January 16, 2019 Dave Desmarais

Photo Based Clothing Measurements

photo measure clothes

Garment manufacturers adhere to specific rules when measuring clothing. These include how to take the measurements themselves and error-tolerances they can allow. Of course this is all put in place by the garment designers and is outlined in the tech pack for the manufacturers to follow. Measuring clothing is a process reserved for humans due to the complexity and variations in apparel. Though using machine learning and computer vision, Tailored has introduced a web tool which allows for the capturing of garment measurements using digital photography.

(try Tailored’s clothing measuring app here)

When we say measure by photo, we’re referring to the ability to measure a garment using a mobile device. Although measuring an object using a phone is not a new phenomenon, the way Tailored accomplishes this is. With Tailored’s technology, there is no manual drawing of lines on the screen or dragging ones device across a garment. It’s as simple an point and shoot. Photo based clothing measurements allow for drastic increases in workflow efficiency and measuring consistency. Two things retailers are constantly searching for.

Measure shirt bust for eBayReal Time Garment Analysis for Traditional Retailers

Tailored’s photo based clothing measurements software, called Capture, delivers where humans cannot. Humans are slow, where as machines and computers can operate at light speed. In a world where time to market time is 40+ weeks for most apparel brands, shaving days and weeks off can be extremely valuable.

Much of the production bottleneck for manufacturers comes during the vetting of the garment samples and at post production. Only 2-5% of a production run is measured against design specs during quality inspection. These numbers are low because manual labor is costly and time consuming. Even though most is handled in developing countries, retailers settle on this low number because most of the ready-to-wear industry follows the same trend.

Setting up a photo based measuring  system in a factory or distribution center will reduce the time required to take critical measurements. Times can be reduced from an average of three minutes to 20 seconds or less. For a retailer this means an increase in the number of garments checked in the same amount of time.

How Automated Measuring Helps Clothing Resellers

In the re-commerce sector, the major players have massive distribution centers scattered across the globe. They accept thousands of garments daily, which are inspected and hand measured before being offered for sale. Tailored has spoken with teams at some of largest clothing resellers and is repeatedly told the same thing. Measuring clothing is one of the most time consuming tasks within the listing process.

Photo based clothing measurements is a natural fit for the garment intake and listing process. Tailored clients are commonly able to perform 50% more listing in the same amount of time. In addition to this, teams are able to dedicate time to more important endeavors.

Capture is also a natural segue into a eCommerce solution using the same photo-based technology. Imagine you’re shopping on a resale clothing site and you’re not sure which of the thousands of garments fits you best? Just snap a picture of a well-fitting garment you already own and you’ll be instantly shown garments with similar dimensions and fit.

photo based clothing measurementsHow Tailored Helps Monthly Subscription Retailers

Monthly subscription retailers see similar issues as resale companies. Most do not produce the apparel they sell, and if they do it’s less than 40% of their overall product. For a stylist to successfully pair a customer with properly sized garb they must have an accurate physical dimensions of garments they offer. Adjusting the garment intake process from manual measuring to automated measuring will improve overall efficiency.

The data gathered through automated measuring is vastly more valuable than the data currently collected by humans. Which isn’t much. Learning a customer’s fit preference early is of upmost importance. Quickly and easily capturing fit data from the clothing they already wear is one way to deploy the Capture system in a subscription service.

One Standard of Measure

Consistency in garment measuring is major gripe for all retailers. Fashion is a global business and with the absence of standardized measuring, high levels of inconsistency remain. Tailored provides a uniform system for measuring.

Besides the obvious internal use cases, photo based clothing measurements is the next evolution in e-commerce. Consumer confidence is a big push as retailers envision new ways help shoppers choose the right size. People are generally comfortable with what they know and using garments one already owns as a way to be recommended new apparel allows for a confidence level we have not seen before in online shopping.

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