As I mentioned before, I’m in the process of gathering information to explain and quantify grading in the context of what I’d said before:
…consumers have the expectation that if they gain weight, they should be able to grab the next largest size in the sequence and obtain a good fit.
…the average size 2 woman is shorter than the average size 8. Manufacturers design grade rules that encompass those height changes… Manufacturers don’t take a woman of a given size and grade up or down to fit that particular woman as she’d go through the various sizing changes. That would mean they’d only be making clothes to fit someone of a specific height but it wouldn’t make sense to do that as people also get taller in the larger size ranges. It’s an issue of proportion. Most people who are heavier, are also taller.
…a general pattern emerges that the average size 10 is taller than the average size 2; that’s just the reality. Accordingly, when manufacturers apply sizing standards, they incorporate height changes into each size too, not just width. Unfortunately, grabbing the next largest size will not only be greater in girth but in height as well. For this reason, it’s an unreasonable expectation to expect identical proportionates across sizing. This is a problem in mass manufacturing which is why I feel product lines should be much smaller (as should companies) to fit a more specialized target demography.
Necessarily, this requires having reliable data from which to extrapolate. The problem is, I can’t even get to first base. Sorting through competing information, it seems the experts can’t agree what the average woman weighs much less anything else. For example, NHANES 2002 (really nice, you might want to print it out) lists the data for white, non-hispanic females by age as:
20-39 158 lbs
40-59 167 lbs
60-79 158 lbs
Height is listed by age as:
But the Sizing USA study says the average woman is 149 lbs with a height of 63.75″ (you can see the average measures here) so who is right? Considering that the NHANES sampling is much smaller than the Sizing USA sampling, I’d weigh the latter as being more accurate. Still, the methodology of respondent selection is a biggie and I don’t know how TC2 did that.
My first thought is that if you’re one of those people who think we should adopt mandated sizing for apparel, I’d think you’d be dissuaded of that opinion if you spend any time looking at these charts and data sets. These charts for women, men and children are particularly user friendly. My point being that I could see the apparel industry adopting standards if consumers and experts could agree what the standards were. As it is, the stats are all over the map. If we did adopt standards, there’d be a whole lot more people missing out in apparel choices than there are now. When women -between themselves- can agree what constitutes a size 10, then that’s the day the apparel industry will fall in line behind them. I feel safe saying that because it isn’t possible that women will agree that a size 10 constitutes X bust, waist, hip, height and weight measures. In other words, apparel sizing is all over the map because people are, in both physical dimensions and perspectives. It would seem that size is a matter of opinion.
Speaking of weight as being a matter of opinion, in a study regarding self reporting of weight, people tended to under report their weight by only 3.5 lbs. Although certain groups tend to over report their weight (the elderly mostly), somehow I thought the incidence of under reporting would be higher than that.
Regarding the related debate of obesity and discretionary income, little is likely to change regarding BBW apparel selection if the ratio to earnings and body weight remains as described in this study. Apparently, obese white women earned 17% less than women of normal weight. It’s also interesting that black women had no such penalty.
Economists Susan Averett and Sanders Korenman studied the effects of obesity on wages, using a sample consisting of individuals aged 16-24 in 1981 who were 23-31 in 1988. They showed that women who were obese according to their Body Mass Index (BMI) in both 1981 and 1988 earned 17 percent lower wages on average than women within their recommended BMI range. However, women who became obese between those two survey years earned only slightly less than women of recommended BMI. When comparing by race, the authors found a wage penalty for obesity among white women but no significant penalty for black women. Among white men, they found a much lower wage penalty for obesity than for their white female counterparts. A small positive relationship was actually found between obese black men and wages.
You can find height and weight statistics for children here.