Standard figure – success and bane of sewing world

Consequences of the standard figure in the fashion industryThe appearance of a human body was always an inspiration for work in clothing industry. The evolution of clothing lasted many centuries and was closely related to the development of knowledge about the body structure, how the body moves, methods of measuring it and also presenting it in a form of drawings and sculptures. To be able to create well-fitting clothes you should become familiar with anatomy, anthropometry and learn the classic aspect ratio of the human body.

Information collected from these three fields has resulted in the development of a standard figure – conventionally typical. It is a response of the intensively developing garment industry to a need for systematization of the tailor’s world. Standard measurements aren’t uniform throughout the world, because body shapes differ in different regions. Therefore, many countries have their own standards. The standard figure allows to quickly and affordably meet the needs of consumers while maintaining acceptable aesthetic standards. Classic proportions in tailoring were based on Michelangelo’s established canon of using ‘head’ as a unit and divided human body’s height into eight parts. This way of dividing a body is easy to remember and simple to use in the pattern making process or drawing.

Well chosen standard measurements are a success of both producers and consumers, the result of a social agreement on the perception of ideal human body. It is a success, if the range satisfies most of the customers, but we must be aware of the need for making alterations if in some area we deviate from this standard. The standard figure is symmetric (which in a real life is rarely seen), balanced and has aesthetic proportions. For women it established the difference between the hips and the waist from 25 to 32 cm (9.8 in to 12.6 in).
Consequences of the standard figure in the fashion industry


So we have a standard figure with defined measurements (shown in a size chart) and it’s the basis for clothes that we buy in shops or sew, using ready-made patterns. Systematization of measurements and defining the appearance of the conventionally “ideal” figure is undoubtedly a success, because it allows to produce clothes quickly, easily and cheaply. However, this means that our individual characteristic are omitted, so to wear well-fitting clothes we need to compare our figure to standard measurements, identify differences and learn how to make alterations.

Don’t get upset during shopping – now you know that the ideal model doesn’t fit well because it was based on standard that differs from your body shape. You can choose some other product or keep visiting us to make your fashion dreams come true by decrypting nuances of your figure.