Bodymetrics in the Bay Area
As a student, designer, and overall fashion fiend, I often wrestle with issues of fit. Whether designing for myself, a client, or buying something from a manufacturer, fit is proprietary. Ill-fitting blouses, skirts that are too tight, finding the right fitting bathing suit, or dealing with the issues of a perfect fitting pair of denim plague women…like the plague. No one wants the dreaded muffin-top, the wedgie-pant, ‘Mom Jeans’, or a serious “garment malfunction” when it comes to their clothes, yet we women (and men) have to deal with these and other fit issues every day. Even those not ingrained in fashion culture know there is a major problem with fit in fashion.
A couple of days ago, University of Fashion videographer Brad and I headed to Bloomingdale’s Stanford for the exclusive before-hours press event for Bodymetric’s fourth in-store scanner installation. Some of you may have heard about Bodymetrics body scanning device, as it has been in the news quite a bit, but here is the low-down. Essentially, the Bodymetrics Pod scans and then carefully maps your body into hundreds of measurements and contours to determine your overall ‘body metrics’ and to find the best fitting garment for your size, shape, and style needs. The main mission for the company was to help women to “find the perfect-fitting jean” from a variety of leading brands, but the use for the product extend far beyond this small realm. Let me lead you through the process so you can see for yourself what the scanning experience and aftermath consists of! As it is one thing to hear about burgeoning technology Pods and quite another to try one out for yourself!
After Brad and I shot the raw video and still footage respectively, it was my turn to try out the system. Prior to the event, the Bodymetrics rep told me to wear my hair up -which I forgot to do- and to be dressed in tight fitting clothes, in this case, spandex leggings and a camisole; optimally the technology is best used wearing only ones underwear or completely nude. I entered the scanner and closed the curtain. It had the feeling of a spray tan or standup tanning booth with plenty of room for a person of any size to move about comfortably, and hooks on the wall inside the Pod on which to hang your garments. Footprints in the center of the Pod and a quick 30 second video prep you for the scan which in and of itself takes under five seconds…way faster than airport security, though you are still required to take off your shoes…oh well.
Once the scan is finished, you are sent an e-mail containing a link with which to access your Bodymetrics account from your computer or mobile device, and upon exiting the Pod a rep is standing ready with your body scan and measurements in hand! On the screen you see a miniature chrome version of yourself spinning around ominously or paused at any angle desired. Below the scan you also will see your key measurements i.e. bust, waist and hip, as well as multiple other commonly used body measurements. A full set of 200+ measurements is available if you simply e-mail a Bodymetrics Representative. A third tab below reveals the names of many key brands and styles of denim which will flatter your shape and figure.
I was amazed at the way the salespeople were then able to get their customers in the right denim almost immediately, and let me tell you, the next day when I returned for the launch party, women were buying up denim like mad. I myself tend to wear more skirts, but was able to find several pairs of denim that looked spot-on, and was thrilled to find the measurements produced by the Bodymetrics Pod, such as the hip to knee-length or waist circumference, could also be used for determining optimal skirt length, cuff width, etc. For the designer, consumer, and fashion industry the information gathered by Bodymetrics will allow for an entirely new angle on their respective modes and goals. Clearly, the technology allows the consumer to make better sartorial choices as far as pants go, but Bodymetrics also provides advice in regards to proportion and styling that can be applied to the waistline on a dress, or the hemline on a skirt. If a customer desires a garment to be tailor-made, but cannot physically be at all or any of the fittings, one can simply send their measurements and avatar to the designer, and the fit will be near perfect. This makes clear how Bodymetrics and designers will be able to work hand in hand. Just thinking of the time saved taking the hundreds of measurements provided is something at which to marvel. Additionally, if these measurements are collected by big clothing manufacturers and sizing Czars, the technology could guide the industry to a much better understanding of body-shapes, realistic sizing and a total revision of U.S. and worldwide standardized sizing.
Check out a short film from my test run at Bloomie’s…what a trip!
The Bodymetrics Pod will be installed for 3 months at Bloomingdale’s Stanford in Palo Alto. If you are in the area, I strongly recommend exploring the Bodymetrics technology and free scanning service. A true fash-o-phile couldn’t ask for a better fitting product.
Social Media Director, University of Fashion