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The growth of children and adolescents

Designers of children’s clothes should be aware of the way that a child’s body shape changes as it grows and to recognise the shape of a child at a particular stage. Well-designed children’s clothes take account of the child’s continually changing shape.In the first two editions of this book the size charts were constructed and divided in the way a child’s body develops and changes. Today, clothes are designed and sold as ranges for particular target groups dictated by the large retailers.

Overweight and Obese Children

The revised size charts in the third, and this fourth edition, have been divided to enable pattern cutters to cut clothes for these ranges. However, by creating sub-divisions, the size charts still reflect the uneven body shape changes that occur during children’s growth. The problem of overweight and obese children has had to be considered when updating this edition. It is useful to understand how it may affect the size and shape of approximately 25% of children, and therefore the problem is discussed in ‘Overweight and Obese Children’. However, the following descriptions of the basic features of growth are relevant to the majority of children.

Concluding remark

Boys are often a little thinner than girls at this stage, but as the differences in measurements are small, a common size chart can be used. The most significant difference occurs on the hip/seat measurement and some manufacturers of boys’ wear take account of this. criptions of the basic features of growth are relevant to the majority of children.


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