The fitting room - it’s a place where everyone has a story that is personal to them… and NOT in a positive way. Maybe it’s the time that you found the cutest crop top on the rack, but under the fluorescent department store lights couldn’t stand the sight of yourself in it and left feeling dejected. Perhaps it’s that time when you saw jeans that hugged a store mannequin in all the right places but just looked and felt wrong when you eagerly shimmied into them yourself.
The fitting room - it’s a place where you should feel confident, beautiful and excited to shop. It should be a place where you have endless possibilities, not endless dashed hopes. And what about online shopping? The advent of the internet made it possible to have limitless options of places to purchase clothes from, but when you purchase from many brands those fitting room experiences? They simply come home with you or - worse - you get catfished by that dress you’ve been dreaming about or pants that you’ve had pinned to your “outfit inspo” Pinterest board for a year. Why should customers have to put up with this?
The unnecessarily challenging experience of purchasing clothing - whether in person or online - is one that every shopper has faced at some point in their lives. Most brands are just starting to notice, but there are others, like 1822 Denim, that have already been harnessing the power of cutting-edge technology to solve this pervasive problem and make the retail and try-on experience one that is delightful rather than dreaded.
Remember in the movie “Clueless,” when Cher Horowitz goes to get dressed for school and opens an app on her (charmingly archaic and very 90s) computer where she can virtually try on clothes with a few taps of her finger? You know, the virtual closet that you spent your childhood, teenagehood … and, let’s face it, beyond dreaming about? Well, not only has 1822 Denim already been solving the issue of finding customers’ perfect fit, but they also have made that virtual try-on experience a reality in partnership with retail technology company, 3D Look.
What is technology really? Sure, it could be holograms, space lasers from your favorite sci-fi movies or a flying car a la The Jetsons, but really the most innovative technologies are the ones that solve practical problems. 1822 Denim’s new “Fit & Try” feature allows shoppers to both find their perfect, personalized size and see just how good they look in their next favorite pair of 1822 Denim jeans from the comfort of home. Plus, 1822 Denim only uses the images to capture customers measurements - they are never saved, so customers have nothing to worry about when they step into 1822’s virtual fitting room. No shock, no post-fitting room disappointment and no typical unwanted online shopping surprises!
In addition to giving customers a positive and easy shopping experience, the virtual fit & try technology also allows customers to understand what they are getting, which means happy customers and fewer returns. As we think about the future, one of the biggest challenges we face is figuring out how to engage in more eco-conscious practices. Fashion is, unfortunately, one of the most wasteful industries in the world - and much of that waste comes from returns. Not only do returns generate more carbon emissions, but they make up billions of tons of waste each year in the United States alone. By implementing technology that statistically reduces returns, brands like 1822 Denim are also lessening their imprint on the environment.
So, is this a one-off thing that will just go away eventually? Absolutely not. Virtual fitting rooms are the future of the industry - 1822 Denim is just ahead of the curve. In the past year both Walmart and The Gap acquired virtual sizing start-ups - that’s quite the investment and quite the statement that virtual fitting rooms are the future. Like the iPhone or even the Keurig, when new technologies spring up oftentimes people can be hesitant or resistant to use them, but now can you imagine life without the ease of Google Maps at your fingertips or brewing your favorite cup of coffee in the morning with the touch of a button? Just like the iPhone, virtual try-on technology makes our lives easier and one day, when you are shopping for your next pair of jeans, you won’t be curious to check it out - you will expect to use it because virtual fit and try technology is designed to make our lives and shopping experiences easier.
Technology is the future of fashion - and the future of fashion is not only easier for customers, but more sustainable and more size-inclusive as well. When we embrace technology that makes our lives simpler, we embrace a better future for everyone.