Have You Ever Had a Me-Ality Body Scan?

(Courtesy of Bloomingdale's)

In a move that will seriously cut their customers' jeans-shopping time in half, five Bloomingdale's stores (59th Street, Roosevelt Field, Wisconsin Place, South Coast Plaza, and Santa Monica Place) have installed Me-Ality Size-Matching Stations — full body scanners that recommend clothing based on your measurements — in their denim departments. So, I went to the retailer's New York City flagship to try one out! And this is what happened.

First of all, you don't have to get naked! Me-Ality machines scan you while you're fully clothed, which is great, because their walls are glass. I took off my shoes and belt (so, it's kind of like going through a TSA checkpoint), handed them to an attendant, and stepped inside the enclosure. Then, I stood very still, arms at my sides, for about 15 seconds while a wand circled me twice — here comes the technical part — sending radio waves (no X-rays or radiation are involved) and, in turn, receiving tiny signals (as in one one-thousandth of the power of a one second phone call) reflecting off of moisture on my skin.

Based on that information, the Me-Ality machine compiled a list of about 20 jeans suited to my body type. (So, no white denim or bootcut styles for me. Which is okay, because those things only look good on, like, Miranda Kerr.) On the computer attached to the station, I could sort my picks by cut (skinny, boyfriend, cropped, etc.), brand, and rise. The list was super detailed — it recommended different sizes for styles by the same brand, and rated each pair on a sliding scale of fit — and I printed it out to take with me to the denim department as a guide.

In the Bloomingdale's jeans shop, I pulled three or so of my favorite pairs from the Me-Ality list, and headed to the dressing room, where I found that every single one fit — which never happens. There were no weird gap in the waist — my main problem when trying on denim. Like most women who use the body scanner — about 65%, according to a Bloomingdale's publicist — I ended up with pair of jeans from a brand I had never worn before (Textile Elizabeth and James), and probably wouldn't even have tried if the Me-Ality machine hadn't pointed me in that direction.

(Shopbop.com)

So, the three minutes it took to get scanned and form my list were worth it. And, since I registered with Me-Ality.com, I can go to their website to check out my profile and shop more things that fit me, besides jeans. (The Me-Ality site links to other e-commerce shops.)

With denim, I still think the process works best in stores. (No matter how cool a pair of jeans looks in photos, I still want to try them on.) But, in a pinch, being able to access my Me-Ality chart online could be useful for buying other annoying-to-shop-for things, like, say, swimwear.

The only caveat? Me-Ality only recommends clothes that really flatter your figure, a.k.a. make you look hot, and sometimes looking hot isn't the point. So, even though my slouchy J. Brands didn't even register on the Me-Ality scale of "Things I Should Put On My Body," I'll still wear them all the time. They'll be getting some serious competition from my cropped Textile jeans, though.
I'm the Senior Associate Editor at StyleBistro. Follow me: Google
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