U.S. standard clothing size

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Fashion design Sizes in clothing Standards of the United States.

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For women of about average height (5'4

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Instead, they now follow the more loosely defined standards known as U. Men's standard sizes were probably developed first during the American Revolutionary War , and they were in regular use by the American army during the War of for ready-made uniforms Felsenthal These were based on the chest measurement, with other measurements being assumed to be either proportional the circumference of the neck, waist, hips, and thighs or easily altered length of the inseam Felsenthal As this was largely successful in men, the same approach was attempted in the early 20th century for women using the bust as the sole measurement Felsenthal However, this proved unsuccessful because women's bodies have far more variety in shape.

A woman with an hourglass figure and a woman with an apple-shaped figure who have the same bust size will not have the same waist or hip sizes. This was a significant problem for mail-order companies, and several attempts at predictable, standard sizing were made Felsenthal In the s, the statisticians Ruth O'Brien and William Shelton received a Works Progress Administration grant to conduct the most ambitious effort to solve this problem.

Their team measured almost 15, women across the US. After discovering the complex diversity of women's actual sizes, which produced five to seven different body shapes, they proposed a three-part sizing system.

Each size would be the combination of a single number, representing an upper body measurement, plus an indicator for height short, regular, and long and an indication for girth slim, regular, and stout. The various combinations of height and girth resulted in nine different sizes for each numerical upper-body measurement, which was highly impractical for manufacturing Felsenthal As a result, O'Brien and Shelton's work was rejected.

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