On many web sites for automotive parts (e.g. Amazon, AutoZone), you can specify the exact car that you own. Then, the web site will only show results that work with that car (Figure 1).
Fig 1: You can specify the details of the cars in your “garage” and will only see car parts that work with that specific car.
Strangely, almost no retail web sites let you do the same thing with human sizes.
Instead, you have to read through the reviews and try to parse other customers’ unreliable descriptions:
- “RUNS SMALL, order one size up!”
- “Narrow in the shoulders.”
- “These socks are made to fit shoe sizes 4 through 16. Somehow.”
- “Vanity sizing: the ’34’ is really a ’38’.”
Although human shapes don’t have easy-to-remember names like “1976 Dodge Dart,” there are still only a small and finite number of parameters that must be addressed.
To fix this, you should be able to either specify your particular measurements, or go to a retailer and get an “official” set of clothing measurements, and then input those in a web site, as shown in Figure 2.
From then on, it would flag each item of clothing as “FITS YOU” or “DOES NOT FIT YOU” (optionally; with a reason; for example, “These jeans are too long, but would otherwise fit you—add the ‘hem jeans’ option for $7.99.”)
Fig 2: After entering your clothing measurements on the web site, all clothing items will be marked as “fits you” or “unlikely to fit,” making it easy to buy clothes online.
PROS: Would make shopping for clothes online even easier than it already is!
CONS: People would need to be truthful with their actual dimensions. Fortunately, a tape measure is non-judgmental and is uninterested in feeble excuses.