I always considered myself “hippie” regardless of what size I am or have been. I knew that there are others that I would consider “hippie” but I never really gave it much thought. I just went about my life, and it was only a problem when I went clothes shopping. Over the years, I compensated for the poor fit by choosing garment styles from certain labels and then enlisting the help of a local tailor to finesse the fit to my body shape where possible.
A few years ago, as I was searching online, I came across the definition of the different body shapes. This was my “aha” moment. Each one of us has a UNIQUE body shape.
Given the rise of the “fast fashion” and “disposable” fashion, the mass retailers are busy driving quantity at the lowest prices possible. This business model does not have room to worry about fit variability due to height, body shape or size. The “high” fashion world is too focused on unrealistic small sizes to show off their design creations and to sell to a limit segment of the population that can afford their garments. There are a few retailers that attempt to differentiate their sizes based on height and body size but miss the body shape.
I was curious as to what is the body shape distribution for the mature female body, and I found some data from a study commissioned by Michaela Jedinak that focused on seven body types. I consolidated a couple labeled “lean” into their respective categories, and I also rounded the numbers to better look at the magnitude of the changes.
- Hourglass (~40%)
- Apple (~15%)
- Pear (~15%)
- Inverted Triangle (~10%)
- Rectangle (~20%)
The hourglass is characterized as the ideal body shape in the western world, and it is the basis for the garment industry size grading. Given that 60% of us do not fit into the “hourglass,” it helps to explain the fit problem faced by many of us. Additionally, as we age, our body does change, and we may find ourselves in a different category than when we were younger.
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