The Right Fit: A Clothing Needs Assessment of Women with Plus-size Bodies (20+)

Date
2017-01-01
Authors
Schaefer, Kirsten
Tullio-Pow, Sandra
Abel, Samantha
Story, Chad
Barry, Ben
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Abstract

Although access to ready-to-wear fashion has improved within the plus-size market, women wearing size 16 & up still lack access to fashionable clothing; those sized in the upper half of this range are further marginalized. The clothing experiences of women (n=16) wearing size 20+ were collected during a full-day workshop. Co-design methodologies were used to engage these consumers to identify their clothing needs and aspirations. Each participant had a 3D body scan; the resulting personalized body outline was printed in black and white on tabloid size paper. Participants completed a chart outlining their clothing needs, suggested clothing features as possible solutions, and illustrated their design ideas for an outfit or a specific garment on their personalized body outline. Results were categorized according to wardrobe issues, specific problematic garment areas and body parts that participants were self-conscious about in clothing. Findings are important to apparel designers and educators, product developers and retailers.

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