Friday, 9 September 2016

Change in Dress Sizes

The other day we brought you the changing shape of men's and women's bodies and this got us thinking. How has clothing sizes changed too? With the recent news of the change in sample size we decided to do some investigating...

 We all know that we're bound to put on a little bit of weight now and again but it would seem that women's waists are six inches wider than they were in 1951. So if you are a size 8 today, back in 1951 you would be a size 16. Not only that, but we have also become a lot taller.
What could be the cause of this dramatic change? It would appear to be a factor of things. The first being that we simply have got bigger. Researchers found that the average hip size has grown by three inches since 1975, and those hips don't lie! Size 12 was once the UK average dress size but now it has increased to a more common size 16, and the classic hourglass figure is becoming a thing of the past.

Dr Ian Campbell of the National Obesity Forum has cited that "it's not that people are greedy or lazy. It's just the whole change in our lives. Calories have become very cheap and exercise has become expensive. We have developed a culture that encourage eating."

We're working longer and more irregular hours and snacking more often. We've become prone to eating less throughout the day but snacking more. Then when it comes down to having your dinner, people are tired from work, don't have the time to cook some super healthy meal and so turn to processed, microwavable food that are easier and much more convenient.

The increase in height, especially in younger girls can be put down to better nutrition and fewer childhood illnesses. Children may becoming taller but there is also cause for concern as children are getting bigger and bigger. Due to lack of exercise and staying inside playing the latest computer game or sat in front of the television whilst snacking away. It's been said that "the best predictor of whether someone is overweight is how many hours they spend in front of the television or computer" according to Professor Tom Saunders of nutrition at King's College, London.

Fashion as well as food has played a major part in the increase of our weight and should be held accountable. 

 Until the early 20th century, women's clothing was either tailored or home-made with corsets. But as fashions changed and had external influences such as World War's, change was inevitable. Women's clothing became slimpier, they no longer wore corsets and clothing started to become mass-produced. True sizing standards didn't develop until the 1940's. Before then sizes were based on age for young ladies, and bust for women.

Fashion experts have said that with mass-produced clothing, manufacturers have seen a gradual change decade by decade. So much so that they have started to stretch out sizes to accommodate to growing waistlines.

Manufacturers use a technique called 'vanity sizing' in which garments are labelled smaller that they are to make women with growing waists feel smaller and thinner. When they fit into a smaller size it raises their confidence and so more likely to make a purchase. The other issue when it comes to finding the right size is that it varies from shop to shop. For example if you are a size 10 in Topshop, you are most likely to be a size bigger in H&M. 

 As women get bigger, it appears that models seem to only get smaller and smaller.
The industry no longer reflects the normal woman. The gap between the thin and the fat will only getting wider and soon enough as a nation we'll be catching up with the American's.

So what does the future hold? Futurists have dicussed the development of 3D scanners and 3D printing could mean that you might be able to walk into a changing room, have your body scanned and be able to choose garments perfect for your body shape and proportions.

Sounds perfect! But for now we'll just have to put up with the frustrating ordeal that is going to the changing room..

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