Body shape versus body form: a comparison of the body shapes of female Swazi consumers with those of body forms used in apparel manufacturing
Body forms are fit models used by retailers and small- and large-scale apparel manufacturers to create patterns and fit clothing on, and are based on body conformations extracted from anthropometrical data. However, commercial body form standards are still unsatisfactory due to their limitations in terms of shape and accuracy. This study firstly seeks to establish body profiles of Swazi women that can be used in the production of body forms used for the small- and large-scale manufacturing of apparel sold to the Swazi population, and secondly to compare the most prevalent female Swazi body shape with those of the body forms that are used by small- and large-scale apparel manufacturers. This study was executed in two phases. In phase 1 the body measurements of the sample (101 size 32 and 34 young females aged between 18 and 30) and sizes 32 and 34 of two different figure form brands were taken. Phase 2 consisted of a fit test of a basic dress designed and made according to the measurements of the most prevalent Swazi body shape and fit-tested on the figure forms. The results revealed the triangular shape as the most prevalent Swazi body shape. Although similar in shape, significant differences were found between the triangular-shaped Swazi body shape and the triangular-shaped body form.