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Archive for Monday, December 22, 2008

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Myshape helps women find right clothing

December 22, 2008

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Tierra Hopkins struggles to find the right fit for her clothing.

“Some clothes fit tight on me,” the 14-year-old Lawrence resident says. “Sometimes they’re too short, because I’m so tall.”

For 57-year-old Rene Hickman, the challenge is finding looks that are age-appropriate and fashionable.

“So many of the styles fit a younger body type,” the Olathe resident says. “I think you would find that with most women my age. We used to love to shop and now really can’t find something that looks put together and is comfortable.”

One online clothing store aims to help women with their fashion challenges.

MyShape.com matches women to clothing that fits their age, measurements and lifestyle.

Launched in 2006, it now has nearly 500,000 members who’ve signed up for the “personal shop” experience, says Louise Wannier, founder of the California-based company.

“We show you a lot of looks that might be great for your figure and your style profile,” Wannier says.

To take part, women record their body measurements and also fill out a questionnaire about their style preferences, the age they dress for, the brands and designers they prefer and their lifestyle. Members then can learn about their shape and what fabrics, necklines, jackets, dresses and bottoms work for them.

Members have access to a personal shop, with clothing selected to meet their needs. The online store offers options for a complete outfit — from the jacket to the handbag.

“Women are really loving it,” Wannier says. “When they get their clothes and they try them on, they say: ‘I can’t believe I got this perfect fit off of a Web site.’”

MyShape has a different take on the traditional clothing sizes.

“Sizes vary so much,” Wannier says. “They depend on the cut of the garment and the designers. … We don’t want you to worry about size.”

Instead, myShape asks for detailed measurements, including waist, hip and thigh circumference and inseam. The online store sends free measuring tape to members who need it. And it encourages women to participate in a measurement party, where they can help one another take their measurements.

The site sells clothing for a wide range of ages, from the late teens up to women in their 70s, Wannier says.

“Whatever size and shape we are, all women are beautiful,” Wannier says. “All women can dress in a way that’s absolutely stunning on them.”

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