United Kingdom Clothing Sizes Adapting to Bigger Kids

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United Kingdom Clothing Sizes Adapting to Bigger Kids

UK clothing manufacturers are actually having to change the sizing standards for kidswear. As part of this effort to accommodate the clothing needs of today’s kids, the major children’s clothing manufacturers in Britain have decided to measure children while they are out shopping to see how the body shape of the typical British child has changed.

The project is called the National Childrenswear Survey, and it kicks off in March. Researchers will use 3-D body-imaging scanners located in major childhood clothing retailers to measure the height and build of at least 6,000 anonymous boys and girls between four and 17 years old. Each of the high-tech scanners will use an array of 16 sensors and 32 cameras to size up a child’s body and obtain the data needed to calculate a ‘virtual’ body image. The manufacturers will then use these virtual bodies to design clothing to fit today’s kids.

Believe it or not, this upsizing of British clothing has happened before. Select Research, the company that will actually perform the scans, conducted similar scanner-based research on adults several years ago. Their 2001 survey found the average dress size among British women was a 16 – much higher than the sizes carried by most shops. The resulting reassessment of women’s fashion created a small uproar in the U.K. media – the likes of which is expected again in the wake of the children’s survey.

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