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Utilisation of 3D body scanning technology as a research tool when establishing adequate bra fit

Mitchell, Natasha Anna (2013) Utilisation of 3D body scanning technology as a research tool when establishing adequate bra fit. Masters thesis (MSc), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Aims Profile the relationship and differences in bust size, position and shape in a sample of UK bra consumers using 3D anthropometric body scan data. Evaluate the presentation of bra sizing by retailers and identify areas of miss communication to characterize effective application to the bra market. Collate and validate criteria for achieving adequate bra fit and quantify the physical impact on the bust size, shape and position. Methods Three quantitative methods were applied rich data to achieve the research aims. Profiling the variation in bust size shape and positioning within a bank of 3D Body scanning data into Bust height, Breast size, Bust Spread, Breast Drop and Breast Symmetry using the 30th and 70th percentiles as category dividers. Evaluating variation found in bra sizing and fit information provided by retailers and the deviation from the British Standard guidelines and Laboratory fit trials to assess the application of retailer bra fit criteria with grades in four categories; Underband, Cup Volume, Underwire and Bra Strap to a sample of UK bra consumers. Findings The findings from this research indicate potential for 3D Body Scanning Technology as a tool to quantify the relationships and differences in five bust characteristics. The technology is applicable in profiling the relationship between the bust and the body. The research presents a new method for measuring breast size which accounts for the prominence independently from the circumferential measurements. . Variation is found among retailers and researchers in bra sizing strategies in the baseline for the size range and the inclusion or exclusion of ‘FF’ causes greater variance above an F cup. The application of a bra fit criteria has a medium to large statistically significant impact reducing the areas where the fit is too big or small and increasing the cases where the bra fit is adequate. Post Hoc analysis revealed a medium to large negative affect on the bra fit small and bra fit too big classifications and a large positive effect on the bra fit adequate score when tested. Underband category findings are consistent with current research which suggests consumers are more likely to wear a bra which is too big in the underband. Recommendations The research built on previous findings while identifying gaps in the field of research. Further research is recommended into the variation in bra sizing which has been highlighted by this research. A recommendation is to link bra pattern cutting and grading to bra size communication to customers. This is seen as key to reducing communication of sizing to the consumer. Current bra fit advise is inadequate in assisting the consumer in selecting adequate support from a bra. Professional fitting is recommended to support this. A key recommendation from this work is that future Bra fit criteria applied to research should include a Bra cup neck edge category. Bra styling should also be considered as the correct size is not sufficient to achieve adequate fit.

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