If you are shopping for clothes, you know the dilemma. What size do I need? And where do I find it?
It’s the accepted hassle of trying to find the right fit. However, trial-and-error shopping for clothes by lugging handfuls into the dressing room could be a thing of the past. Machines might have the answer. New technology is being developed to help you find the clothes you need, holding promise to save time over the old-fashioned way.
Sizes aren’t the same when going across different manufacturers standards. What is a medium in one brand may be a large in another. We all know that it’s the fit that matters, not the label. It’s all a matter of information, and machines are great at sifting through it to find the best matching opportunities between your information — your body shape and size —and the clothes you want to wear.
One innovative service called Me-Ality is being set up at kiosks in shopping malls around the country to obtain your body data and help you find what best fits. Me-Ality is short for “Measured Reality,” and the idea is to provide scanning stations that you can visit once, and leave with a list of the clothes from major retailers that should be your best match.
A Me-Ality scanning session takes place in a “Size-Matching Station” where a body scan is performed yielding several hundred thousand 3D data points of your body surface. Software then compares your measurements with a database of styles to determine the best size and style matches from manufacturers that have chosen to partner with Me-Ality.
Once scanned, you can create and view your own personal shopping guide, browsing for items that are matched to personal fit and style choices. The idea is to make shopping faster and easier, knowing in advance what will individually work for you. Shoppers that don’t have to go in and out of a dozen stores to find what they need save time, and dressing room drama.
If you have ever been through a TSA scanner when traveling, as most of us who travel have, the millimeter wave scanning technology utilized in the body scanners is similar and claims to be just as safe. The difference is you only have to go through it once, that is, as long as you maintain your weight and shape.
Me-Ality already has about a dozen stations set up in the northeast from Maryland to New York, a couple in Chicago and a half-dozen or so on the West Coast. They also have them available in a few select Bloomingdale’s locations for fitting of women’s jeans.
As a result of their partnership with retailers, the scanning and fitting service is provided free to shoppers. They currently partner with more than 150 brands that include major clothing, shoe and accessory manufacturers like Levi’s, Lee, Adidas, Under Armour, Foot Locker and Dockers to name a few.
They are also in partnership with retailers like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Old Navy, Pacsun, and Gap. All the partners are considered equal, so the individual shopping guides that are created are ranked only in order of fit.
Regardless of whether the technology is offered by Me-Ality or some other provider, this idea or something similar will the fitting room of the future. The dressing room is going digital and the idea is especially timely with the continued growth of online shopping. Perhaps even one day, brand name clothes can be custom tailored online to perfectly fit anyone.
Body scanners, coming soon to a store or mall near you.