon request at any time though!


14. I'm a photographer / editor / stylist, can I have your clothes for a shoot, or do you need images of the items?

Thank you so much for the offer (honestly!), but I do all the photography myself and take care of all the product images without any problems. :) 
I am very happy to rent out the items for shoots, I do love seeing new perspectives of other photographers. 
I charge 10% of the listed shop price per day, so you can have the items for about 3€-50€, depending on which you choose. I can, of course, send the desired items to location by post if the shipping costs are covered. 
Realistically, I plan one - two days before and one day after shooting for the handling of the items, that means: they should be picked up one day before the shoot or shipped in a short but reasonable time span (depending on where you are located) before and brought back or shipped the day afterwards. These days are free of charge. 

Should the items not be shipped the day after the shoot I must insist on charging the full rent price (10% of shop price) for each extended day. 

Due to past negative experiences, I must insist on signing a short contract in best interest of all parties involved, in which the terms are recorded as well
as the condition of the items. Should I not receive an item, or if it is damaged in a way that exceeds normal wear, you are obligated to compensate the full listed shop price. If your image of (or with) my items appears in print with credits, I will reimburse you any previous charges. 
Additionally, I need to note that I am only able to rent out the prototypes. Some of these have smaller faults or signs of wear. (They are prototypes after all, and have been used for a bunch of photoshoots. :) ) 
For photos, this is usually insignificant, but of course I will let you know, should it apply to the requested items.


15. How can you use fur and leather? The animals!

I know. Therefore I use faux fur and faux leather exclusively. These materials are of such high quality by now that it's nearly impossible to distinguish between real and imitation. 
Since I start crying at the mere possibility of animal cruelty, I chose to refrain from using animal products. 
By the way, 10% of all items sold are donated to non profit organizations which help animals, you can make a little difference with your purchase and ease some suffering of animals. The donation will go to, for example, the Berlin animal shelter or street dogs in Thailand (http://www.soidog.org/) or bully specific places which help educate and rescue (http://www.bullterrier-in-not.de/) or to Ärtze für Tiere (http://www.aerztefuertiere.de/).  
You are very welcome to request a certain organization for animals which you would prefer to support. :)


16. The model is too skinny, gross!

Aha. Well, first of all, let me explain that I am the model. (I design, sew, photograph and model all items.) 
I do not suffer an eating disorder. My figure is determined by genetics, healthy diet and exercise. Granted, my metabolism is ridiculous and I still smoke, however I'm healthy. So, if you had well meant worries, then I'd like to kindly invalidate them. :)

If you're just being spiteful, though, I'd like to ask you whether you know what a projection is? Not every woman hates her body, and comments such as: "... looks ghastly and ruins the product" or "... skeletal clothes rack shortly before croaking" are ludicrous and not ok. 
Please, mind your manners. Last I checked, I didn't comment on random people, who weigh more than I, what fat pigs they were. 
Insulting another woman's figure so drastically is completely inappropriate, sexist and makes you look awful. Whether my images are considered "art" or not and if the model is okay or not thenis not the subject to debate, either. The only thing my (decidedly un-artistic) product images are for is to showcase the items which are sold. Not to evaluate, judge or debase any body types. 

I am always very, very happy to receive constructive criticism on my work, but the model's figure is totally a matter of taste and therefore not discussable. Ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the behholder, and it is unrealistic to shoot product images catering to every imaginable aesthetic preference. But if you like, you are very welcome to visit my People In My Clothes galleries, in which customers have sent me images of themselves in the Anthracite items I made for them. Many of them are not as thin as I am and look, of course, remarkably fantastic. :)

gallery on anthracite.de
gallery on facebook

P.S. Guys who get insulting are usually just pissed because I have better abs than they. 


17. I have a picture of me in some clothes by you, want to see?

Absolutely! I'm always really, really happy to see photos! No matter if it's a snapshot, your job application photo, a party picture webcam or professional photograph, everything is great! If you want me to post it in the People In My Clothes gallery, please send it to: info@anthracite.de 

gallery on anthracite.de

gallery on facebook

 

Thanks!