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Familiarities of Fit - Understandings of the body, relationships and clothi...

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F4: Sackville Street Building

The Univerisity of Manchester

Sackville Street

Manchester

M1 3BU

United Kingdom

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Description

Each timeslot at this event is limited to groups of between two and four family members, please only book one slot per group.

Familiarities of fit

This project aims to use body scanning and social scientific approaches to engage people in considering their body and those of people they are related to, as well as the effect this has on their clothing choices and experiences.

Why:

There is a massive diversity in body shapes in the UK population, a diversity that is not matched in the limited range of clothing sizes available to UK consumers. We are interested in both understanding this diversity as well as possible points of similarity and the impact this has on the experience people have of clothing sizes. This particular project focuses explicitly upon people who are related to each other to explore the ways in which people’s bodies are, and are perceived to be similar to other family members and how this connects to clothing practices. These points of similarity may relate to overall body shape or individual body parts (such as people tell you you ‘have your dad’s legs’).

Body shape and size impacts upon how clothing fits. The current size offerings of clothing serve only a narrow range of body shapes (differences between bust, waist and hips) as well as consider only limited dimesons of the body when creating products. Therefore we know that our ability to wear styles we like or new fashions may be enhanced or limited by our body shapes. At the same time, our sense of style and preferences has been shaped over our lifetimes, so our sense of what we like may be shaped by our experiences of our bodies.

How do these similarities in body shapes or differences within family affect how clothes fit and our clothing practices? There is research that shows that our clothing preferences come through the socialized processes of having parents buy our clothes for us. As we grow up we have handed down clothing and may share clothing with siblings, as we get older we may inherit clothing we wish to wear. Our relationship to our families are a key and under researched part of our clothing practices.

This project aims to address these questions by a combination of body scanning and joint interviews on people who are related to each other (in any variant). This event will explore how the methods of engineering and social sciences can complement each other to enhance understanding of the clothed body. It allows the exploration of intergenerational relationships through the lens of body similarities/differences and reflections on clothing choice. The project also allows people the possibility of getting a flavor of how research is done, as you will be shown how the body scanner works as well as be given a chance to interview each other. Participants will be invited to operate the body scanner, create outputs that allow them to view their body and to conduct discussions around the body scanner outputs and their experience of clothing.

How:

This project will introduce participants to the body scanning technology and the process for capturing body scans. Body scanning uses noninvasive image capture technology to create a virtual copy of the body as an objective viewpoint, as well as allowing the generation of measurements which can be used to compare bodies. Having this data allows more objective comparisons to be made between participants.

In addition to being scanned we want to hear about peoples stories and experiences of familial similarities; this session will be facilitated by academics where you are given prompt cards to discuss your experiences and to ask each other questions. The research will facilitate the kinds of discussions you might have anyway with each other and encourage shared understandings or new discussions to emerge.

Who:

This project is looking for family groups of up to four people with any familial connection (parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins, nieces) to explore body scanning as well as issues around clothing fit. It offers a chance to be scanned and to reflect upon the process and to understand how social research happens.

The researchers:

Sophie Woodward is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester and carries out research into clothing as material culture, including a previous ethnography of women’s wardrobes, a street ethnography of why people wear jeans as part of the Global Denim Project as well as her current project into Dormant Things.

Simeon Gill is a Lecturer in Fashion Technology at the University of Manchester and is involved in research into body scanning and how this data can be used to understand better the clothing requirements of individual people.

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Date and Time

Location

F4: Sackville Street Building

The Univerisity of Manchester

Sackville Street

Manchester

M1 3BU

United Kingdom

View Map

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