ASOS are, in their own words, “always testing new technology that can make our customers’ experience even better.” In the past, however, the company’s solution to sizing problems have been pretty problematic. Their clothes aren’t usually sold in regular UK sizes (6, 8, 10, 12, etc.) instead of opting for waist and length measurements which, unless you have a tape measure, is useless.
In 2017, they released a solution to this called the Fit Assistant Size. This asks you to submit your weight, height, body type and age in order to predict your size. Whilst this idea is good in theory, I’ve found it to be super inaccurate; I have a pair of unreturned trousers that are a foot too long for me as proof of this. It also asks a million questions that can be uncomfortable to answer about yourself (I’ve gotta say, putting my weight into this thing hasn't always been the most fun experience).
ASOS’s latest scheme, however, sees them working on AR to “show products on different size models, so customers can get a better sense of how something might fit their body shape.” If this works, it could be great. The issue with clothing sizes online aren’t just whether they’ll fit, but whether they’ll look good, and being able to see models with similar body types to us will massively help with this.
How this AR technology will work is the important question, as if it’s anything like the Fit Assistant Size I’m not sure I’ll trust it to be reliable. It seems to me that the best way of doing this would be to get different models to wear the clothes, but this is probably unrealistic as most people know that the clothes get edited onto the models in a post to make them look good. Whilst this scheme has the potential to be an inclusive step forward, the photos will probably still make the clothes look better than they actually are, leaving customers disappointed when they arrive.
fast fashion is deceptive
Becoming more inclusive is important, but the reality is that fast fashion is deceptive. The clothes that these models wear (or don’t wear, if they’re edited on) are not the clothes we’re receiving, and no matter how many body types are featured, they probably aren’t going to look as good. If brands like ASOS really want to limit the number of returns being made, they need to focus on producing quality clothing with a variety of clear, understandable sizes. Maybe then we would have more of a clue of what’s actually going to come through the post box.