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Body Dimensions for Apparel



Yung-Tsun T. Lee


Anthropometric data and apparel sizing is an important components of apparel quality. Apparel can not be top quality unless it fits the potential wearers satisfactorily. In the United States, current sizing standards rely on body measurement data that were gathered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the late 1930''s. Apparel must fit today''s population. Except for a study by the American Society for Testing and Materials, to improve sizing for women over age 55, there has been no comprehensive anthropometric study of today''s diverse population undertaken in the United States. Related issues such as definitions of body dimensions, body type classifications, measurement techniques, target population groups, and database management methods for the collection of body measurements are important topics for apparel researchers. This report represents a compilation of body dimensions that are used in the manufacturing and fitting of apparel. It is the result of comparison of five body measurements reports, including documentation of national and international apparel sizing standards. The information in this report will provide the basis for the development of the information model of made-to-measure pattern making. It will also contribute to the conducting of future body measurements surveys and the development of new or improved sizing standards for apparel.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 5411
Report Number


Anthropometric data, apparel sizing, apparel quality, body measurements


Lee, Y. (1994), Body Dimensions for Apparel, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 19, 2024)


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Created January 1, 1994, Updated November 10, 2018