Dotsuit: The future is a bodysuit with dots on

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Since the advent of the industrial revolution way back around 1760 to 1830, the garment industry has been pretty much business as usual. Some may argue that there has been immense innovation, but if you look at it with a realistic eye, it’s spinning, weaving, cutting and sewing that fills the days. Yes, fast fashion and offshoring might count as innovations of a sort, but more in regards to volume and profit than in a technological sense. Laser cutters and parametric designs are certainly innovations, but hardly earth-shattering. Though they do lead on to what I think is a paradigm shift.

The problem of non-standard human bodies

As most of us know, standard sizing and non-standard bodies is a very real issue. We’re not born to a cookie-cutter size and surely evolve in our own ways. Sure, if you’re a totally standard size, and the clothes you like adhere to your standard, you’re golden. Heck, if you’re a solid medium, you’re also the most average of sizes. The thing is though, the average is just that, the sum total of all sizes divided by all measured, so chances are that a large portion of us are outside the standard boundaries. Some makers make longer or shorter versions, but most don’t. It’s so much easier to just make huge amounts of standard sizes and be done, as it’s not like they won’t be sold (or burnt or dumped on a landfill).

What if there was a way to order clothes that actually fit you though? I know, there is such a thing as tailored clothes and made to measure, but that’s expensive, involved and really not within the realm of most people. And it’s not like you’re going to do that for the basic gear you want to wear on an everyday base. Requirement one is that someone will make clothes that are your size.

What is your size though? You might think that’s not a problem at all, just get out a tape measure and there will soon be lots of numbers on the pad. Only, you can’t do it on your own. Heck, you’d be hard pressed to even get an accurate measure of the length of an arm without help. And it’s also not entirely straightforward, even with help. The definitions of measurements can vary, and the motivation of your helper may flag. So really you need a skilled tape measure operator to help you, which isn’t easy. So, requirement two is that you can obtain accurate measurements.

Two simple requirements, either of which is enough to put the kibosh on the idea of getting kitted out with well-fitting basics.

The solution may be the dotsuit

Imagine my utter delight when I found an answer to this. And what I regard as a paradigm shift in how we find clothes. And at this point, I will mention that I have no incentive in any way of mentioning the company behind it or their services.

Illustration from Zozo.com

Illustration from Zozo.com

The company in question has come up with something so stunningly innovative that I keep having to suppress a giggle when I think about it and the possibilities it provides (yeah, I know, not something you expect from a middle-aged man of astute faculties). What they have come up with is a very accurate way of measuring your body, which in addition is simple to perform and almost without cost. And on top of that, they have created a way to order a range of clothes made to order from these measurements. This means that the two requirements mentioned above, which seemed almost impossible to fulfil, have been taken care of in one simple move.

Dotsuit, this sounds pretty unlikely

How does it actually work? For starters, you register an account with the company and order a free dot-suit. Dot-suit? It’s like a really body-hugging body-suit with dots all over. Free? Indeed, they only charge a postage fee and it’s yours, not obligations on either part. You then download an app to your smartphone and place your phone on the simple stand that is included. Once done you are scanned in 12 positions, as directed by the app, and you’re done. The dots are all individually pattern-coded, so the app is able to produce a 3D-model of your bodies landscape and measurements are claimed to be down to an accuracy of around half a centimetre, or a quarter inch.

Me in my dotsuit. Am I comfortable sharing this?

Me in my dotsuit. Am I comfortable sharing this?

And it does measure the full and actual you. There’s no mileage in standing straighter, sucking in your gut or being sloppy with the tape measure. You’re modelled, exactly as you are, for clothes that will fit the size you actually are. Vanity size? Who are we kidding, this is down to the brass-tacks reality. You’d like to know what I look like scanned, judged and measured?

The process itself is very simple and goes like this:

  1. Oder a free dot-suit from Zozo, here (I paid 10 euros postage, this may vary)
  2. Wait for it to arrive a few days later
  3. Put the dot-suit on, wearing your usual underwear. It may be best to do this when home alone
  4. Start the app on your smartphone, log in to your account and select measure
  5. There are easy to follow videos explaining the details of adjusting the suit and so forth
  6. Set your smartphone on the included basic stand
  7. Follow the voice audio to take the 12 measurements, following a clock face. I found it helpful to take note of the floor, so as to more accurately get each hour right.
  8. That’s it.

The result of the dotsuit scan

I did the process twice, to see how consistent the measurements are. You’ll immediately notice if your arms have an unequal length or similar, in which case I’d suggest redoing. Like most things in life, practice makes perfect.

 

 

Right now there’s only a basic selection of styles that can be ordered, but in the interest of science, I’ll be ordering a couple of items, probably a shirt and a pair of jeans. I’ve no idea how long this takes, but I’ll report back when I receive them. For the time being though, I now have some pretty decent measurements of my body, which if nothing else is a possible topic for small talk if I find myself stuck in a forced social occasion, eh?

Keep an eye out for more on this.

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8 Comments

  • Arnold Cohen 07/10/2018 at 18:21

    One of the joys of the USA is the sequential arrival of immigrant groups from all over the world. Often, members of these groups set up tailoring businesses. It is a needed service and requires a lot of skill but little start up cost. My grandfather from Belarus, then Italians, now folks from Asia are good examples. I have a wonderful local tailor from SE Asia who is a magician with fabric! I would recommend trying to find local services rather than dot shirts. These people are often superb at their work, eager to build a business and provide a quality service. Using them helps them, your community and is a great personal experience!!

    Reply
    • nick 07/10/2018 at 18:25

      Arnold, I hear what you’re saying, but it’s missing the point. While skilled, local tailors will surely provide quality garments, not everyone has access to them (there are none at all anywhere even remotely close to here, as an example), and even if there were you’d hardly go to them for a t-shirt or a pair of jeans. So while I’m all for supporting local craftsmen, you have to see the dot-suit as an alternative to the fast fashion empires that are both fiendish to the enviroment, the workforce and are creating insance landfills of crummy garments.

      Reply
  • Arnold Cohen 08/10/2018 at 01:16

    Hi Nick, you point is well made. The great variation in sizing from manufacturer to manufacturer, even item to item with the same label, makes finding well fitting garments a challenge. This would certainly help that. Now, do I give it a try?….

    Reply
    • nick 08/10/2018 at 05:39

      I’d say yes, if only for the experiment 🙂

      Reply
  • Magnus Holm 08/10/2018 at 19:37

    Interesting! If this actually works, It would be really great. By the way, is that a Moomin house I see in the bakgrund?

    Reply
    • nick 08/10/2018 at 20:35

      Indeed it is 🙂

      Reply
  • Craig 10/10/2018 at 11:15

    Superb! I already have my dot suit here. Only tried on the top and couldnt stop laughing (along with my wife and kids – trying it on alone definitely recommended). Let us know how you get on with the orders as I was going to do the same!

    Reply
    • nick 10/10/2018 at 16:41

      I ordered a shirt and a pair of the bluest tapered jeans. Says to expect 4-5 weeks delivery, so just that aspect isn’t entirely as smooth as one might hope for!

      Reply

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