The importance of understanding the shape of diverse ethnic female consumers for developing jeans sizing systems

Su Jeong Hwang Shin, Cynthia L. Istook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study has been conducted to investigate the fit issues related to the current apparel pants and jeans sizing system for diverse consumers, identifying body shape differences among ethnic groups. A total of 1335 women in a certain size range (Misses figure type sizes 2–20) were selected in the study. A Misses figure type size category is commonly used for adult women of average proportion and height. First, the body dimension differences among ethnic groups were examined with a single factor analysis of variance. Second, the fit of pants and jeans for the diverse consumers within the same size category was examined with the current standard sizing system, ASTM D5585 for adult female Misses figure type sizes 2–20. Three cases were programmed within a database: When each consumer selects a size for a pair of jeans based on (1) waist size; (2) hip size; and (3) waist height (usually pants length). And last, the results were analysed with fit comparison plots. Current jean consumers are racially diversified in the US and globally as well. This study revealed that ethnic groups had different fit problems and significant body shape differences. Even within the same figure type size category, a variety of body dimensions existed in each ethnic group. According to the fit problem assessment in this study, consumers within the same body figure type size category could not find the right fit of the pants and jeans within the current sizing system. Half of the female consumers could not find a garment to fit based on waist height (pants length) because the current sizing systems overlooked the effect of diverse consumers. This study will be useful for standardizing organizations to modify current sizing systems for diverse ethnic consumer groups as a demographic factor so that apparel companies could provide better quality of fit for their consumers in the global and local market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Apparel products
  • Consumer ethnicity
  • Fit
  • Jeans
  • Sizes
  • Sizing systems


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