In South Africa, a representative anthropometric study of South African women has never
been undertaken, as such little is known about the body shapes of South African women.
Nevertheless, research on the body shapes of South African women is ongoing (Makhanya,
2012). According to the preliminary findings of Makhanya’s (2012) research, 59.26% of
South African female students of African descent have a triangular body shape. The
triangular body shape differs from the ideal body shape that ready-to-wear apparel sizing is
presently based on, and is a contributing factor to the problems experienced with the quality
of fit of ready-to-wear apparel by South African women of African descent. Therefore, the aim
of this exploratory study was to develop experimental size specifications for the body
measurements required for a basic sheath dress for South African female students of African
descent with a triangular body shape. The students were of medium height, aged between
18 and 25 years, in the size 6/30 to size 14/38 size range, and enrolled at the University of
Pretoria. The experimental size specifications were developed by statistically analysing an
anthropometric database of female students of the University of Pretoria using regression
analysis. Thereafter, the quality of fit attained from the experimental size specifications and
the traditional (i.e. current) size specifications was evaluated to determine whether the
experimental size specifications offer the unit of analysis with improved overall quality of fit. A
panel of professionals with experience in apparel fit evaluation evaluated the quality of fit of
the test garments. The test garments developed from the experimental size specifications
were considered by the panel of professionals to offer the unit of analysis with improved
overall quality of fit. The findings of the study suggest that South African ready-to-wear
apparel sizing needs to accommodate the different body shapes found in South Africa.
Dissertation (MConsumer Science)--University of Pretoria, 2014.