A Multivariate Method of Classifying Body Form Variation for Sizing Women's Apparel

Carol J. Salusso-Deonier, Marilyn R. Delong, Frank B. Martin, Karl R. Krohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to develop a multivariate method for structuring a sizing system for women's apparel. The I 977 suvey of U.S. Army women was the data base. The sample was limited to 1217 subjects who were White or Black and 17-3 5 years old. The methodology underlying PS 42-70, the current U.S. sizing standard, was studied relative to recent changes in body form classification, apparel production, and merchandising which support development of multivariate methodology. Examination of PS 42-70 as a classification system for the sample showed inadequate proportioning of overall body dimensions, particularlyshoulder breadth and body segment lengths. The experimental method used components 1 and 2 to summarize body form variation as the relationship between body thickness and length. A Principal Component Sizing System (PCSS) was constructed by partitioning the distribution of principal components 1 by 2 into 26 sizes. A per subject comparison of “goodness of fit” ofPS 42-70 and PCSS showed PCSS consistently closer to subjecfs' overall body proportions than PS 42-70. The multivariate relationship between body thickness and length is fundamental to body form and size variation. Our results indicate that PCSS better represents that relationship for the sample studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalClothing and Textiles Research Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1985


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