When was the last time you walked into a shop, picked out a garment in your size, paid and walked out with absolute confidence that it would fit you? Do you dread shopping online because you spend more time sending things back because they didn’t fit, than you spend actually wearing the clothes that do? If so, you certainly aren’t alone.
And if you’d never dream of buying a dress or pair of trousers without trying them on first, you might be pleased to hear that Select Research Ltd are helming an extensive and comprehensive survey – the first since 2001 – of our changing body shapes in order to collect definitive sizing and shape data on behalf of six major UK retailers.
And excitingly, you can help.
The survey needs to create a nationally representative sample of a minimum of 30,000 adult men and women, so they have opened it to the general public. If you're an iPhone user over 18, all you need to do is download the app, take two photos of yourself and answer a short questionnaire. The initial app will just be for iPhone, but there will be an Android version following in a few months' time.
Using revolutionary new Body Volume Technology to evaluate the photos you provide, it records the body outlines anonymously and creates 3D scientific data for retailers and clothing designers to use in sizing and body shape design. The images are always deleted.
It measures the weight distribution of seven areas of the body – both arms, both legs, chest, pelvis and the abdomen – in 3D, so it can similarly capture body volumes for retail clothing. The aim is to collect data from across the nation to get an overall representation of people who share the same clothing size but different body shapes.
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How to take your photos
You’ll need to have another person be your photographer – mirror selfies simply won’t work.
If your hair is long, tie it up away from the back of your neck in a neat bun to make sure you have a smooth outline, and make sure the base of your neck is visible when taking the side facing photo.
Wear tight-fitting clothes that show your figure; try leggings and skinny jeans rather than loose sports trousers or a skirt.
Don’t worry about taking off jewellery or glasses.
Ask your photographer to kneel down so that the camera is level with the waist, keep the phone vertical and support their arm to reduce camera shake.
Your photographer will align your body within the dotted line body on the screen as closely as possible, and take to photos – one from the front and one from the side.