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Journal of Consumer Sciences

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Sizing for ethnicity in multi-cultural societies: development of size specifications for young South African women of African descent

A Muthambi, HM De Klerk, A Mastamet Mason

Abstract


Current South African apparel sizing is based on the Western ideal body shape; however, most South African women of African descent have a triangular body shape. The triangular body shape differs from the Western ideal body shape that ready-to-wear apparel sizing is presently based on, and this is a contributing factor to the problems experienced with the quality of fit of ready-to-wear apparel by South African women of African descent. Thus, the purpose of this study was to develop size specifications for young South African women of African descent with triangular shaped bodies. The size specifications were developed by statistically analysing an anthropometric database of students enrolled at an urban university in South Africa using least-squares regression analysis. The students were of medium height, aged between 18 and 25 years, and fell in the size 6/10 to size 14/38 size range. The findings of the study suggest that young South African women of African descent with a triangular body shape may experience loose fit in the upper body of garments sized according to the size specifications currently used in the South African apparel industry.




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