Existing sizing surveys only take “snapshots” of any given subject, the data of which is compared to other “snapshots” of other subjects -entirely different people. I’ve always felt a better study would be longitudinal, in other words, better grade rules can be derived by studying the differences of one given subject (pools of them) as compared to an earlier measure. In this way, as one person grows or shrinks in size, a more accurate measure of what constitutes an accurate grade rule is derived. However, this has been an impractical approach for many reasons the least of which would be funding for a multi-year study. Still, I don’t think there is a better way to derive accurate grade rules as applied to children’s clothing. I believe accuracy in children’s sizing can only be determined through longitudinal study of children’s growth.
Several years ago I was so frustrated by the lack of accurate grade rules that I deliberately gained over 50 pounds. Upon reaching my target weight, I had my body molded (I have since lost the weight). With the form of the fat-me, I was able to determine the accuracy of grade rules used to grow and shrink sizes irrespective of height. I won’t quibble that some people may believe I’m obsessed about sizing to have done so but that doesn’t mean that my approach is largely untenable for the purposes of measuring large groups of people. Rather, there is a growing population of people from whom we can derive these measures easily. I am speaking of people who have undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss. I believe that we have an unparalleled opportunity to derive more meaningful measures by studying the before, interim and after measurements of surgical patients through out the duration of their weight loss. I’ve often thought of approaching surgeons who perform these surgeries with an interest in recruiting sizing study participants. If I had the means (infrastructure) to manage such a study of bariatric patients, I’d apply for funding and grants. I can only hope that those with the means of managing such a potential study will take my suggestion seriously enough to pursue it.