Clothing on the dot
July 5, 2018 8:25 PM   Subscribe

A new company is trying to make literally custom clothes for any body. Right now it's only jeans and T-shirts, but they use different size rivets to scale with the jeans.

First you order a all-body leotard with dots (sensors?) all over it and wear it in front of a scanner app.
posted by clew (50 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have an average-to-thin lanky body and I'll swear by XL t-shirts and Levi's shrink-to-fit 501s until my dying day. Mostly because I don't care about fit in the way others do, mostly because of my build.

I think if I didn't have this build, I'd want these kinds of options. Because that photograph of the crowd of different body types at the top of the page all looking really great and natural and comfortable in their clothes is something that made me smile.
posted by hippybear at 9:07 PM on July 5


If slightly paranoid about human biometric data, this reads like a crazy fashion industry hybrid of Google reCAPTCHA and Everlane and a phishing attack:

0) We want to 3d-print clothing but we need body scans
1) Rubber balloons are cheap and easy to print scanner dots onto
2) ???
3) Profit

Have they shipped actual product? If not, what a terrific fly-by-night opportunity it is. The body scans are infinitely more valuable than the single free pair of shirt and jeans.

And, like, if they can give me two items of free perfect-fit clothing, am I receiving sufficient value in exchange for my data? I feel like I should ask for residuals.

I also want to do this, and wear clothing that fits perfectly.
posted by crysflame at 9:12 PM on July 5 [9 favorites]


Do it using a strip mall mailing center post office box under a fake name and do the suit wearing Juggalo makeup?
posted by hippybear at 9:15 PM on July 5 [7 favorites]


Why do you think body scans are valuable?
posted by dilaudid at 9:25 PM on July 5


This is the most Japanese take ever on "Western" web design:
* "be unique, be equal" - but the quotation marks suggests maybe not? 🤔
* Using ~ as a dingbat (not an actual tilde)
* Using 【 】 as a dingbat for the headings
* Using ◆ as a dingbat for unordered lists
* The font-family declaration is: "中ゴシックBBB",Gothic Medium BBB,"ヒラギノ角ゴ ProN W3",Hiragino Kaku Gothic ProN,"メイリオ",Meiryo,Verdana,"MS Pゴシック",sans-serif; How?? Why?? 😂 😭
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:29 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


I don't think this is "a new company". Start Today seems to be a pretty massive retailer (market cap about a trillion Yen; comparable to Gap, for a clothing retailer comparison), though their English-language web presence is almost non-existent.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:52 PM on July 5


◆ This looks interesting, and it seems like it could be great for people who can't buy clothing off the rack for any number of reasons

◆ I highly doubt it's a scam to gather biometric data

◆ I'm pretty sure this website does better on western typography than most sites trying to do the reverse

◆ I'm going to check back when this thread starts making any sense at all
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 9:54 PM on July 5 [28 favorites]


The company was on a NKH World Japan News Business segment a few days ago. Apparently not a scam, and they're just dots on a leotard. Wasn't paying enough attention to notice exactly how the app works (pictures, video, poses, ...).
posted by zengargoyle at 10:15 PM on July 5


The concept of a perfectly fitting T-shirt is strange to me. I thought for T-shirts ‘fits’ just reduced to ‘isn’t too small’.
posted by Segundus at 10:24 PM on July 5 [8 favorites]


We already have mPort scanners in most of the malls here in Australia.
posted by unliteral at 10:36 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


It's a cool idea, but a body scan is of limited help if the designers still lack understanding of how to dress larger or differently-shaped bodies. Blond woman at the front still looks to be suffering the common curses of the too-short shirt and crotch-doing-a-weird-thing jeans.
posted by gennessee at 11:24 PM on July 5 [14 favorites]


I want this very much, but still two obvious issues: 1) There's no unique perfect shirt, but many perfect shirts, for example the style of the V-necks are too high for my taste, and I prefer shorter sleeves, etc. 2) The color of the jeans are not real, and I've learned that unless you wear the thing a computer photo isn't accurate enough.
posted by polymodus at 11:26 PM on July 5


There are plenty of custom clothing services out there where you simply send them your measurements and they make you custom clothes. I'm skeptical that this could be better, but I would try it just because they're Japanese. The Japanese are fanatical when it comes to custom fit jeans.
posted by xammerboy at 11:48 PM on July 5


It's a cool idea, but a body scan is of limited help if the designers still lack understanding of how to dress larger or differently-shaped bodies.

Is there simply a segment of the clothing industry out there that publishes much more precise information about their mass-produced clothing—like a mathematical NURBS surface and some information about the properties of the material it's made out of like stretchiness or the degree it'll shrink, or something like that—and then lets the customer just compare the measurements of clothes you've already bought and know will fit you to other stuff you're looking at?

Or for that matter, are there even companies that try to reliably manufacture identically-sized and identically-shaped clothing and shoes? I have bizarrely-shaped feet and there's usually only 1 or zero pairs of shoes in any given shoe store which will fit me, and even after going through and trying on dozens and dozens of pairs at multiple stores over multiple shopping trips, I usually end up with a bizarrely-colored pair that I still discover will raise blisters in some novel location after prolonged use, long after returning them is possible.

I bitterly hate shopping for shoes and clothes and I can't even imagine how much time and aggravation I would have saved over my life if I could look at the tags on old items of clothing or old pairs of shoes and just order identical new ones.
posted by XMLicious at 2:41 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


> I can't even imagine how much time and aggravation I would have saved over my life if I could look at the tags on old items of clothing or old pairs of shoes and just order identical new ones.

That wouldn't help you. Companies change the meaning of sizes. The Large of the shirt that you bought from a store a dozen years ago is probably not cut the same way from the same fabric now. Similarly, the shoe company might have changed the construction of your shoes, or are using different lasts because the manufacture shifted from a factory in China to a factory in Indonesia, so they won't necessarily fit the same way now.

This is in addition to the problem of vanity sizing.
posted by ardgedee at 3:07 AM on July 6 [6 favorites]


I need this in my life. Jeans and tshirts I can get by, but suits? Any kind of nice dress? Or even, god forbid, pencil skirts? I think I have a relatively normal body shape but finding these things to fit me off the rack in a flattering way seems nigh impossible.

The concept of a perfectly fitting T-shirt is strange to me. I thought for T-shirts ‘fits’ just reduced to ‘isn’t too small’.

Then you add boobs to the equation, then shit gets complicated. Plus I don't want to look like I'm wearing a tent, or like my boobs are trying to escape the confines of the shirt to go their own way. And I'm not even particularly well-endowed!
posted by stillnocturnal at 3:33 AM on July 6 [8 favorites]


Companies change the meaning of sizes.

Yeah, I know that, that's exactly why I asked if there are any companies that try to reliably manufacture identically-sized and identically-shaped clothing and shoes. The various reasons why most companies don't bother or intentionally change sizes make sense; but it's weird that in a global industry this enormous there apparently isn't a niche to not do that, or even just a niche for companies that comprehensively and accurately describe the shapes of different runs of clothing and shoes even when those shapes change along with manufacturing and marketing decisions so that they can be compared with each other.
posted by XMLicious at 3:40 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


> The concept of a perfectly fitting T-shirt is strange to me. I thought for T-shirts ‘fits’ just reduced to ‘isn’t too small’.

As a woman who's had a lot of "unisex" "small" shirts foisted on me, I disagree. For one thing, women's t-shirts are often thinner at what someone, somewhere imagined to be the location of the waist. If the t-shirt is too large, I look like I'm wearing a tent/doing some sort of weird dress-jeans hybrid. Also some waisting on t-shirts leads to people constantly asking me if I'm pregnant (and no, I didn't buy these shirts in the maternity section).
posted by threementholsandafuneral at 3:55 AM on July 6 [11 favorites]


I'm pretty shocked that the prices are as low as they are. I was expecting to see three-figure (USD) prices for the jeans, and something closer to $30-40 for the t-shirts.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:11 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


This can probably work well for something unstructured like a t-shirt. I'm guessing it might work okay for something relatively unstructured like stretchy-fabric jeans and certain women's garments. But for something like a blazer or structured dress pants? Forget it. This is not "custom clothes." Real custom clothing is difficult enough to make using a real person with real experience taking real measurements in person. So I guess the question is how much you want a great-fitting t-shirt or how much more you're willing to pay for a marginally better-fitting pair of chinos out of the box. Meanwhile, one way to get a great-fitting pair of jeans, slacks, button-down shirt, whatever, is to buy something slightly too big and take it to a good alterations tailor. There's no way having your picture taken in a funny-looking leotard will get you a pair of pants that fits that well.
posted by slkinsey at 5:13 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


The concept of a perfectly fitting T-shirt is strange to me. I thought for T-shirts ‘fits’ just reduced to ‘isn’t too small’.
This is really not true for women, or at least for women who aren't shaped like models. I'm currently in the market for a new staple t-shirt, because Uniqlo seems to have done something bad to theirs, and I'm running into all sorts of problems.

1. I have relatively narrow shoulders, and a lot of t-shirts sit weirdly on my shoulders.

2. I have big boobs. My t-shirts need to be able to accommodate my boobs. The necklines also need to be low enough to be flattering but not so low that they show cleavage.

3. So the t-shirts need to be big enough to fit my boobs, but they then need to go in a bit below my boobs, or it looks like my belly is as big as my boobs. There is literally nothing less attractive on me than a top that fits my tits and doesn't nip in at all at the waist.

4. However, I do have a bit of a belly, and my t-shirts need to skim my actual belly, rather than clinging to it and showing every bulge.

5. Fabric matters a lot. I need fabric that is thick enough so that it hides what I want hidden but not so stiff as to be uncomfortable.

Well-fitting t-shirts are enough of a holy grail that I would be willing to pay a lot more than what they're asking for them. I'm a little skeptical that this thing will work, but if it did, I would be all over it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:25 AM on July 6 [13 favorites]


This is not "custom clothes."

Ah, okay, so this company in the OP is doing more comprehensive sizing measurements of mass-produced clothing and just keeping the sizing information secret so that you have to give them a body scan. I too readily accepted the "literally custom clothes" and "mass customization" and "made to order" verbiage.
posted by XMLicious at 5:43 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious: I totally know what you mean, as I have had a conversation like this with Mrs. slkinsey, who has different but not dissimilar fit issues. If you're willing to spend $ on t-shirts, have you considered getting something that fits your boobs, and having an inexpensive tailor at a dry-cleaner take in the shoulders and put in darts or do something else to reduce the size below the boobs? You could probably get the alterations done for around ten bucks per shirt, and they would fit you perfectly.
posted by slkinsey at 5:43 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Huh. I totally hadn't considered doing that. I should think about it!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:46 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


I'm currently in the market for a new staple t-shirt, because Uniqlo seems to have done something bad to theirs, and I'm running into all sorts of problems.

Yeah, my go-to Old Navy tees changed a few years ago to something I don't find wearable at all. I used to be able to order them online without trying on and know they would fit me perfectly, hold their shape and color, and last a few years.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:58 AM on July 6


Dunno, I think I just want the polka-dotted leotard.

for example the style of the V-necks are too high for my taste, and I prefer shorter sleeves, etc

Yeah, now that I've looked at the picture, the black t-shirt pictured looks like exactly the kind that I hate most: the v-neck too high; the sleeves too long. YMMV.

I'm currently in love with the Levi's 511 stretch. I bought a pair, then I went and bought more pairs. I just wish they came in more colors.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:05 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


It's a cool idea, but a body scan is of limited help if the designers still lack understanding of how to dress larger or differently-shaped bodies. Blond woman at the front still looks to be suffering the common curses of the too-short shirt and crotch-doing-a-weird-thing jeans.

So much this. Also, those pictures show people wearing shirts with *vastly* different amounts of wearing ease. That could be a matter of personal preference, of course, but if you're trying to show off your ability to get something to fit perfectly, shouldn't you show it actually fitting each person perfectly in the same way? Compare the ease around the upper arm of the woman on the far right and the woman on the far left. I'm not saying that there's no market for t-shirts that fit in each of those ways, but that's not the result of fitting one design perfectly to two different people. That's either two different designs (wearing ease is a key element of clothing design) or the same design being plopped indiscriminately on two different bodies.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:11 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


◆ This looks interesting, and it seems like it could be great for people who can't buy clothing off the rack for any number of reason

Next thing you know, we'll all be making clothes for ourselves, ones that fit, instead of relying on mass production, what a concept! What's next, farmer's markets?

Looking forward to more of this type of thing.
posted by Melismata at 7:17 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


>Or for that matter, are there even companies that try to reliably manufacture identically-sized and identically-shaped clothing and shoes?

Men's dress shirts are pretty standardized - they have consistent numerical neck and arm measurements and then also say something like "regular fit" for roomier fits or "slim fit" for more close-fitting styles. This means you can pick up a packaged shirt and be confident it will fit you even if you can't try it on.
posted by Small Dollar at 7:44 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


And while we're airing our frustrations with the garment industry, is it really too much to ask for a pair of non-stretch women's jeans?!? If I want stretch pants, I'll wear stretch pants; that's not what I wear jeans for!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:53 AM on July 6 [6 favorites]


This is nifty. I'm interested in gender neutral clothing lines generally and the image reminds me a bit of the marketing for dapper boi jeans. Customizable clothes are great, too. For a long while I was getting eshakti dresses because the sizing was just so much better with my non-standard postpartum body. Plus, pockets!

These days I'm mostly wearing men's clothes, though, with the exception of bras and an occasional cowcow dress and I have to say that most fit me better than any women's styles ever have, and it's generally so much cheaper than buying women's clothing. I'm short, 180 lb, FF cup bra, but a slightly baggy men's t-shirt wears and fits better than a lady's teeshirt almost every time? Likewise shorts, underpants (no wedgies in men's boxer briefs!). And everything has pockets where you can actually fit a phone! I've even found the holy grail, well-constructed, heavyweight jeans with massive pockets, a lightly elasticized waist a la maternity jeans, but a zipper and button and belt loops, too. For under $40 a pair, and I can buy shorter inseams without paying more for them. The marketing is ridiculously macho tho. "These jeans give a little extra thigh and glute room, hello ladies!"

Was having a convo with my spouse about them after I tried on his pair and promptly ordered another (magically we're the same size right now) and he had no idea that women's sizing often doesn't even include inseam length. "But people have different sized legs! Even women!" Indeed. Anyway, these are my magic jeans and they make me happy.

But I could give these a try. The price is right, at least.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:58 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Body scans are valuable! Companies use that stuff to determine clothing fit and size ranges for certain markets or demographics. I wanted to access some body measurement survey data for a thesis a few years ago and it was bananas expensive.

I like the idea of ZOZO, but I'd choose a company that employed actual, experienced pattern cutters rather than computers so situations like the blonde woman's horrible jeans fit could be avoided. Or any of the women in that picture, really.
posted by Stonkle at 8:35 AM on July 6


Men's dress shirts are pretty standardized - they have consistent numerical neck and arm measurements and then also say something like "regular fit" for roomier fits or "slim fit" for more close-fitting styles. This means you can pick up a packaged shirt and be confident it will fit you even if you can't try it on.

This is true, but only to a certain extent. For example, I have a very large neck and somewhat short arms. Clothing companies make the (not entirely unreasonable) assumption that someone with these measurements is likely to be grossly overweight, and as a result I usually need to buy "athletic fit" or even "extra slim fit" in order to get a shirt that doesn't fit me like a tent. I am, uh, not athletic or extra slim.

Common to all men's dress shirts are shoulders that drop off the shoulders , armholes that aree too low and large, and sleeves that are too capacious, among other compromising defects. This means, among other things, that the shirt will have a tendency to untuck a bit whenever the wearer lifts his arms too high, and unattractive bags of underarm material will stick out the armholes when he wears a waistcoat. These things are magnified a bit for me due to my specific issues, but they will be the case for any man wearing an off-the-rack dress shirt. These shirts are deliberately designed that way in order to "fit" a broader range of body types. Few men bother getting their off-the-rack dress shirts altered for a better fit, but it's well worth it if the original model is pretty close to a good fit already.

Effectively the deal is that the available range of men's dress shirt options means it's pretty easy to get a "mediocre-but-acceptable" fit, but not necessarily a "good" fit. That said, I think it's infinitely easier for most men to find a wide range of button-down shirts within the realm of "acceptable" than it is for most women.
posted by slkinsey at 8:41 AM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Bust adjustments are one of the most basic things you learn how to do, so many pattern companies now specify the cup size they are drafted for or offer bodices in multiple cup sizes. Bras come in cup sizes and so do swimsuits; why are t-shirts so far behind?

I am also unimpressed with the fit on the examples given here.
posted by crush at 8:47 AM on July 6


The body scans are infinitely more valuable than the single free pair of shirt and jeans.

There's a pretty good selection of biomechanics data out there, which includes decades of motion capture studies and traditional biometrics (circumference measurements of literally every part of the body you can run a tape measure around, body-fat measurements with calipers, etc.). And you can get people to do way weirder things in front of a camera than wave their arms around while wearing a body stocking with dots all over it, for surprisingly little money.

I could believe that there might be value in the diversity of data you would get by giving away free clothing to people on the Internet, versus going to a place with a bunch of people whose time isn't particularly valuable (aka a "college campus") and handing out crisp Jacksons, or recruiting professional models through an agency. Maybe that could be part of it.

Where I suppose the real value might be, after thinking about it a bit, is in developing a list of people who are interested in buying custom-made clothing and having their body scans available. There's a pretty good opportunity in being able to market to you in the future, once they have your scan and—maybe more importantly—have also convinced you of the value proposition of 3D printed clothing in general.

People have such divergent preferences when it comes to buying clothes—some people want to bargain-hunt, some people want to shop with friends, some people want to buy online but don't want to risk having stuff not fit—that identifying the people willing to and interested in buying custom made clothes based on a body scan is probably a very valuable piece of market research.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:31 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


The fact that they offer mens and women's versions makes me think these aren't as sophisticated as they claim - if they were truly based on the body scans, they wouldn't need to know which half of the binary I forced myself into. They'd just make it fit their sizing dots. if the dots meant i needed more room in the bust, or the shoulders, or the crotch, then it would just happen, regardless of how I identify.
posted by mrgoldenbrown at 1:25 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


~I'm currently in the market for a new staple t-shirt, because Uniqlo seems to have done something bad to theirs, and I'm running into all sorts of problems.

~Yeah, my go-to Old Navy tees changed a few years ago to something I don't find wearable at all.


Gildan tees at Michael’s. Seriously. Tons of colors, and most of them are all-cotton. Oh, and really affordable.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:32 PM on July 6


if they were truly based on the body scans, they wouldn't need to know which half of the binary I forced myself into.

I mean, yes and no. In a certain sense, that's true, especially for items as generic as t-shirts. In another sense, it's not true, because women and men will tend to have different preferences in terms of sleeve length, shape and depth of neck opening and overall wearing ease, or for jeans, pocket placement, ease, length relative to leg length, rise relative to waist, etc. Which isn't to say that some women won't prefer the men's version and vice-versa, or that a really good example of a product like this wouldn't allow you to make those choices independently, the way eShakti allows customers to pick their own sleeve length, neckline, etc.

That said, the promotional image does not make me confident that they are properly taking these factors into account even with gendered versions of their product.

Honestly, I'd really just prefer that eShakti licence the body scanning tech and also start making better pants.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:39 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]



I am also unimpressed with the fit on the examples given here.
posted by crush at 10:47 on July 6 [+] [!]


Yeah, everyone in that group pic is wearing a shirt that is too loose and the pants are hemmed too high.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:41 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


This is really not true for women, or at least for women who aren't shaped like models. I'm currently in the market for a new staple t-shirt, because Uniqlo seems to have done something bad to theirs, and I'm running into all sorts of problems.

Not possessing an all-body leotard with dots to send out and collect nefarious info with, ArbitraryandCapricious, I cannot speak to your fit issues. But if you feel like risking a return, I would strongly recommend Grana cotton tees for great fabric. I switched to them after being disappointed by too many J. Crew tees.
posted by grandiloquiet at 2:43 PM on July 6


I'm a very petite guy who has always had trouble finding clothes that fit me, especially jeans. So I decided to give this a shot. It looks like you currently can't actually purchase anything from them in the US at the moment? The best I could do was enter a contest to win free clothes. So I did that, what the hell. I'll report back if I win.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:43 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


As a big data buff, I assure you... I could big data the snot out of a bunch of body scans... I mean, this isn't 23 and me level don't share your data but, if my clothing was all tailored to one regional body type and I had to enter the biggest clothing market - this would be a great way to gather aggregate data on size and upcharge early adopters with the concept of personalized sized clothes.

But yeah... I would play this off on the Crazy People Sony advertisement and claim they make superior clothes with superior technology and because Americans are too damn fat.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:43 PM on July 6


are there even companies that try to reliably manufacture identically-sized and identically-shaped clothing and shoes?

Military uniforms, probably? AFAIK the most comprehensive US biometric data, on which pattern company sizes were based for decades, was on our military.
posted by clew at 4:47 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


I too have registered and we’ll see what happens if anything comes from it but yeah, nobody in that picture looks well-dressed.
posted by Iteki at 7:50 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


And while we're airing our frustrations with the garment industry, is it really too much to ask for a pair of non-stretch women's jeans?!?

This is the bane of my existence right now. I even went into the local levi's store, prepared to spend what to me was crazy money on jeans, and every single pair was stretch fabric. I just want jeans where you can't literally see my underwear through the fabric! Is that too much to ask! I've ranted about this elsewhere but all the suggestions didn't have UK stores :(
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:27 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Bit late to the thread, but I too have given it a go. Short/fat/boobular female, so yea, clothing fit is a distant dream to me. I am also entertained by the dotty leotard thing.

stillnocturnal - if you're in the UK - M&S! (I do like a bit of stretch in my jeans, as I enjoy breathing when sitting down, but they do all kinds. No 'branded' jeans have ever fitted me worth a damn, so YMMV of course. FWIW my jeans with stretch are not some kind of hideous transparent jeggings, they're just jeans, with a bit of give.)
posted by Ilira at 5:03 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


So, you guys, I am picked for a suit! This is gonna be epic!
posted by Iteki at 6:46 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


I won the Zozosuit sweepstakes too! I wonder if they basically approved everyone who applied. Hopefully this thread is still open when it arrives so I can give my review.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 8:31 AM on August 2


Suit buddies!!
posted by Iteki at 10:19 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Zozosuit for me too!

Is their data going to hugely overrepresent online communities? We are a hunchy people.
posted by clew at 4:47 PM on August 2 [4 favorites]


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