Online shopping is the answer to many a busy Belle’s prayers as demands on time seem ever increasing. It’s so much easier to browse the shops from your desk on your lunch break than brave the High Street queues and risk a rollicking from the boss for being back late. But with the bonus of the ease of kitting out your wardrobe from the comfort of your laptop comes the drawback of having to send half of it back because it doesn’t fit. Be it skirts or shirts, knickers or knee-highs, where a woman is a Size 10 in one shop she can be a 14 in the next, and the difference between fits varies as much as the price tags. But now there’s an app that claims to solve the problem of buying clothes online in the wrong size or style.
Fitbay is a free app, also available as a web-based service, which presents users with a fully curated overview of clothes available online that are aligned with their taste in fashion, as well as being the right fit for their body shape. According to research recently carried out by Credit Suisse, a staggering 40% of online clothing purchases are returned, often due to issues with fit. Fitbay aims to solve this issue, removing the “will-it-won’t-it” fit experience from online clothes shopping altogether.
Devised in Denmark, Fitbay is a ‘social shopping’ app, which works by connecting users with similar body types and style preferences, sorting them into groups so that information on fit and particular brands can be shared with other users who have similar body shapes and tastes. This crowd-sourced feedback allows Fitbay to provide its users with a personalised feed of products that will both fit and flatter their unique body type – all without having to input measurements. Users can also follow their ‘body doubles’ – others with similar body shapes – and can share photos of themselves in certain outfits, giving users of the same shape and size a visual representation of exactly how items of clothing will fit. Sounds good so far!
The app is designed for both men and women, and alongside presenting fashion in the right size, Fitbay aims to provide inspiration for its users with a growing database of 2 million purchasable clothing items – from high street brands, exclusive designer labels, to niche items drawn from smaller online boutiques (many of which might not otherwise be discovered). These items are added by Fitbay users, as well as from catalogues within existing e-commerce stores, which are then analysed by Fitbay and recommended to users with suitable body types.
Christian Wylonis, Founder & CEO of Fitbay, told Belle About Town: “The launch of the Fitbay app cements the message at the heart of our business model – online clothes shopping should be simple and hassle-free. Fitbay users don’t have to spend time measuring themselves to ensure the clothes they buy fit correctly – our crowd-sourcing approach to data does that for them. The app also adds a new dimension to the service, where users can upload photos of themselves wearing clothes to demonstrate exactly how they fit. By sharing and seeing photos of their body doubles wearing specific items or brands, users can get an idea of how certain clothes will look on their own frames, and shop online accordingly. We describe this process as ‘selfies with a purpose’ because it’s the first time that selfies actually have a practical application.”
How it works:
• Signing up to Fitbay takes 30 seconds, and no measuring is required. Users simply answer five anonymous questions about their body type and shape, before uploading information about items of clothing they already own and that fit them perfectly.
• Fitbay connects users into virtual networks based on their height, weight, and body shape, creating a social shopping experience. Insights and recommendations from other similar users create a personalised online retail environment, where every item of clothing will fit.
• Users can share photos of themselves wearing certain items of clothing within their network of ‘body doubles’, allowing them to actually see how items of clothing fit other people with a similar body shape and size to their own
• Users of the Fitbay app can access recommended items from a wide variety of brands, stores and countries that they might not usually come across. A link to where these items can be purchased online is included within the item’s description on Fitbay.
• The more data a user shares with Fitbay, the more detailed and accurate Fitbay, and therefore their recommendations, become, using big data and a process of ‘nearest neighbour analytics’.