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App could take the risk of out buying clothes online


September 25, 2012

The Verisize app is designed to determine what size of clothing a person takes, without requiring them to take a series of measurements

The Verisize app is designed to determine what size of clothing a person takes, without requiring them to take a series of measurements

Buying clothes online is always a bit of a crapshoot. You might know that a Large shirt from one designer fits you, but that doesn’t mean that a Large from another designer will also. That’s why a group of PhD students from Spain’s Universitat Autònoma de Bacelona (UAB) created the Verisize app – it’s intended to lessen buyers’ chances of ending up with clothes that don’t fit.

Ordinarily, clothing websites will provide a sizing chart, which requires buyers to obtain measurements of various parts of their body. It’s hard to say how often people bother to get those measurements, although according to the team at UAB, many people don’t want to take the several minutes required to do so. By contrast, Verisize reportedly only takes a few seconds to use.

After indicating their gender and the clothing brand that they’re looking at, users are presented with a screen where they input their height, weight and age. They are then asked to select their body shape from six provided examples. This is where things could get tricky, as they might misjudge what their shape is, or perhaps might even subconsciously choose the shape that they’d like to have. In any case, based on that information, the app then tells them what size of garment they should get – in that brand.

Verisize was created by studying the anthropomorphic characteristics of over 50,000 people of differing body shapes. UAB hopes that it will not only make things easier for consumers, but that it will also help online retailers avoid the costs and complications involved in processing returned items. Prices for businesses using it range from US$99 to $549 per month, depending on the plan chosen.

Source: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spanish)

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Or I could use an existing product which is called a "Tape Measure" (consumer) and the business can provide exact measurements which is what they already do.


And don't forget: you are giving away your measurements to a third party that WILL sell your info in order to be crosslinked with the rest of your online footprint. And apart form that, I can't believe how they managed to charge a monthly fee for giving access to a simple size table. I know it's the trend these days. There is no such thing as private property, just paid services!


Even if you do use a tape measure it is hard to gauge how the clothing fits because the concept of "fit" is subjective based on how loose/tight different people prefer their clothes and how loose/tight a specific clothing item is intended to fit.

I have an idea, next time I go through an airport image scanner I can opt to have them hand me a card with a unique number or bar code on it. Then when I shop online they can generate a 3d model of me based on that information and I can virtually "try on" items and see how they fit right there.

If I am going to discard my shoes/belt/wallet/watch/phone etc. to have security use millions of dollars of equipment to see a naked digital version of me I might as well get something out of it.

Additionally, a clothing store could do the same thing for customers right in the store with a cheaper technology (a few photo angles in front of a grid and software to model them) but tight fitting clothing (or more clothing removal) would be required for the image.

Buying clothes online is a difficult problem to solve but not impossible. Once you make the effort it could even trump sifting through stores for the right items in some ways.


First, I am curious to see the actual measurements of mens' pants - a 36 is no longer 36 inches (measure it yourself!) - depending on the brand, the actual measurement might be as high as 4" larger. Seems the manufacturers have been pulling the same thing on men that has been done to women's sizes - a size 4 dress today has the same measurements as a size 6 or 8 few decades back - appealing to the vanity of those women who want to fit into a size 4.

Beyond that, depending on the garment, as @Diachi points out fit is something beyond a few measurements. In menswear, European jackets and tops generally have a larger "drop" - the difference between chest and waist size - than US brands do (perhaps to allow for our obesity issue in the States). So a size 42" chest does not immediately translate into a proper fit for a given shirt.

And footwear is the worst to buy without trying on - the real fit of a shoe depends heavily on the shape of the "last" - the form used to shape the upper of the shoe. So various size shoes 10 from different manufacturers can feel very different on your feet, since shoe size is purely a measure of foot length.

I guess the operative phrase in the article hear is "it’s intended to lessen buyers’ chances of ending up with clothes that don’t fit" - which I guess it will do. But it's no panacea.

Bob Fately

Ok, this sounds STUPID to me. They need to come back when they have something interfaced with the camera.

Bryan Paschke
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