When sizing garments, most companies divide people into three broad categories: small, medium, and large. But a quick look around reveals what a flawed model this is—a person might be small-waisted but large-armed, or tiny-shouldered and long-torsoed, and none of those S/M/L labels really fit. Ill-fitting clothing inevitably leaves us with the Goldilocks problem, feeling too small or too large, especially when “extra” is the added qualifier on our labels.
Designers Matt Hornbuckle and Kirk Keel realized that our sizing system is a broken one, and decided to change it up. Using 3-D body scan data from more than 1,000 men, they created Stantt, a line of casual button-down shirts that come in 50 sizes, with three measurement variables: chest size, waist size, and sleeve length. Each scan was composed of about 200 measurements. “The project started out of frustration with the shopping experience and not being able to find something that actually fit,” Hornbuckle tells Co.Design. The fit of the resulting shirts isn't custom-tailored per se, but it might as well be, and costs far less money and time than an individual fitting. In 100% cotton, with stainless steel collar stays, the shirts will be available in five colors.
In August, Stantt launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the shirts that ended up being a flop—it didn’t reach its $15,000 goal. “The first page focused too much on the research,” Hornbuckle says. Following the “if at first you don’t succeed” proverb, the pair went back to the drawing board and relaunched their campaign last month. “We focused our portfolio and told our story a different way, highlighting what consumers really care about—style, fit, affordability,” Hornbuckle says. This time around, after a total of two years spent developing the line and two days left in their campaign (as of November 15th), they’ve raised $94,000, well over their goal.
As of now, they don’t have any concrete plans to develop these custom-fitting clothing for women, but Hornbuckle says it’s a long-term goal. If this new fitting technology catches on successfully, it could revolutionize the garment industry-–no more shoulders sliding halfway down your arm, no more rolled-up cuffs, no more saggy, baggy tops or stretched-out waists. Hornbuckle says, “I can no longer wear the brand of button down I used to wear exclusively. This is way more comfortable.” In reality, there are as many sizes as there are people, so offering 50 sizes is quite an improvement on the norm of three.