Mexico gets its own clothing sizes to suit country's shorter, plumper bodies
16:48 GMT, 29 March 2012
Trying to find the perfect pair of jeans high enough in the waist to avoid the muffin top and generous enough over the thigh to eliminate the visible knee crease is a challenge many women know well.
But according to a new survey, men and women in Mexico are frequently unable to find anything that fits them because they are typically shorter and thicker in the body than the Europeans and other Latin populations for whom most clothing is designed.
The research conducted by leaders in Mexican retail showed that the country's apparel industry loses $4billion annually in returned merchandise and called for a new 'molde' or pattern to be created to better suit the Mexican consumer.
Beauty comes in all shapes: Mexicans are shorter and plumper according to a new study which calls for a new size chart for the country's apparel industry
As reported in WWD, the survey was taken across 14 cities and several regions where the heights and weights of men and women were examined in order to shed light on the types of figures ignored by clothing manufacturers.
The average Mexican female aged 18 to 25 it found, was 5ft 2in tall and weighed 138lbs. Men of the same age range were only three inches taller with an average weight of 170lbs.
Shapes varied throughout the country
with findings showing that women in the north were the shortest, those
from the central regions weighed more and those in the Bajio area were
But overall the Central American country is
second in rates of obesity to the US and takes the top spot globally for
obesity in children.
Skinny minnies: People in other Latin countries like Argentina (left) and those in Europe (right) generally tend to have much thinner frames than Mexicans
Mexico is also Latin America's second largest consumer of fashion retail and is worth $5billion in imports, so information gleaned from the results of the study will prove invaluable for big apparel chains like Inditex.
Carlota De la Vega of Fashion Group International in Mexico told WWD: '[Manufacturers] will see how different a Mexican woman’s body is compared to a Spanish or Argentine one. Buyers will have a better idea of what sizes to bring to the market.
'Many stores carry sizes that don’t fit Mexicans. Some brands' pants are often too long, with waists in European or American sizes that can be too small for this market.
'Now, manufacturers and retailers can have more certainty about the right size for their target segment. This is very useful information.'
Mexican apparel industry giant Canaive concluded in a statement that by understanding the differences in body types, 'the appropriate amount of raw materials can be used to suit its people, bringing with it a reduction in inventories and savings from using the right fabric and making the right fit.'