The aim of the study was to investigate and describe how the South African clothing industry ensures well-fitting garments to their target consumers. The study was approached from the viewpoint that, if body measurements of the population are not current and accurate, all other aspects such as block patterns, sizing systems, and fit and wear testing cannot contribute to the achievement of an acceptable or proper fit. The following procedures were followed: <ul> <li> Literature and research on body measurements and sizing systems were studied.</li> <li> A survey was conducted among clothing and footwear manufacturers and retailers in South Africa, to determine the use of body measurements, problems experienced with body measurements, and knowledge of body measurement descriptions, what the South African sizing system entails, how block patterns are generated and how fit and wear testing is done.</li> <li>The research strategy consisted of postal questionnaires to all respondents and structured interviews with selected respondents.</li> <li>A comparison was made between the international and the respondents’descriptions of body measurements, with regard to consensus among the different descriptions.</li> <li>The findings conclude that various outdated and unscientific practices result in many problems being experienced by the industry. A wide variety of body measurements are needed and are used in the South African clothing industry and an alarming number of problems exist with regard to these measurements, probably resulting in the lack of well-fitting garments that satisfy the South African consumer. The problems experienced with the key dimensions are particularly alarming because these measurements are so important in achieving good fit. The supply of good quality garments to their target customers seemed to be a very important consideration to the retailers and manufacturers, but they need help in solving the problems identified.</li> <li> Recommendations include the establishment of a national standard for identifying landmarks and exact methods of how the measurements should be taken on the body, before a much needed survey of the South African population can be undertaken.</li></ul> Copyright
Dissertation (MConsSc)--University of Pretoria, 2008.