Journal of Consumer Sciences

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Apparel styles suitable for young Swazi women with the prevalent body shapes

SA Venancio, PE Zwane


Young Swazi women conform to different body shapes, with the most prevalent body shapes being the triangular and hourglass, yet ready-to-wear apparel is traditionally manufactured using the Western hourglass body shape. Most consumers are not aware of their body shape; hence lack knowledge on apparel styles that suit their bodies. It is therefore imperative for consumers to be schooled on apparel styles that best suit their body shapes and for apparel manufacturers to consider the prevalent body shapes in the designing of apparel for Swazi women. Thus, this study aimed at assessing apparel styles suitable for young Swazi women with the two most prevalent body shapes. Through purposive sampling, two women representing the two most prevalent body shapes were selected as models using a drop value formula for body shape identification. A semi-open ended evaluation form containing photographs of the models in leotards and four different apparel styles was used by three experts in the field to assess the suitability of apparel styles. The findings of the study revealed that different apparel styles and colours suited different body shapes, and that some apparel styles designed for the hourglass body shape are not suitable for the triangular body shapes.

AJOL African Journals Online