Master of Science (MS)


Human Ecology

Document Type



Only small quantities of apparel are available to the domestic petite sector, and they do not fit well due to lack of attention to proportion. In addition, other factors contributing to improper fit are a sizing system based on outdated anthropometric data gathered in the 1930s to create the voluntary product standard PS 42-70, and a rising obesity problem, resulting in an array of figure type variations ranging from apple-shaped to pear-shaped women, as opposed to the industry focused hourglass shape. The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate fit and design with figure type variations for petite women, five feet four inches or under, and between the ages of 20-49. Using a proprietary database, patterns were developed, muslins were created, and fit of the muslins was assessed by a panel of judges on live models. An evaluation about the fit of the muslins was completed by fit models. Results of the statistical analysis showed a sample mean distribution most similar to the size 16 petite of the voluntary product standard PS 42-70, with a pear-like silhouette supported by the literature. Findings suggested that the prototypical petite pattern resulted in improved fit as compared to the pattern based on the voluntary product standard. Figure type analysis of the sample indicated that most subjects were outside the industry silhouette definitions. None had the industry standard hourglass silhouette, indicative of a lack of accommodation for the petite silhouette and figure type variations by the voluntary product standard PS 42-70.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Bonnie D. Belleau



Included in

Human Ecology Commons