Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Why your clothes don't fit

I once, very briefly, studied Sociology. I recall sitting in a library reading a study which triumphantly concluded that people of different incomes lived in different parts of cities. I put the book down and thought. Money. Old Rope.

And now a landmark study by scientists! in Spain has reveals that many women can't find clothes that fit properly.

Scientists have confirmed what millions of women know already: the fashion industry does not make clothes to fit them. In the largest study of its kind Spain has taken full-body laser scans of more than 10,000 women and compared the resulting three-dimensional measurements with clothes on the high street

The conclusion was that four in ten women were unable to find clothes to fit them properly. “We are going to abolish the current system of sizes and move to another that satisfies the needs of women,” said Bernat Soria, the Spanish Health Minister.

The study found that women had three body types: a “cylinder”, in which the top, middle and bottom were broadly aligned, “hourglass” and “pear-shaped”. About a third of women fell into each category, though they tended to move from being cylinders to pears as they got older.

Women between the ages of 19 and 30 had the hardest time finding clothes that fit - mainly because they were too small or tight.

. . .

The Government hopes that if its new measurement system is successful it will be adopted as standard by all the countries in the European Union. Once it has dealt with women's problems finding well-fitting clothes, it will turn its attention to the other half of the population. Next into the scanning booth: 10,000 Spanish men.

Inshallah, as they said in Moorish Spain.


Fay said...

What about us poor sods not in the EU???

TobyWollin said...

What happens in the US is that a huge sizing study was done with body scanners all over the United States.
The results of this are owned by tc2 and they charge major dollars for the results. I have yet to hear of any manufacturer who actually is using those results. I'm not sure if it is because they did not want to make the investment in the results and then the investment in having to change their pattern "blocks" or what, but I have not heard of any US manufacturers/designers changing their sizing as a result of this information being out there.

Belle de Ville said...

This is why the super rich always look better than the rest of us....Custom Made Clothes.
They don't have to worry about off the rack sizes.
My suggestion...have a great tailor that can fit your off the rack clothes to look like couture fit.

Anonymous said...

Of course, if the US clothing manufacturers WERE to conduct such research and use such data, the 35%of us who aren't obese wouldn't be able to buy ANY clothing. I already experience difficulty finding long, lean, broad-shouldered clothing, but I'm sure things could be worse. Always know a good tailor!

Anonymous said...

Or, be your own tailor....

Anonymous said...

This is such a great article. Being very petite, I have everthing tailored and could never look twice and purchasing anything high fashion, or even major designers are not options. It is more effective for me to just make everything myself then to do major reconstruction on an original.

Anonymous said...

"Four in ten women were unable to find clothes to fit them properly"? Judging by what I see, it's that 40% who live in my area, and I wonder where the 60% hang out.

Honestly, I suspect that fitting well into off-the-rack garments is the minority experience, and that a large portion of women simply have accepted the inexact off-the-rack fit as what they're going to get and so don't count in the 40%. (I also think that some of those four could probably find a few items to fit them unaltered if they pursued the matter; I'm not convinced the schism is as clear as that report makes it sound.)