An analysis of the variability of anatomical body references within ready-to-wear garment sizes

Linsey Griffin, Crystal Compton, Lucy E. Dunne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Establishing a range of sizes for apparel that can effectively fit the body shapes of a diverse population is a complex task, that for ready-to-wear (RTW) apparel is often reduced to a solution that is cost-feasible, if not optimal. While prototype garments are developed with specific fit objectives relative to an individual fit model, that shape is made larger and smaller according to a defined set of increments between sizes. For RTW, the objective in selecting size parameters is usually based on aesthetics. However, as garment-integrated technologies that require more precise placement of integrated technologies (such as sensors) on the body surface become more common in clothing, the implications of current RTW sizing techniques for precise on-body placement is not yet fully understood. Here, we present a comparison of the variability in anthropometrics of a target population and the variability assumed by a sizing standard, with respect to the impact of this disparity for placement of chest-mounted sensing devices like ECG electrodes. We analyze a large (n=3982) publically available anthropometric database and compare our findings with a smaller (n=140) sample of more specifically measured landmarks manually collected from 3D body scans. We find that RTW sizing results in problematic variability of landmark position for a large portion of the population, with potentially important implications for the placement of garment-integrated sensors. Results illustrate the need for consideration of nontraditional sizing strategies for garment-integrated sensing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISWC 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450344609
StatePublished - Sep 12 2016
Event20th ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, ISWC 2016 - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: Sep 12 2016Sep 16 2016

Publication series

NameInternational Symposium on Wearable Computers, Digest of Papers


Other20th ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, ISWC 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 ACM.


  • Apparel design
  • Fit
  • Sizing
  • Smart clothing
  • Wearable sensing
  • Wearable technology


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