Clothing Size Nightmares, Meet Your Match

by Tyler Atwood

If you've ever had the fleeting thought that whoever designed the American womenswear sizing system may have been severely lacking in understanding of the feminine form, 2014 may be your best sartorial year yet. The venture capitalist-backed manufacturing tech company Body Labs creates body scans to determine more realistic sizing for clothing companies, and if all goes according to plans, its work will revolutionize the way attire is measured and sized. Women's Wear Daily reports that a sizable $2.2 million investment may push the company to success in creating completely customized wares, and the transformation may extend to the way women perceive the mythical "ideal proportions" of the female body.

Though creating scans to measure the body may sound like something out of Blade Runner, the necessary technology is well within reach. Body Labs first takes a scan of the body, which will be added to a bank of what CEO Bill O'Farrell calls "thousands of people in different shapes and poses [scanned]". From the scan, Body Labs then creates a 3D facsimile of the body unique to each user or consumer, from minute measurements to how the body changes dimension while in motion. The company's website even offers a sample of the service based on measurements you can take in the comfort of your own home. FirstMark Capital venture capitalist Lawrence D. Lenihan, Jr. states that taking the latter into account is crucial in determining the perfect fit.

Your measurements are different from your shape. This technology provides a mathematical model of what your body is, how it moves, and how it changes in different positions.

After each user is outfitted with their virtual fit replicas, the real fun begins: Participating companies will revamp their outdated fit scales in favor of new ones which cater to the actual human body, as opposed to a clothes hanger or the unattainable model proportions.

Though the Body Labs itself and FirstMark Capital are quick to cite the luxury and comfort of individualized fit as the major benefits resulting from the innovative technology, it also may mean a significant shift in how women view their bodies. The gutted feeling one has when trying on a pair of jeans in her supposed size and realizing they simply won't fit is no joke, and it isn't the result of indulging in the occasional candy bar at lunch. In fact, many luxury clothing brands don't manufacture their clothes to fit the average woman's body. Instead, women who don't possess long, lengthy and impossibly slim physiques often have to jump up a size or three to fit into designer clothing. If Body Labs' continues to grow and expand in an upward trajectory, perhaps the days of attempting to conform to a one-size-fits-all culture will finally be over.

Image: Body Labs