It appears that from generation to generation the anthropometric dimensions of the human population are changing. The aim of this paper was to examine the extent of these changes and the need for generating updated measurements for the clothing industry. The clothing industry uses mannequins and avatars to represent the modal group of the population. The industry tends to use three different categories for the human body shape (endomorphic, mesomorphic, and ectomorphic). The clothing industry should focus on specific measurements of the body rather than general categories and create more body shapes to satisfy customer needs. The paper also aimed at showing the problems faced by clothing designers. The traditional way of measuring takes into account only selected dimensions of the human body; this does not reflect the “true” overall body shape. The dimension tables used by the apparel industry are based on the fourth anthropometric photograph taken between 1987 and 1989. These tables are still in the use currently; however, after 30 years they are outdated and should be revised for the young contemporary generation. This study can be used for the development of new dimension tables as well as defining methods aimed at improving the quality of measurements for clothing engineering purposes. This is an important issue, because the National Institute of Anthropometry does not deal with such problems (the measurements are conducted mainly for understanding the human body shape rather than any other application), which means that anthropometric measurements are not ideally suited to applications of clothes fitting.
The clothing industry is currently focused on 3D virtual fitting. Many companies use size 12 as the core size; however, in recent years the average size has increased. For example, in the United Kingdom, the average size is now 16. Many companies have not updated their core size and often use size 12 as the size they are the most familiar with. The purpose of this paper is to compare real plus size body shapes with artificial avatars in relation to the fabric draping. This paper will investigate, how the body shape changes with an age (body height decreases, skin elasticity is lower, the shoulders are hunched, buttocks sag and fatness pockets are accumulated around the waist area). These factors are not considered in virtual avatars, but have a big impact on virtual fitting.