No, it is not an airport scanner! I read about the Me-Ality scanner in an article in the LA Times and thought this looked pretty interesting. At the end of the article, it listed the Malls in SoCal that had the scanners, and the mall in the next town has one, so I thought I'd sheck it out! First, though, what is Me-Ality?
Once that has been done, you get a computerized list of clothes that will fit your body, starting with those that will fit the best. The list gives you the name of the garment, the colors and price, and the store that has it. Sounds too good to be true! I went with my daughter, Annie, to test it out and see how it works, and this is what I found.
First, it does not cost you (the consumer) to be scanned. From what I understand, the goal is that the clothing manufacturers.stores cover the scanning cost, as it is a marketing tool for them. If you get a list with items that fit and the stores where you can purchase them, you will go shop there first!
Second, currently, not all clothes are in their database. Right now the categories are Jeans, Slacks, and Women's Tops. They are working on Skirts and Dresses (yeah!).
Third, the clothes that are in the database are garments that the clothing manufacturers have input. I found a wide variety, from Levi's, Talbots, Ann Taylor (my personal favorite), JCPenney, Banana Republic, Aeropostale, American Eagle, etc. That being said, everything that they make has not been input.
Fourth, If you are hard to fit, the scanner is not going to change that. It will just make it easier tofind clothing that has been made for your particular measurements, IF IT EXISTS AND IS IN THE DATABASE!
I had them do Jeans and Women's Tops. If you have never seen me in person, I am on the small side, and while that may make it seem like that would make it easy for me to find clothes, I am not consistant in my shape. I took a class once to draft a blouse pattern, and when I had the block drawn the teacher came around and told me it looked like it was a blouse for an alien (thankyou very much!). Pants are not usually a problem, other than being too long (that is what hems are for), and the computer printed out a dozen options for Jeans, all of which fell into the fits well category.
The Women's Tops were a different story! Altohg small, I am very broad across the shoulders. I have a hard time finding blouses that fit correctly and when I am buying suits, I have to buy seperates to get a correct fit. If I am looking for a dress, I can maybe squeeze by with a sleeveless summer dress (don't have to worry so much about the fit through the shoulders/sleeves, as there are no sleeves), but a winter dress is next to impossible. I usually end up wearing skirts and tops. On the computerized list, there were only 3 tops listed. All 3 were blouson styles and a size Large was recommended. While this was disappointing, it was not unexpected, and it actually made me think the scanner was right on the money!
Bottom line is...........try it! The more the consumer tries and uses this technology, the more the manufacturers are going to be willing to enter in their garment information. Pattern drafting software has already started going 3-D, so the information is there - the manufacturers just need to see the demand fro the consumer (us) to have the information in these databases!