First, one has to look at the historical and construction aspect of clothing. What is fashion? According to Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion, fashion is “Custom or style of dressing that prevails among any group of persons; the style for the present, which may last for a year or two or for a span of many years.
In earlier times, a fashion could last fifty to one hundred years, but changes in fashion occur rapidly in the 20th century”.
Fashion is how a woman presents herself to the world and how the society sees her and how the society wants to see her. This is not always true as people would wear what they want, no matter what. Fashion is one of the most important aspects of a woman’s life, who she is, what others think of her, it all tells a story.
Who makes fashion? Designers make fashion, which is constantly changing as designers are constantly looking for new ideas whether it is because of the influence of celebrities, music, movies, magazines, or just want to be different from other designers, which is the case in most instances.
One thing for sure is that clothes differentiate people into groups, what you wear tells a story about you and there are many reasons why people wear what they wear, it may be for church, work, a wedding, a party, because they are happy or sad or maybe just to protect them from the weather.
Clothes are not designed with black people in mind and are designed for white people only. Clothes are either custom made to individual body measurements or mass produced according to sizes.
Windows and doors come in particular sizes according to the size of the house, so does clothes, which come in sizes according to the body measurements. Sizes are determined by the Bust, Waist and Hip measurements.
The difference between white people and black people is the body structure. White people basically have a longer crotch depth and no hips, whilst black people have a shorter crotch depth and large hips. This is very evident especially in pants and skirts where the black woman buying a pair of pants or skirt off the rack, has to buy it to clear the hips and not by the waist measurement.
The typical size 14 measurements for a white woman is waist 28 inches and hips 36 and for the black woman, is waist 28 inches and the hips between 38 and 44 inches. This is the reason why you would see a black woman with a number of darts in the waistline of her pants or skirts.
Another key factor that women should take into consideration is the ease of the garment. When garments are being designed, pattern ease is added to the actual body measurements of the bust, waist and hips areas and should not be confused with style ease
Style ease is final amount of ease added to the pattern according to the style of the garment and is at the discretion of the designer and his interpretation of the style of the garment in question.
Clothes fall into two categories, fitted or loose fitting. Fitted garments follow the contour of the body, but not necessarily clinging to the body. Loose fitting clothes have more style ease and give more comfort and ease to the wearer than a fitted garments.
Clothes should never cling to the body, but drape from the body as in the same manner as that of a tablecloth on a table. The full figure women should always wear garments that are loose fitting, but not overly loose and not skin tight and should avoid clothes that are too tight, full or short.