Scanned in My Skivvies: How a Techy Tailor Cut the Perfect Suit for My Body

By Brent Rose on at

Do you know what’s more nerve-wracking than having a camera pointed at you while you’re standing in your undies? Having 26 cameras pointed at you, that’s what. I felt all of their eyes simultaneously sizing up my various bits and pieces, and it made me want to crawl out of my skin. But when I tried on the suit that they measured me for, hoo boy, that awkward moment proved worth it.

Alton Lane sits squarely at the intersection of boutique fashion and technology. Getting a fitting in the company’s New York City showroom was a bit over the top. I was plied with whiskey and shown endless fabric swatches before being led to a secret room hidden behind a bookshelf for my measurements. I stripped to my undies (behind a curtain) and an instant, the 3D body scanner took hundreds of measurements precise to within a tenth of an inch. Then in a factory far away, a computer-controlled laser cutter sliced and diced the fabric I’d selected before my garments were sewn together with expert hands.

The result is a suit that fits unlike anything I’ve ever worn. Not only was I able to choose every detail of the suit’s style, but it took into account every asymmetry of my body, like my weirdly high left shoulder and my slightly longer right arm. It probably could have accommodated a vestigial tail if I’d had one. Watch the video above to see how the whole process works.