Design and Product Development

The Benefits of Incorporating Human Anatomy into Apparel Design Coursework

  • Karen LaBat (University of Minnesota)
  • Susan L Sokolowski (University of Oregon)


Anatomy is defined as “the study of structure.” Students learn to base apparel design on some version of a body form: mannequin, two-dimensional sloper or pattern block to develop 3D products to approximate the body. A croquis, basic body outline, is often used as the basis for generating apparel sketches. All of these foundation forms focus on the external structure and surface of the body however, apparel is often designed to interface with the entire body, beyond its’ surface. Examples include bras, sport products and personal protective equipment. We propose that all apparel designer students should have working knowledge of the internal structures of the human body—the anatomy—that determines the external structure. Our motivation of this concept paper is to inspire conversation between ITAA members about the future needs of students studying apparel design, with the potential of workshop development for members in the organization regarding human anatomy.

Keywords: Human Anatomy, Coursework

How to Cite:

LaBat, K. & Sokolowski, S. L., (2019) “The Benefits of Incorporating Human Anatomy into Apparel Design Coursework”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 76(1). doi:

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Published on
15 Dec 2019