The average size of an American woman is now between 16 and 18, according to a new study from the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education. Previously, it was commonly thought that this average size was 14. However, the researchers found that this number increased in the last 10 years.
The research utilized the measurements of more than 5,500 American women who are over 20 years old. The purpose of the study was to determine the current average clothing size of adult American women. Secondary data of average body measurements from the most recently published National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys were compared to ASTM International industry clothing size standards. Findings suggest that, contrary to popular assumptions, the average American woman’s (AAW’s) clothing size is larger than anticipated. The AAW wears between a Misses size 16–18, which corresponds to a Women’s Plus size 20W, with greater distinctions found when considering race and ethnicity. The study also revealed that over the last two decades the average waist size has increased 2.6 inches, from 34.9 inches to 37.5 inches, with “even greater distinctions found when considering race and ethnicity
Despite these findings, most retailers still consider the sizes above 16 to be “plus size.” As most haven’t really caught up with the evolution of the women’s bodies in America and beyond, for the”‘average woman,” it can be a struggle to shop for clothes.
It is suggested that updating Misses and Plus-size clothing standards should be a major priority.