The purpose of this study was for a panel of experts to initially make visual assessments of female body morphotypes from their 3-D scanned images, and, thereafter, use these and their anthropometric data to derive algorithms to specify anthropometric parameters corresponding to a specific body morphotype categories.
This paper presents a method to quantitatively define women's body morphotypes derived from the visual assessments of the 3-D scans of the body. Nine morphotype categories are defined and algorithms are derived to define the range of values of bust-to-waist and hip-to-waist girth ratios corresponding to the different categories. The method showed an 81.9% prediction accuracy between the visually assessed and predicted morphotypes. This compared to a 71.9% prediction accuracy of another published method. This new normative method (NNM) enables a quantitative evaluation of how visual assessments of body morphotypes from different populations of women, made by different assessors, differ.
The panel assessed morphotype category with the largest number of subjects was rectangle (52.0%), followed by spoon (39.5%), hourglass (5.6%) and triangle (2.9%). The NNM shows similar predicted categories, with only slightly differing values, viz. the morphotype category with the largest number of subjects was rectangle (54.1%) followed by spoon (40.4%), hourglass (4.8%), inverted U (0.6%) and Y (0.3%). The morphotype with the worst correlation between the predicted and the assessed was the triangle (0% – 0/10), followed by the hourglass (31.6% – 6/19). The NNM did not generate more than one prediction for a given visually assessed morphotype.
The geographical location of the authors meant that it was convenient to develop and evaluate the NNM from a sample of South African women. Further work can be conducted where a large number of national and international experts perform an assessment of a set of body morphotypes. The anthropometric data derived according to ISO 8559-1 protocols may then be used to determine the criteria used by each assessor with the aim of reaching a consensus and, hence, movement toward body morphotype standardization for both men and women and thereby mass customization.
The advantage of the method is that it provides for a, transparent, universally applicable procedure that is simple to use and implement in the clothing and retail sectors The NNM did not predict more than one morphotype for a given category; hence, it enables objective comparisons to be made between the visual assessments of morphotype categories of different populations by different assessors, to also evaluate how and where the assessments differ.
Studies such as this highlight the need for standardization of both the criteria used in the expert panel visual assessments and an agreement on the anthropometric measures or landmarks required to define women 3-D body morphotypes standardized to international protocols for target market segmenting in the clothing and retail sectors and in industries where variability in body morphotype, size and proportions has ergonomic implications.
The theoretical concept is novel, easy to follow and implement in the clothing and related sectors and has not been published to date. The approach was to develop a theoretical concept standardized to ISO 8559-1 that enable objective comparisons between visual assessments of morphotypes of different populations by different assessors, and to also evaluate how and where the assessments differ. The knowledge and experience of domain experts were to initially conduct the visual assessments of women morphotypes from their 3-D scans and thereafter to use these and their anthropometric data to derive algorithms to specify anthropometric parameters corresponding to a specific body morphotype category.
The authors wish to thank the Department of Life and Consumer Sciences of the University of South Africa, for providing partial funding for the study. The paper is submitted in memory of Dr. G.A.V. Leaf who assisted in the theoretical concept and analysis.
Pandarum, R., Harlock, S.C., Hunter, L. and Leaf, G.A.V. (2021), "A normative method for the classification and assessment of women's 3-D scanned morphotypes", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 421-433. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCST-06-2020-0089
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