May 31, 2019 Dave Desmarais

Body measurements don’t equal fit preference

As the CEO of a fashion-technology startup, I try to stay informed of new technologies in the clothing-fit space. Though Tailored is still a young company, this space has been active for over 20 years as technological advancements invite at least one new fit-solution per year. A disappointing fact for both consumers and retailers is a lot of the solutions I read about are similar. These fit-solutions match your body measurements to the dimensions of apparel. There are quite a few reasons why this is not the most ideal method for finding a good fit, most importantly, body measurements do not equal fit-preference (it’s like saying the diameter of my mouth will help me discover my new favorite food).

Accurately obtaining ones body measurements is another issue. Unless you plan to visit a tailor, performing this task is harder than you might think.

Measuring yourself is inaccurate

There is a reason professionals exist in this world. They have trained long and hard to be deemed “professional” in a certain discipline to perform a task much more effectively than a regular Joe. Case in point for clothing tailors, they understand where and how to measure the human body as it relates to fitting apparel, and when eighths and quarters of inches matter, you want to get it right so you don’t end up buying a shirt that looks like you’re wearing a circus tent.

Also, the instructions for measuring ones body are highly subjective. Take the hip measurement for example, it usually goes “measure the circumference of your hips at their widest point.” This subjectiveness leads to inaccuracies which will lead to disappointment once you’ve ordered your new/custom garb.

Don’t have the right equipment

In a day when the answers to all our questions are at our fingertips, most people don’t even own a tape for measuring parts of ones body, especially millennials. We want to push a button and have things done for us. In the mid twentieth century, there were reasons for all households to have a garment measuring tape as many families used to hem and make their own garments. Today we just buy and throw away.

Uncomfortable with it

Technology has certainly allowed for improvements in clothing-fit technology. A few companies in this space have developed applications for scanning your body as an easier way to capture measurements. The problem here is it usually requires you to be mostly nude and dressed in an extremely tight fitting garment. But who wants to have a mostly-nude photo taken of themselves by a random mobile app? Where do the photos go after you take them?

The reality is many of us are not happy with our bodies and taking measurements or snapping photos of ourselves with minimal clothing is uncomfortable.

One final point on body measurements as it relates to well-fitting clothing. The return rates for companies that make custom clothing based on body measurements are about the same as the ready-to-wear retailers you and I all know. So I leave you with one parting thought, don’t let someone talk to you about oranges when all you’re looking for is an apple.

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