A customized size chart for the African pear shaped plus-sized South African women



Fashion, Jewellery & Textile Design


  • research


During the past decade, all the surveys of women’s sizes and measurements show that a significant proportion of the population can be categorised as plus-­size. This is not necessarily something new but rather re-­confirms that there is a large market for the plus-­size garment of all types. Younger women are becoming plus-­size, particularly among “pear-­shaped” South African women of African origin.

These two factors, combined with the ever growing fashion awareness among the general public, make it necessary to develop a sizing chart for the pear-­shaped body characteristics and to re-­evaluate the existing sizing chart in relation to this particular body shape and size category.

This study utilises a judgemental sample selection method and quantitative data collection methods. The units of analysis for the study are visually identified for the plus-­size pear-­shaped South African female of African origin, between the ages of 25 and 55.

This study was carried out in the Tshwane Metropolitan region, covering Pretoria Central and Pretoria East. A total of 50 women in a 16-­‐24 size range were selected for the study. Bust measurements of the pear-­shaped women were used to estimate different size ranges of the participants. Selected body dimensions were taken using an anthropometric tape measure for the purposes of developing a customised size chart for this group. The outcome of the measurements indicate that the body measurements presented currently in size charts differ significantly from the customised size chart for the African pear-­shaped woman, suggesting the need to develop a size chart that caters for this shape.

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