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In spite of these findings, clothing manufacturers are slow to change their ways. Models and mannequins both are 6 feet tall and have typical measurements of approximately 34”B-25”W-35”H. Let’s face it; clothing looks good on these figures. Designers want their clothing to look good on both models and mannequins because that is what sells clothing. So it is not just the manufacturers that need to change their ways, it is an entire industry. However, there is progress.
A 2004 study of over 6000 that demonstrated only 8% of American women have an hourglass figure. The study showed that over 46% of women have a Straight body type and an additional 20% were either Pear or Spoon shapes.
You can find a number of online stores that design and manufacture clothing by body type. MyShape offers clothing for 7 body types up to size 14. You will need to enter quite a few measurements, but the results appear to be pretty accurate. Igigi offers upscale plus size clothing, sizes 12-32, also for 7 shapes. This site asks a short series of questions and requires minimal measuring (we have not verified the accuracy of their system). Nordstrom offers an online “Dress Shop” that has both day and evening dresses that you can sort by body shape.
Jeans are a bit easier to find for your body type. There are quite a few online retailers of custom made jeans. The amount of measurements you need to enter varies from retailer to retailer. Most allow you to choose color, pocket styles and cuts. Some offer choices on details such as whiskering. Be sure to consult your body type recommendations on this site before building your jeans to assist you in your choices.
Outside of these limited options, a tailor is your best bet. Many department stores have tailors on staff and will alter anything purchased at their store. To look your best, it is better to invest in a few well tailored pieces than many ill fitting ones. If you are still unsure, just try taking one outfit in to be tailored and see how much better you feel in it and how much more often you wear it. After having my first pair of jeans altered, I was hooked and I am still wearing those same jeans years later.