Last week Levi’s launched a digital fitting service on their website, deigned to help women find their ideal size fitting from their comfort of their own homes.
The online service is based on the figures of 60,000 women worldwide. Mary Alderete, the clothing company’s vice-president of global women’s marketing, said: “We started out by looking at the internal dialogue women have with themselves when trying on jeans. What we found is that when the jeans don’t fit, women blame themselves instead of the jeans.”
Well, she’s certainly got that right. But although the experience of sitting on your arse while choosing jeans is preferable to cursing your arse under the harsh lights of the fitting room,
whether or not the service will actually work is yet to be seen.
Having run through the quiz the site offers, it seems unlikely that by clicking on the bum that most relates to you (and frankly, the bums on show are those that most women would give their right cheek for), you will miraculously find your perfect pair.
A little self-flattery could be disastrous: one person’s perception of a ‘slight curve’ may be one woman’s skinny (especially in the case of the smug behinds on the site). The disparity between different individuals’ perceptions could quite easily derail your online quest for well-fitting jeans.
In another online-shopping innovation, French Connection has created the first online store within YouTube in the UK, allowing customers to buy directly from videos.
The ‘YouTique’ video shop features fashion journalist Louise Roe giving fashion tips for different occasions, such as dressing for a wedding.
Users can then personalise the suggestions within the video by selecting options such as “I want something more sexy”. Once shoppers have chosen their outfits, they are helpfully directed to the French Connection online store to purchase their goodies.
Finally, not to be outdone, H&M has launched its first retail site.
Previously the store’s website only offered store locations and highlights of their collections.
Unfortunately, it seems that even with these innovations in online shopping, the World Wide Web is still a far cry from the gloriously emotionally charged sweat and tears of the shop-floor changing-room.
Perhaps it’s the websites and retailers who are having the last laugh. How many times have you bought something online, not liked it or discovered it doesn’t fit properly, and couldn’t be bothered to go through the rigmarole of sending
it back? Or, more annoyingly, discovered that by the time you’ve got round to sending it back, you’ve missed the (often unforgiving) deadline?
But online shopping is unlikely to match the real thing anytime soon – no matter how many innovations we see. Does the click of a mouse really compare to the thrill of caressing the fabrics? That delight at glancing in the mirror and feeling those butterflies at having found ‘the one’ (perfect dress, that is)? Can it replace the salubrious girly gossip of the between shops coffee break? Sorry, internet – you can never take this away from us.