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Study Proposes New Sizing Standards for the UK’s Growing Children

It’s widely accepted that the UK’s children are getting bigger, and a new set of measurement standards aims to reflect the change. Leading children’s apparel retailers have partnered with “fit solutions” specialists Alvanon and research firm Select Research to create Shape GB, an improved and definitive guide to children’s sizing. In two years, the project surveyed over 2,500 children (ages 4-17) in the UK, using body scanners to perform measurements.

Currently, measurement standards are based on data collected in 1978.

This data is “quite outdated,” according to Alvanon president Ed Gribbin, who told just-style that while the average child in the UK is only slightly taller, they have grown “significantly larger by girth.”

The UK does not make “plus sized” clothing for children, but Gribbin believes that 40% of children in the UK would wear these sizes if they were available.

Although “close fit” is less important in children’s wear–parents often buy larger sizes than necessary, so their child can “grow into” clothes–an up-to-date, industry-wide standard could potentially help designers create better-fitting children’s clothing, and reduce returns and exchanges.

The Shape GB report (slogan: “Measuring the Nation”) will be available for download here on February 28th.