27 Jan 2015

How to really look good in clothes

It's the age old question that has made millionaires out of Gok Wan and Trinny and Susannah.

Obviously the answer is to wear clothes that fit well and that suit you but that is often easier said than done. Not only do you have to find those clothes, which can take a considerable time, but the same size varies between stores and once you find something you like, what's the betting that the shop hasn't got it in your size.

As you rarely see people walking around naked, you have to figure that people find clothes that fit at least approximately. But how many of us wear clothes that are slightly too short, too long, too tight, too loose but just because you liked the outfit you bought it even though the size wasn't exactly perfect. And let's face it, getting clothes made-to-measure is not an economic possibility for most of us.

As someone who has mobility problems, I do most all of my shopping online. However this brings the added complication of not being able to see what the clothes look look like on me or if they fit. I also like to order from designer outlet sites such as Brand Alley or Zulily that have limited stocks of each item.  So if I don't get the right size there is no alternative to order an alternative.

Seeing what the clothes look like on the models is really no help. I'm not 5' 9" and a size 6 with legs as long as a giraffe. Nor am I 22, so there's quite a good chance that how the clothes look on the model in the picture is not going to look the same or even (shock!) as good on me. So like everyone shopping online, I have to use my imagination, a hope and a prayer, when I click the add to cart button.

But I have an idea...

3-D technology is improving all the time and it's already possible to scan a human body and put it with the measurements into a computer, so why not not develop a service to scan a person's body measurements (kept only on their own computer, unless by agreement).

With the measurements of the clothes, you can then have fun dressing yourself in the outfits you can get a realistic look at what you're going to look like in the outfit. It's like playing dress up dolly all over again - except Kens can do it just as easily as Barbies.

As it's 3-D you can twist it from left to right, have a look at the back and make an informed decision because with your measurements (including a tolerance amount) you can also see if the garment will fit properly or if you need a bigger size or smaller size. This would cut back on the number of times you need to return items because they didn't fit properly.

If you can't access a scanner the same could be achieved just by taking careful body measurements and inputting them into an online grid which would make the model for you.

This course relies on all the garments of the same sizing to actually be the same size or for accurate measurements for each design to be provided. But really, with a bit of retailer cooperation, this shouldn't be so difficult in the days machine precision design and cutting. It should also take the guesswork out of which size to go for if you just want to pick a size without the mapping.

It may even be that in time that clothes are made to order (with a tolerance, again, as we all go up and down in any month) thus cutting down on all those garments that ended up unsold or unworn.

This may mean that many styles never even make it to the factory floor but that can really only be a good thing because it cuts down on unwanted clothes, fabric and energy. The increased cost in making custom clothes can be recouped by the savings on buying fabric and making clothes that are never sold.

And just think about the environmental benefits. Not to mention the sartorial benefits because no-one will go out looking a mess! 
Images for gif found at http://bit.ly/sensitt

Unless of course you don't believe what you see in the scan.

Moment of judgement

Of course you could take it a step further and have a computer decide if the outfit will enhance your appearance or whether it should be left on the computer. Maybe something like a big fat 'x' like on Britain's Got Talent with an animated jury of Simon Cowell, Victoria Beckham and on the end, your Nan because she'll always give you an honest opinion.

This could also have the added benefit for those who have unreasonable or inaccurate views of what they look like, or who have no dress sense (like me). The computer jury can tell them when they look like the bomb, or when they really ought to go back to the drawing board, or computer screen. My son would be pleased as I usually ask him what he thinks.

Worried about how something will wash? You could even put it through a virtual washing machine to see if the fabric shrinks or the colour runs and see if it really is a good buy after all.

Then I could really see if that spaghetti strap maxi dress will trail along the floor or if I'll look like mutton dressed as lamb in a miniskirt. Really good to know don't you think?

Anything that can cut down on waste and environmental impact has to be good and I'm sure the technology already exists to do this. I'm sure there are drawbacks but they have to be fewer than churning out low quality, badly made clothes that no-one wants.

So if anybody would like to take me up on my idea remember you heard it here first!