The denim department at Bloomingdale's on 59th Street now includes a high-tech way to find your perfect pair of jeans: a body scan. Called Me-ality, the system reads moisture on your skin to determine your measurements, then supplies a computerized list of recommendations. Racked NY Associate Editor Nicola Fumo gave it a whirl; read her account below.
Image via Me-Ality
Jean. Shopping. Is. Intimidating. Imagine all of the curves that go into a leg (calf, knee, thigh, etc) and then trying to wrap them in a rigid material like denim. No wonder finding a good pair of jeans is so tough. Thanks to the modern age, science, and vanity, a crazy new machine has been invented to help you find the perfect denim fit. It's called Me-ality and it resides locally at Bloomingdale's on 59th Street.
I took Bloomingdale's and Me-ality up on the challenge to find my perfect fit. As someone who has the inseam of a sixth grader and isn't a huge fan of denim to begin with, I knew I would prove a challenge to the mechanized fit finder. After the jump, my experience with the machine, the recommendations process, and the resultant fitting room saga.
You really can't miss the giant circular chamber that is the Me-ality station in the denim section at Bloomingdale's. Beaming of all things futuristic, you'll need a trained associate to get started. Of course my first remark regarded the TSA scanning process. A Me-ality rep quickly told me that it is not the same system that the TSA uses (guess they get that inquiry a lot). Me-ality's system is based on moisture, so it reads where your skin is—regardless of what clothing you're wearing—to find your measurements. With that said, you can't wear leather, since leather is a skin—it has moisture, and Me-ality will pick up on that.
You'll take off your bag, coat, shoes, and whatever else might alter your silhouette first (they have peds, in case you're barefoot). Once inside the booth, a rep shows you how to assume your position for scanning and you feel a lot like a Barbie doll in a box. The "wand" passes by two times, and the whole thing takes about fifteen seconds. I made the mistake of sucking in the second time around and I had to do a new scan, since my measurements were off from scan one and scan two. The first rule of Me-ality is that you can't cheat Me-ality.
Once the system registers two consecutive, corresponding measurements, you get a barcode. You and your barcode march to computer number two, which scans the barcode and pulls up matching denim styles available at Bloomingdale's. (Me-ality as a business offers fit recommendations for a wider variety of product categories—which you can see via their website after your scan—but at Bloomingdale's it's only denim for now.) You can them print our your shopping guide indicators. Your size, brand, and style options are shown, along with the colors that they are available in.
If you have a specific style in mind, you can filter from here. I chose to go with mid-rise skinnies in black, since I am a psycho who doesn't really wear blue denim. An associate helped me around the denim floor to pick up what was recommended, and listend to my preferences (for instance, I really don't like stretch and would prefer 100% cotton, which is almost impossible to find in a department store, but the associate then knew to select nothing in the jegging category for me). To be a good sport, I picked up Me-ality's top recommendations for me.
Did they fit? Yes. Was I a fan? No. While the computerized recommendations did technically fit me, they weren't necessarily the most flattering or to my personal style liking. However, the recommendations did inform the sales associate, who was able to then pull styles that fit me physically as well as stylistically.
My big takeaway was that the technological advancements to shopping are lovely, but you'll always need that human element. My sales associate told me that having the Me-ality guide really helped him do his job, because he had an idea of where a shopper was size-wise, as well as brands that might work for them. I did wind up trying on a bunch of brands I wouldn't have normally tried, leading to some possible future purchases.
It was ultimately the assistance of my sales associate listening to my feedback that lead to my perfect fit. Now I have a new pair of skinnies—J Brand's Maria, in case you're wondering—that has basically transformed my wardrobe. The entire process is free, so there's really no reason not to try it. You'll probably gain a little size-insight (I can't promise it'll be pretty), try on some new brands, and ultimately find some jeans that finally do that thing that make other people so damn fanatic about jeans.
· Me-Ality [Official Site]
· From Cheap to Boutique: Where to Buy Denim in NYC [Racked NY]