Reference samples are physical garments used to select and communicate your preference of fabrics, trims, measurements and workmanship methods. Essentially, they are a base for you to build your design on.
Clothing is very visual, so utilising reference samples can save you a world of trouble when building your tech pack and during the initial sample stage.
You can use pieces you have in your closet or purchase garments for this very purpose. Keep in mind you’ll often need to cut, draw, pin and mock them up to match your design. You may even need to ship them off to your manufacturer.
I ALWAYS recommend using a reference sample for a new style to help ensure your first sample comes back as accurate as possible!