Size Survey Data

Sizemic Data – Size Survey Data

The emergence of 3D body scanners has made it possible to conduct large-scale national size surveys and capture high quality measurement and shape data on a statistically representative sample of the population, quickly and economically.

SizeUK was the first National Survey of the UK adult population since the 1950’s and the first national survey to use 3D whole body scanners to automatically extract measurements. The results showed that over 60% of UK shoppers had difficulty finding clothes that fit and average female waist size had increased by 16.5 cm since the 1950’s. The SizeUK retailers have used the data to update their size charts, improve garment fit and maximise the percentage of their customers that can fit their clothes. Sizemic has the exclusive rights to sell the data on behalf of the SizeUK consortium.


SizeUK – the UK National Sizing Survey measured 11,000 women and men using 3D whole body scanners to automatically extract 130 body measurements from each subject. This highly accurate size and shape data, together with each subject’s 3D point cloud, is held in an anthropometric database, available for online data mining. SizeUK is a collaboration of the UK Government, 17 major UK retailers, leading academics and technology companies. The retailers were responsible for recruiting subjects to be measured, with subjects being encouraged to register online. The principal UK clothing colleges managed the data collection process; seen as an educational opportunity. The USA scanner company [TC]2 developed special size extraction software to automatically extract 150 ‘SizeUK’ measurements from each body scan, reducing manual measuring to just 8 measurements, such as height and weight. The headline results were announced in 2004. Sizemic, a UK company, is hosting the data on a secure, web-database service accessible through proprietary online data analysis tools and has the exclusive rights to sell the data on behalf of the Retailers. The potential commercial benefits for Retail clothing brands acquiring the data are enormous.

SizeUK Retailers

The SizeUK data is owned by the UK Retailers: Arcadia Group, Bhs, Debenhams, Otto UK (Freemans and Grattans), Great Universal Stores (now Shop Direct), House of Fraser, John Lewis Partnership, Littlewoods Retail (now Shop Direct), Marks and Spencer, N Brown, Monsoon Accessorize, Oasis Stores, REDCATS UK, Rohan Designs, Speedo International, Tesco Stores.

Recruitment & Data Collection

Volunteers were recruited through publicity in the national media, the retailers and the SizeUK web site. Subjects were then selected using quota sampling to meet the national statistics of age, ethnic origin, socio economic group and geo-demographics. The result was a statistically representative sample of the UK population of approximately 5,000 female and 5,000 male subjects between the ages of 16 and 85+. Children were not included in the survey but a separate children’s survey is being planned. There were 8 data collection points covering 3 geographic regions:
Southampton Cardiff Birmingham Manchester
London Nottingham Leeds Edinburgh

Size UK DatabaseSubjects, wearing underwear, were scanned in 2 poses, standing and seated.  8-10 manual measurements, not covered by the scanning process were also taken. Each subject was asked to complete an extensive market research questionnaire which captured information on personal details, clothing issues, shopping habits and preferences plus lifestyle habits including health & fitness, occupation, employment and ethnicity.

Information in the database includes:

  • Personal details on each subject (excluding name & address)
  • 11,000 subjects – approximately 50 % women and 50% men
  • 140 measurements per subject
    • 130 electronic
    • 8-10 manual
  • Market Research Information – results of 40 questions per subject on clothes, shopping and lifestyle habits and preferences.

Automatic Measurement Extraction

Accuracy, speed and cost are the prime benefits of using automated measurement extraction. Trials have shown that automatic measurement extraction is more reliable than traditional anthropometric measuring methods. This is due, in part, to measurements being taken without physical contact and from a person in a relaxed pose.  This stands in contrast with manual methods of measuring, where there is body surface contact that can lead to the compression of soft tissues; this particularly affects some girth measurements.  Small differences can therefore arise between measurements produced by automatic and manual techniques.

Survey Results

The results of SizeUK are available through:

  • Standard Data Analysis of the measurements, shape and market research data:
    • Statistical analysis of the measurement information covering mean, max/min standard deviation etc in total and by age, region, socio economic group or ethnicity.
    • Frequency distribution charts and analysis for each measurement
    • 3D shape analysis of the scan data
    • Cross-correlation charts showing the relationship between key measurements.
    • Tabulated statistical analysis of the Market Research Information.
  • Customised Data Analysis through online access to the SizeUK database using a set of software tools designed by UCL. This allows users to conduct their own analysis on a subset of the data based on their customer profile.
  • Data Analysis Services provided by Sizemic.  Sizemic offers a range of basic and advanced data analysis services for customers who would like analysis carried out on their behalf

Commercial Benefits

For clothing companies the data provides the potential amongst others to:

  • Improve sizing and fit
  • Optimise the efficiency of your size charts
  • Maximise the percentage of your target customer profile that can fit your clothes.
  • Increase sales by understanding the demand in certain size categories e.g. outsize, petites
  • Reduce size related returns
  • Improve buying ratios and size allocation to retail branches.

Acquiring the SizeUK Data

Customers first need to purchase a Data Licence giving them rights to use the SizeUK data. The Data Licence Fee is a one off fee based on company size (turnover) and the price also includes the Standard Data Analysis package. The women’s and men’s data can be purchased separately.

Customers who wish to use the online analysis tools to carry out customised analysis need to purchase an additional Data Access License. The Data Access Licence Fee is a fixed annual licence irrespective of company size or the genders purchased.

Customers who wish to use Sizemic’s data analysis services must have purchased a Data Licence first.

If you are interested in purchasing the data please contact Sizemic on +44 (0)20 3051 2644 or by e-mail at