Many women cannot stand to go shopping, all thanks to the ridiculous discrepancies in clothing sizes between different stores. In one store, you’re a 4. In another, a 10 – and you haven’t gained or lost one pound. Now, a handful of companies are tackling the problem of unreliable sizes. Some are pushing more informative labels, some are designing clothes to fit different body shapes, and one is even offering full body scans at shopping malls that will tell the shopper what sizes to try on among various brands.
As the American population has grown more diverse, sizes have become even less reliable with the introduction of “vanity sizing” – a woman who is in actuality a size 12 will occasionally find herself fitting into an article of clothing marked as a size 8.
In men’s clothes, dimensions are usually stated in inches, whereas women’s clothing is far more arbitrary. For example, a woman with a 27-inch waist is between a size 8 and 10 in Marc Jacobs, but fits into a 000 at Chico’s. What??
Tanya Shaw is an entrepreneur working on MyBestFit, the body scanner. “So many women tie their self-esteem to the size on the tag. For the consumer to go out and navigate which one do I match with is a huge challenge, and causes frustration and returns.”
The scan works when a customer steps into a circular booth, fully dressed. A wand rotates around the shopper, emitting low-power radio waves that record about 200,000 body measurements, even figuring out things like thigh circumference. The system then matches the customer’s measurements to clothes from about 50 stores, including Old Navy and Eddie Bauer.
Would you use the body scanner to find the perfect size? I know I would.