Technology helping solve the question “Does my bum look big in this?”

Many of us have experienced the frustration of buying something online. It goes something like this: buy it in our size, receive it and realise it’s a completely wrong fit, return it frustrated, wait weeks for a refund and have to start again. Finally, technology may be able to help solve this issue before we do more damage to the credit card. Through scanners and data mining, we can now “try on” clothing and get a custom fit without the high price tag.

(Customers) are saving money that they would otherwise spend on gas to get to the mall, or on shipping and returns for online purchases.

Stitch Fix founder and CEO Katrina Lake

One virtual try-on system is made by US-based FaceCake. Called Swivel HD, it projects clothing onto users as though they are looking in a mirror. Users stand about two feet away and hold out their hands as if they are grabbing products off a rack. If you bend with a virtual purse on, the strap bends with you so you can see how it fits your body contours. Perhaps the best feature of the tools is that we can finally solve the age old question of: “Does my bum look big in this?” by crowd-sourcing an opinion via social media. For instance, Zappos promotes crowd-sourcing by asking users to hashtag #nextootd with their Instagram posts - the tool then replies to users with tips and recommendations on their wardrobe selection.