ZOZO Product Review: The New Age of Custom-Fit Clothing

ZOZO Facebook Ad

Around mid-August of last year, I was faced with a post on my Facebook news feed from a company called ZOZO. Similar to many ads, they were offering their product for free. Unlike most, there didn’t seem to be a catch. It was also something that was much more intriguing than a cheaply made pair of earrings or a necklace.

ZOZO was launched by Yusaku Maezawa, the founder of ZOZOTOWN, Japan’s largest fashion e-commerce destination. Rather than selling clothing from other brands, ZOZO was developed to target the issue of sizing within the industry by bringing custom-fit clothing to the masses. They don’t look at their customers as standards that fit specific sizes dictated by them. Their technology is meant to measure our bodies precisely, so that our apparel fits our unique shapes.

I decided to take a chance, and I pressed the link. The registration I filled out online prompted an email with further instructions, including the requirement of downloading the ZOZO app from Google Play and creating an account. As it turns out, this was considered by the company to be a short term “sweepstakes” and, if I was lucky enough to be picked, I would receive a confirmation and an estimate for the receipt of my ZOZOSUIT.

A few days later, I learned that my efforts were successful. I would be getting a ZOZOSUIT with the arrival date to be determined. It took approximately another three weeks before I heard anything. The suit finally made it to me within the first week of October and I went through the exercise of measuring myself shortly after.

My ZOZOSUIT was mailed to me with a size chosen based on my height and weight.

The ZOZOSUIT is made out of a nylon/polyester/spandex mix (if it’s not too warm or itchy for you, they might make great pajamas). It comes with a pair of pants and a long sleeve top that has a slight turtleneck and thumb holes. It’s basically meant to cover every square inch of your body with dots that are then scanned by their app.

I experienced some troubles with this program. The app can be a little bit finicky as you need to place your phone (back camera facing towards you) on a stand that is set somewhere about table height and at least six inches away from the counter ledge. Initially, it was difficult to find a spot that was bright and spacious enough for the phone’s camera to read what was around it. You then have to back away about six feet. If all goes well, the app will proceed to speak to you through voice commands. Photos will be taken of you in consecutive positions until you’ve hit all twelve numbers as you imagine yourself turning atop the face of a clock. My first attempt actually seemed fine until the app attempted to process everything and then spit out an error message.

On the second try, it worked. Using a series of a dozen images, the system amalgamated all of the data and it calculated the enormity of my hips, the stoutness of my inseam, and put me in denial as to just how big my waist had become. Personally, I wasn’t satisfied with what I saw. Mostly, I couldn’t fathom that my right thigh was a whole ten centimeters larger in diameter than my left one. Therefore, I did what any other sane user would do. I proceeded to let the app take my measurements three more times. To be honest, I’m amazed that I wasn’t curled up in a corner crying by the end. I still wasn’t fully convinced that it had the right numbers, but the later digits were better than the original readings, so I chose my free items (dark indigo blue skinny jeans and a black v-neck t-shirt) and submitted my order.

A confirmation came through within a few minutes. It stated that the regular cost for the jeans were $58 US and the t-shirt was typically $22 US. Both were fully discounted along with the $10 US for shipping and handling. In the end, I paid absolutely nothing out of pocket.

Now, the waiting was the hardest part. The email had listed an expected delivery time of four to five weeks. Mid-November rolled by and there was nothing. I logged into the app to see if any updates had been provided. The status had not changed at all. It wasn’t until December 7 that I saw a message from ZOZO saying that my order had shipped. By all accounts, it took eight weeks for them to mail out my products. Granted, I completely understand that my items were free, so I get that it may not have been their priority. In my mind, it made sense for the company to focus more on the paying customers first. I was mostly just eager to see the outcome.

As soon as I got my hands on the parcel from ZOZO, I opened it. The clothes were pressed, folded, and packaged perfectly in see-through bags. The black t-shirt was deep in colour and felt like quality cotton since it was quite thick-knit. It appeared to be evenly cut and the stitching was secure. The labels on the inside indicated the chest, shoulder, and length measurements, presumably based on what the app had spit out. The jeans were a nice wash, made with a slight stretch. Almost all of the metal fixtures on the jeans are branded, too, so you know that they take their product seriously.

The t-shirt has short sleeves that are a tad too long and it’s quite boxy.

That being said, ultimately, the biggest test for ZOZO is the fit. I slipped the t-shirt on and I just laughed. I tend to prefer clothing that is more fitted. This was extremely boxy and lose, most prominently around the waist. Reviewing those numbers on the tag, I have a hard time believing that I have a 43 inch chest, considering my bra size is a 34. I’m also not a fan of the short sleeve length as the hem reaches too low by going more than halfway down my upper arm. It’s fine for a casual top and I can always just wear it to lounge around the house, but I really wasn’t too impressed with the t-shirt.

On the other hand, the jeans were a pleasant surprise. While they failed to provide an exact fit — a tad loose in the front hip area, not quite tapered enough at the hem, uneven back pockets, and not enough lift in the buttocks — I couldn’t believe how well the app managed to calculate my waist measurements (the ZOZOSUIT was somewhat baggy around the stomach). The jeans hugged my curves! For me, that always seems to be the hardest part about buying jeans or pants. They’re either good in the hip/thighs, but not in the waist or vice versa. The stretch in the material meant that the jeans from ZOZO were form-fitting in the majority of other spots. What would make them even better is if the inseam was right. The jeans are about two inches too short, so they look like ankle pants. I’ll take them though. For the spring, summer, and early fall, they’ll do.

The app does allow for further customization (take in the waist more, shorten/lengthen the leg, get a tailored hem), which didn’t seem to be an option for the free items that I received. It’s certainly something I’d consider experimenting with more. The measurements that the app took of me previously are saved for future use, and the ZOZOSUIT can be reused as long as the dots printed on it remain in tact. The service is offered to a number of countries already, and the ZOZOSUIT is free, so there really isn’t a downside to testing it out.

Would I order again? Maybe. Right now, they don’t have an extensive collection of clothes (strictly basics) and the process time from start to finish is considerable. So, if you need a pair of jeans quickly, this isn’t the option for you. But, as ZOZO grows and their measurement system gets smarter, I’d certainly mull over the possibility of purchasing custom-fit clothes from them again. This is especially true now that I’m aware of the fact that their products can be fine tuned further than what is calculated by the app. I also have a pair of jeans to go off of. Therefore, in the future, I can more easily dictate what exactly has to be modified to best meet my needs.

Fall Fashion Fete 2013

With a frost starting to chill the air, I realize it’s time to put away the summer dresses and start dressing for the weather. Autumn is a time for layers, leather, suede, leggings, scarves, knits, boots and quilting. It does not, however, mean that colour disappears. I like to keep it neutral with shots of brightness thrown in for good measure. Bold prints such as geometrics, leopard, snakeskin and houndstooth keep things from getting too serious. If anything, you might say that fall’s style is out of this world this year.

Here are some looks that I’ve pulled together with the use of Polyvore:

Autumn Orange 2013

Autumn Orange 2013

Autumn Pulse 2013

Autumn Pulse 2013

Darkness Falls 2013

Darkness Falls 2013

Falling for Layers 2013

Falling for Layers 2013

Falling From the Sky 2013

Falling From the Sky 2013

Now, if only I was so organized when it comes to my wardrobe every day. This is how I aspire to dress when I go out. But, even if I’m half as put together as the styles above, I’m still ahead of the game. If all else fails, keep it effortless with a sweater, leggings, booties, your go-to purse and natural makeup that shows off who you are without going over the top.

What about you? What styles, trends and looks are you hoping to rock this autumn?

Bridesmaids Dresses – A Lesson In Compromise?

I have been to maybe a handful of weddings in my life. But, next year will be the first time I’ll be part of a friend’s bridal party.

I am certainly excited at the prospect of helping to make it the best day possible for her (you have no idea how many times I’ve asked her when we’re going to start looking at wedding dresses). It seems to have been built into my DNA to love planning events, crafting, shopping and cake eating, so I think I’ve got all the bases covered if she needs me.

One discussion we have had a couple times though, is the all important question of what the bridesmaids will wear. I don’t know what is traditionally done. Back in the day I think the bride would buy the dresses for her wedding party. When it was her money, she had all the say. If you came out looking like a cupcake that went home with cheesecake after a drunken night out, well, you just had to live with that.

Remember the horrific closet from 27 Dresses?

I get that the bride doesn’t want to be upstaged. I don’t think that any good bridesmaid would want to do that to their friend. I know I would never want to detract from the happy couple. Yet, in today’s modern society, where many bridesmaids are now having to foot the bill for their own dress, how much say do they have when it comes to what they wear?

I personally plan to be a good maid of honour and intend to be as polite as possible when giving my opinion on whatever we are trying on. The great thing is my friend and I have relatively similar taste in clothes, so the two of us will likely see eye to eye for the most part. However, it will be interesting to shop with the rest of the bridal party and find out how well everyone else does in this situation.

I expect that clashing styles, personalities and body types can mean disastrous shopping trips (fans of Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids will know how out of hand these excusions can get). My fingers are crossed for the best. And, I hope that I walk out of this with a dress that’s fairly affordable and that I’ll actually want to wear again. Those are the only two things I’ve asked for and I think my friend has agreed to that. Hallelujah!

Model, Molly Sims‘ Mismatched Bridal Party Dresses Doesn’t everyone look fabulous and happy?

Do you have any bridal party horror stories? Dress nightmares? What did you make your bridesmaids wear at your wedding? I’d love for you to share in the comments section below.

Photo Sources: Scribbles, Scripts & Such & Molly Sims