It's Just a Number

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Do you or someone you know suffer from size-a-phobia? Or worse — is your online brand imprint muddled with sizing complaints resulting in negative customer reviews.

It's time to stop focusing on the size and pick up your mobile phone. There's an app for that.

U.K. computer programmer Anna Powell-Smith has collected the official apparel size data and built a data visualisation to assist the women of Britain and the US navigate the sea of sizing options sold at various shops. The end result is a web app called What Size Am I?

The application, inspired by The New York Times article: One Size Fits Nobody: Seeking a Steady 4 or a 10, lets you put in your measurements (bust, waist and hips) in inches and cm and recommends brands and sizes that would fit the best. Due to the three unique datapoints, the results favor different body shapes flattered by different stores.

"I tested the app with friends, and while some felt that fit also depends on fabric and cut, we were all interested to see the variation between shops... I also adapted it to display nicely on mobile phones, so you can use it on the move," said Ms. Powell-Smith within a datablog post on The Guardian website. "I'm surprised no-one has explored the data or built a similar site before, but then being a computer programmer and a fashion fan is… unusual. Coders get an unfair press in some ways (I find most are articulate and charming) but when it comes to fashion, the clichés are largely true. Tech conferences are a sad sea of baggy black T-shirts," she continued.

In an industry where virtual fitting rooms are the latest lure to dress the average woman, What Size Am I? provides a simple non-augmented solution based on official measurements published online by each shop: closest sizes estimated with least squares.

We love the motto: "Finding clothes that fit shouldn't be so hard. Add your measurements here to find out which high-street sizes are best for you," and hope manufacturers and retailers take note.