Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Verdict On The Virtual Model

Lands' End has a "Virtual Model" on their website.  The idea is that you can type in your measurements and it will show you how their clothes look on you.

That's the idea, anyway.

Last week, I realized I needed a new swimsuit (what with dropping about 3 sizes from my last swimsuit purchase).  Lands' End has a huge swimsuit selection, so I figure I'll try there.  And I start by trying a bunch of swimsuits on my virtual model.

My virtual model looks pretty hot in one suit, so I figure I'll get that one.

And then I get a little worried, because I then saw a picture of the swimsuit on a live human being (i.e. their catalog model) and the suit looked totally different.  All baggy in places and stuff.  I looked back at the virtual model and, y'know, she filled it out. 

I decided to give it a shot.  If it doesn't fit, I can always return it (at my local Sears). 

Swimsuit arrived today.  I tried it on.  It fit...

.... like it fit the catalog model.  Very bunchy and baggy.  Not at all like how it looked on the virtual model.  I am so taking this sucker back this weekend.

I then decided to try an experiment on the virtual model.  (An experiment I should have tried before I ordered this thing.)  I started messing with her dimensions.  I made her weigh 90 pounds and look totally flat-chested (like the catalog model).  I put the swimsuit back on her.  She looked great in it -- not at all like how the model actually looked wearing the swimsuit.

Further messing around with the virtual model's weight and shape convinced me that all clothes always fit the same on the virtual model.  If she weighs more, they make the clothes look a little wider, but the fit is always the same -- perfect.  In my case, whoever made the image of the swimsuit that they stretch and shrink to fit the virtual model made it a really nice slim-fitting image. 

Unfortunately, that ain't this swimsuit.

Sigh.  Serious limitations to the Virtual Model technology.  What we really need is a virtualmodel that actually shows you stuff like your big ol' butt hanging out the back of the swimsuit.  Now that would be useful.


hewasolddog299 said...

Maybe make your own -- enlist a co-conspirator and take some photos of yourself au natural, from many angles. Slowly add things like underwear, then slacks and skirts and blouses and suits and dresses from frocks to fancy -- all kept on a single disk under lock and key. With serious encryption.

Or maybe go to a largish expensive department store and try on suits in the company of a matronly sales clerk who you have advised that potentiality for a tip is directly proportional to how brutally honest she is about the fit and appearance of each item you try on...

Here's a cool bit -- the (all female) clerks at Fashion Bug wouldn't let me get a virtual model fitting... (my wife shops there, silly -- I was just enamored with the technology -- and the willowy blonde in lingerie was tasty)).

Seems they didn't think I'd:
(a) be buying any clothes; and,
(b) the other customers might take offense to my dangleberry bits (hell yes -- *I* take offense with them, too!).

grodygeek said...

Don't forget that elastic leg band always creeping into an uncomfortable position so you  have to slip your finger under it and pull it back like a child lunging toward the fine china display at someone else's house.

Sounds like they used the "Sims" virtual model. And the automatically custom tailored virtual clothing. Maybe model is okay, its the clothing for the virtual model that sucks.

Then again, have you seen how I dress? I tell you what, if it doesn't have a clearance tag on it, I ain't buying. Attractive? I'm not so why bother.