Vanity sizing begone, let the machine decide

  • Article by: DEBRA D. BASS , St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Updated: October 3, 2012 - 1:59 PM

Instead of spending hours in the dressing room with three to four sizes of jeans in various cuts and lengths, it would be nice to have a foolproof, no-nonsense way to cut through the pile.

In theory, technology could make that very easy. A machine scans your measurements in intricate detail and compares that with a database of measurements on file. It can then definitively state your size.

The problem, however, is that "fit" is perhaps more subjective than a cold, calculating machine can realize. Some people like things tighter here and looser there and so one person's "this doesn't fit" is another similarly sized person's "this feel great."

To be sure, something needs to be done to combat the rampant, gratuitous and often annoying vanity sizing trend. But a machine can't tell you if something makes your butt look good. The problem? There are no standards for sizing.

Well, technology -- and Me-ality -- to the rescue. Me-ality was introduced in St. Louis earlier this summer; here's what retail business reporter Kavita Kumar had to say:

"When I got the results, my jaw dropped. I should have definitely sucked in.

"The machine said I should go for two to four (!) sizes larger than I usually wear. Have I been wearing embarrassingly ill-fitting, too-tight clothes all this time?

"Needless to say, I didn't run out for a fitting."

Human "size matching experts" from Me-Ality, or Measured Reality, demonstrate how the technology works and how it "takes the guess work out of finding your best fit."

"During the preview phase of Me-Ality, more than 400,000 shoppers across America found their perfect fitting jeans and pants," Tanya Shaw, Me-Ality's president and CEO said in a news release. "We are now matching shoppers with tops, and more clothing will be added in the coming months."

Kumar had a different experience, but she said it wasn't all bad. She managed to soothe her affronted ego with good old-fashioned retail therapy.

"I went to one of my favorite stores, where 'Me-Ality' told me to try on pants two sizes bigger than I normally wear. I picked up a pair in my usual size. To my relief, they fit."

Minnesotans interested in having a Me-Ality check are out of luck -- for now. The closest locations are Milwaukee and Chicago; see me-ality.com for details.

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