If it seems strange or unusual to be asked for your body measurements while shopping for clothes, that’s because it is out of the ordinary. Buying clothes that are made to a rough approximation of your body—Small, Medium, Large—is the norm for now, but it doesn’t mean it always will be. In fact, the changing opinion among fashion tastemakers such as Levi Strauss & Co-CEO Chip Bergh is that so-called “standard sizing” will be out the door very soon. Said Strauss at CNBC Evolve, “Sizes will go out the window 10 years from now. Everybody will be able to do their own body scan on a camera.”
It’s nice to hear our vision for Balodana isn’t crazy—and in fact, we’re a part of a rising trend that’s swiftly overtaking the off-the-rack status quo. The Wall Street Journal journalist Suzanne Kapner says in her piece ‘It’s Not You. Clothing Sizes Are Broken’ that there are a “crop of companies that are trying to solve the fit problem…[They] include apps that take 3-D body scans, knitting machines that produce garments with less than 1% variation and custom tailoring services.”
Most measurement tech is focused on helping you decode retail size guides, but we think you should just jump the line and bypass the size chart altogether. Our solution is to make clothes precisely to your body measurements. So, how do we get those measurements? We’ve got some options, so you can pick exactly what is most convenient for you.
Phone a Friend
Some of the measurements on the Balodana Measurement Profile would be very difficult to take yourself and you could produce inaccurate results if you aren’t careful. That’s why we recommend that if you want to do your measurements at home, do so by all means, but grab a buddy to help you out. Maybe you can return the favor afterwards!
Using our comprehensive Measurement Guide for help and inputting the data directly into your account via your phone or computer, you and your friend should have no problem at all. Plus, you can order our handy little measuring tape for help! A few things to note:
- Wear close-fitting or stretch clothing (but not too “squeezy”—no Spanx!)
- Wear the bra you wear on a normal basis (no sports bras!)
- Double-check measurements to make sure you get the same results, especially on key areas like bust, waist and hips
Pro tip: Tie some sort of ribbon or elastic band around your natural waist to use as a consistent reference point for accuracy when you are taking any of the drape measurements that involve your waist. You want your waist to be in the same place during the Collarbone to Waist measurement and the Waist to Knee measurement, don’t you?
Visit a Professional Tailor
Our tailor network is large and constantly growing. If you don’t find a tailor on our map who’s in your location, just reach out to us at [email protected] with your zip code and we’d be happy to find you one. (And send us your favorite tailor so we can add them to our list!)
We understand that going to a professional can seem inconvenient, but it provides a certain peace of mind for those of you who don’t feel confident doing it on your own. And, if you set up an appointment, you can go on your own schedule. It generally takes less than half an hour and most tailors charge under $20. Just show up with your Balodana Measurement Guide printed out for them to see the pictures/text, and follow the same instructions as before: wear tight-fitting clothes with a regular bra.
Ensure your tailor is taking measurements according to the Balodana Measurement Guide. They shouldn’t be too tight or uncomfortable, or too loose. Our designers interpret your measurements as they need to based on the understanding that the measurements you provide are snug to skin/body. The only exception is for your bust, where you can allow a small amount of padding if you’d like to allow for bra and weight changes (put a finger into the measuring tape area to add a bit).
Pro tip: Your local dry cleaner will probably perform this service for you for free. Ask them about it next time you’re in to pick up your dry cleaning!
Technology for body measurements is already here, people! While the highest accuracy options aren’t attainable just yet, there are a couple of companies we’re really excited about.
3DLook is a body data platform that Balodana is currently trialing that allows our customers to take two pictures of themselves, submit their height and gender, and receive a list of body measurements. We are currently garnering customer feedback to test it out, so please help us!
FIT:MATCH is an extremely interesting AI-powered shopping match experience that debuted in November 2019 in Baybrook Mall near Houston, TX. After answering a few questions about style and fit preferences and then spending a few seconds with Fitch, the 3D measurement tool, FIT:MATCH delivers shoppers with 150 body measurements and a personalized set of clothing that matches their fit profile. Shoppers can then buy those items within the studio or at home or on their phones on the FIT:MATCH site.
One of our design partners, Samshek, has a similar experience in their New Delhi and Pune, India stores. Their ability to deliver made-to-measure clothing at scale at record speeds is in large part due to their body scanning machines that have allowed them to analyze tens of thousands of anonymized customers’ data to make informed assumptions on clothing fit.
Pro tip: If you opt to test out 3DLook for us, go ahead and also take some of your key measurements at home with the help of a friend so you can compare them for accuracy!
- When ordering your garments, if you’re concerned about weight fluctuations or fit in certain areas, contact the designer and ask if they’ll leave a seam allowance or build in extra fabric to allow for local tailoring. A second fitting with a hands-on tailor is not unusual, and in fact is common for highly structured garments to get a perfect fit.
- Check any measurements that could be affected by weight fluctuations every 6 months.
- Before you order a garment, do a quick check of your bust, waist, and hips to ensure the measurements we have in your profile are accurate. These are the most essential measurements and we want to make sure they’re perfect every time. Remember to measure your waist and hips snugly (while keeping it comfortable), but to allow a finger’s worth of room on your bust measurement since there are often day-to-day fluctuations here.