So, apparently, the clothing retailers have realized that vanity sizing only frustrates and confuses consumers. Which results in consumers who don’t consume. Wow, what a concept. I am sure this has turned more than one person onto home sewing. But, since clothing manufacturers are sort of married to their own vanity numbers and sizing, this problem probably isn’t going to change for quite a while (or ever). So, what are the retailers to do? Apparently they decided that having their own Watson was a good idea.
The latest in mall technology? Getting a full body scan to help you determine clothing sizes. Yes, that’s right, a full body scan, just like at the airport. Apparently your body gets scanned and your measurements compared with those of all of the styles and sizes of about 50 retail stores. The company MyBestFit is behind the idea and runs the mall body scan kiosks. The good news? Free for you. The possibly creepy news? They may share your scan info with clothing companies. However, this could in theory produce better fitting ready to wear. I am not holding my breath. How does MyBestFit turn a profit? They charge the retailers when they get included in your results, but the retailers cannot pay in advance to be included. They need to actually have a reasonable chance of fitting your body. So you get a list of where to go and what sizes you should try on, and retailers get a bunch of potentially less frustrated customers. Apparently you also can sort by price, brand, style, etc. to help you find something you actually might want to buy. And you get to have an online profile, which I suppose could be used to plan future shopping trips when styles and seasons change. Sadly, the only current location is located in The King of Prussia Mall in PA, but there will be 13 more west coast/east coast options available by the end of the year. Sorry entire middle of the country, guess you just need to take a vacation.
Now, since I have only recently started home sewing, I haven’t fully forsaken ready to wear as a source of clothing, although I usually only go on a shopping spree during the Gordman’s summer sale because (1) we don’t have this store at home and (2) they are the only store that I know of that carries the brand of jeans that I really feel comfortable wearing. I always find jeans when I am in the midwest. The rest of the time? Not so much. So you know what middle of the country? I guess I don’t feel too bad because you guys have jeans that fit. In any case, my fav brand isn’t one of those in the MyBestFit database, so while I don’t know how much this would help me right now, the idea of technology helping me to find a better fit is sort of interesting. However, I have and even better idea.
Since I really do like sewing and want to make my own clothes, how about this: you scan my body and give me a print out of the actual measurements? Since you are using 200,000 data points from my body, don’t you think you could share exactly how round my thighs are, and exactly how long my shoulder is? I mean, if you were going to sell it to Levi’s anyway… What’s more, you could compare this to the pattern sizing from TheBig4, Burda, Kwik Sew, Jalie, and several other of the more popular pattern companies. Since this sizing is, actually, fairly regular, you could help me pick out which sizes I should start with, what adjustments to make, and how much adjusting needs to be done. Think about how many fewer muslins I would make? And how much less debating over sizes and patterns and I adjustments I would be doing? Ah, well. I suppose that is all part of the fun and challenge of home sewing anyway. I mean, analyzing and trying to fit my own curves gives me a better appreciation of why everyone else has failed so miserably at it before now. It also makes me feel sort of awesome when I get it right. I mean, I suppose understanding curves is sort of challenging. I guess this is why so many people freak out about calculus.