Fashion designers continue to make clothes based on the traditional hourglass figure popularized in the 1950s by Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe, despite the fact that only 8 percent of women are actually shaped that way, said Cindy Istook, an associate professor of textile and apparel technology and management at North Carolina State University.
"Companies are recognizing that there's an issue," said Istook. "They just haven't changed their sizing system to demonstrate it."
In an analysis of the body types of more than 6,300 women, Istook identified approximately 46 percent of women as rectangular, in which the bust and the hips are generally the same size, and the waist is less than nine inches smaller than the hips or the bust.
A little more than 20 percent of women possessed the spoon or pear shape, with a a hip measurement that is at least two inches larger than the bust. Nearly 14 percent were inverted triangles, meaning their busts were three or more inches larger than their hips.