Why are Our Clothes Made to Standard Sizes?


Like so much in American lifestyles, the usual garb sizes we use today may be traced returned to the Civil War.  If that answer sounds glib, it isn’t meant to be.  The Civil War became the pivotal event in American records, marking a transition to the modern technology, and heralding modifications that stood until the Forties.  It even modified the way we buy our garments.

Antebellum Clothing Sizing

Prior to the Civil War, the overwhelming majority of garb, for men and women, was tailored or home-made.  There was a restrained form of mass produced, standardized garb items, especially jackets, coats, and undergarments, however even those have been most effective produced in restrained quantities.  For the most component, apparel for men was made on an person foundation.  The Civil War changed that.

Mass Producing Uniforms

During the war, the Northern and Southern armies each wished big portions of uniforms in a rush.  The South, with out a big commercial base, relied often on home manufacture for uniforms, and through the conflict Southern armies usually suffered from a scarcity of apparel.  The North changed garment making history for all time.

It quickly have become obvious that the Northern armies couldn’t be furnished with uniforms using traditional modes of apparel manufacturing.  Fortunately, the North had a properly evolved fabric enterprise that might meet the challenge.

When the authorities started out to contract with factories for mass produced uniforms, the textile producers fast realized that they could not make every uniform for a selected soldier.  The most effective alternative became to standardize the squaddies’ uniforms.  They despatched tailors to the armies, to measure the men, and noticed that certain measurements, of arm period, chest length, shoulder width, waist size, and inseam duration, could appear collectively with dependable regularity.  Using this mass of dimension records, they put together the first length charts for men’s clothing.

After the War

So why didn’t the fabric agencies move returned to the older production strategies after the Civil War?  The answer lies in profits, as with many things in enterprise.  Clothing producers saw that the standardized sizes they had delivered considerably decreased the producing value of men’s clothing; rather than make one item for one guy, they may make one length of an object, mens jackets as an instance, for a set of guys.  Suddenly, clothing changed into easier to supply, mass production became the staple of discount men’s garb, and the garb enterprise might in no way be the same again.

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