Are you a size 2, 4, or 8? You may in fact be all three—and then some. With brands altering their sizes according to a seemingly random set of standards, shopping has become a game of “guess my size,” especially for women. (In menswear, dimensions are often measured in inches.) It doesn’t seem like the industry is moving to a truly standardized sizing system anytime soon, but to ease the confusion, MyBestFit is offering free full-body scans at shopping malls to determine what size and style fits you best among the various ready-to-wear brands.

measuring tape

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski


The machine operates much like the new airport scanners but without the pat-downs and see-through technology. You step into a circular booth, fully dressed, and wait as the scanner takes about 200,000 measurements in 360 degrees using low-power radio waves. The numbers are translated into personalized shopping guides for your body size and shape. A kiosk next to the scanner then spits out a list based on the style, size, or brand you’re interested in. MyBestFit’s database currently includes about 50 retailers, including Old Navy, Eddie Bauer, and Talbots.

Retailers pay a fee whenever they show up in the personalized search results (although they cannot pay to appear).

Free for anyone to use, MyBestFit is funded by the retailers themselves, who pony up a fee whenever they show up in the personalized search results. (They cannot, however, pay to be included in the results—shops are ranked solely by fit.) The measurement company tracks and aggregates the data it collects for future use, although no names are saved, only ID numbers.

It’s a newfangled approach to an familiar problem. By eliminating the need to try on multiple sizes of the same garment, you’ll save time, reduce shopping-induced headaches, and make fewer trips to the returns counter. By the end of the year, MyBestFit hopes to have 13 more full-body scanners in malls on the East Coast and California.

Until there comes a time when all clothing designers and manufacturers can agree on a standard sizing system, we’ll have to make do with measurement systems like this. Another tried-and-true—if low-tech—method? If at first it doesn’t fit, try, try it on again.

+ MyBestFit

[Via The New York Times]