Why Your Bum Looks Big in This; Researchers Study How Clothes Affect the Appearance of the Female Rear

Daily Mail (London), December 28, 2005 | Go to article overview

Why Your Bum Looks Big in This; Researchers Study How Clothes Affect the Appearance of the Female Rear


Byline: DAVID WILKES

AFTER slipping into her new outfit, it is the first question nearly every woman asks: 'Does my bum look big in this?' No man, of course, knows how to answer it correctly.

Say yes and you risk a slap for being rude; say no and you are accused of lying.

But soon these uncertain days will be behind us - thanks to the world's first scientific study into how clothing can affect the appearance of the female rear.

The demystifying of the dilemma of the derriere is being pioneered by researchers at Heriot Watt University's School of Textiles and Design in Galashiels.

A pilot study on trousers began in October, with the results expected in May.

Yesterday Dr Lisa MacIntyre, leading the research, said four volunteer members of staff of different sizes will model hundreds of styles and design of trouser and be assessed by a representative group of 50 people who will be asked to judge whether their bottoms look big or not.

One model has a 'standard' womanly backside, perhaps not unlike Big Brother host Davina McCall's, while another has a fuller 'pre-Raphaelite' rear, like cook Nigella Lawson's.

The third model is slim with a small bottom in the style of Keira Knightley's, while the last has a curvier, more ample behind like Jennifer Lopez's, the actress and singer.

Five students are making various trousers for the models to wear for the project, which will focus on five areas: * Pockets: What influence does the size, shape and position of pockets have on the posterior?

* Seams: Do their design and siting help to give a slimline appearance or broaden the beam?

* Rise height: How does the measurement from crotch to waistband in differing trouser styles from hipsters to high-waisters alter bottom size perception?

* Leg shape: Are flares fattening? Will a boot- cut make make you look 'bootylicious'? …

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