Body Shape Analysis of Hispanic Women in the United States

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Title: Body Shape Analysis of Hispanic Women in the United States
Author: Newcomb, Elizabeth Anne
Advisors: Dr. Cynthia Istook, Committee Chair
Dr. Traci May-Plumlee, Committee Member
Dr. Michelle Jones, Committee Member
Abstract: Sizing and fit strategies have not been used to target Hispanic women in the U.S., primarily due to an absence of anthropometric information about this market. However, the release of SizeUSA data in 2004 provides the resources needed to better understand the body shapes and sizes of U.S. Hispanic women. The purpose of this study was to analyze the body shapes of Hispanic women in the U.S. and compare them to the body shapes of women from other ethnic groups. Current ASTM sizing standards were then evaluated to determine their effectiveness at accommodating the body shapes of Hispanic women. This evaluation was then used to determine if a need existed for a new sizing standard directed at Hispanic women. Using FFIT© for Apparel body shape identification software, results showed that the most predominant shape found in all ethnicities was the Rectangle shape. In addition, current ASTM standards used by the industry were found to be terribly inadequate at meeting the needs of all ethnicities. As a result, efforts were targeted at creating one sizing standard for the entire Rectangle-shaped population of women, regardless of ethnicity. The resulting Rectangle standard included sixteen sizes, and six girth measurements. While not a complete standard, these measurements served as a starting point for a final standard. The proposed standard was then analyzed to determine its ability to meet the needs of the Rectangle-shaped Hispanic women. Analysis of the proposed Rectangle sizing standard showed that the proposed standard performed much better than ASTM D 5585, the current Missy sizing standard, at every measurement for Hispanic Rectangle-shaped women (as well as the total population of Rectangles). Results also indicated that Hispanic women may be served by concentrating on smaller sizes, in a narrower range of sizes in the standard. This was important research for apparel companies, as it provided a better understanding of the body shapes of Hispanic women, as well as investigated and determined the best way to target this group. Methodology used in this project may also be used to create additional shape-based sizing standards, to research other target markets, and to determine the most appropriate sizing strategies to target specific markets.
Date: 2006-11-17
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management

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