One size certainly does not fit all. In fact, it often fits no one.
Sizing is a perpetual problem in the apparel industry with a lack of consistency rampant among the different brands. Much of the data used by apparel firms to create their lines is based on measurements that are decades old and no longer applicable to today’s body types.
BodyBlock AI, which uses 3-D body and consumer data to provide insight on more-accurate sizing, estimates that 80 percent of sizes do not actually fit the general population.
Kirk Keel believes the number is even higher than that.
The cofounder and co-chief executive officer of Stantt said his research found the number is closer to 85 percent. “We built a company off of that,” he said.
Seven years ago, he and Matt Hornbuckle founded the made-to-measure men’s shirt brand, which uses proprietary technology to offer “a hybrid option between off-the-rack and full custom that offers the benefits of each.”
Stantt offers 99 sizes of shirts and uses an algorithm that requires only three measurements to create a custom fit. Once the fit is determined, the fabric, collar, cuff and button options are chosen and the shirt is manufactured and delivered within seven days at an opening price point of $98. There are 100 fabrics offered, four collar types and two cuffs.
Stantt’s shirts are now sold at 350 retailers as well as through the company’s web site.
Starting this fall, Stantt is getting into the pants business as well.
Keel said the process will be very similar to that of the shirts. There are 65 sizes of pants, but he said the number is actually 130 since each individual fit has different size legs, with the left leg a more classic, roomier fit and the right more tapered. This allows the customer to decide on which fit they prefer before the order is placed.
There will be 30 fabrics offered at the launch for fall and 50 for spring. They will retail from $148 to $298 and there will be chinos, five-pockets and dress pants at the launch. Denim and shorts will follow next year.
“The customer doesn’t want too many choices,” he said, noting that many competitors in the custom business offer three times as many options. “Most guys just want it easy.”
Another novel idea is that a tape measure is printed inside the leg of each pant model to ensure an accurate length.
Keel said that in addition to Stantt’s web site, the pants will also be sold in five specialty stores around the country starting next month including Rothmans in New York, James Davis in Memphis and Halls in Kansas City. Next year, about 100 stores will be added.
“We started the company as an online business, but soon realized guys love going through the process in person,” he said. “We found traction early on and then started wholesaling three-and-a-half years ago. Stores love it because it takes five minutes and they don’t have to carry any inventory.”
Stantt’s process has also attracted some well-heeled investors including Randa, New England Development, CompanyFirst, Sapna Shah of Red Giraffe Advisors and entrepreneur John DeWees, who invested an undisclosed amount into the brand in February.