What is the Clothing Genome Project, and What Does it Mean for Our Shopping Experience?

May 30, 2014

4:00 pm

Shopping for clothes can be a fun experience – but it can also be hell on Mother Earth. While it's definitely fun to browse around looking for some cute things to potentially wear, it's frustrating when you're really only looking for something more specific – like a cute cocktail dress in a certain price range. As it stands, there really aren't any online retailers or shopping sites that allow for such tailored experiences. Well, a company in Pittsburgh is trying to shake up that norm through what they call the “clothing genome project.”

Tailored Fit is an online shopping platform that tracks a user's clothing style and provides product recommendations based on the actions through which they interact with various products featured on the site. By merely signifying that they like or dislike a particular piece of clothing, Tailored Fit's “clothing genome project” will analyze the traits associated with each liked/disliked item, and will modify your shopping experience by showing you more products with similar traits to your liked items. For founder Nat Eliason, he describes the experience as Pandora-like in its ability to sift through the style “genes” and provide you with a shopping experience unique to each user.

“At the core of it, it's similar to the way Pandora works in recommending music,” said Eliason. “We have about 1,200 clothing ‘genes' to describe each piece of clothing on both a micro- and macro-level, which enables us to figure out how similar or different the items are within a cluster.”

In the future, rather than having to explore different websites and conduct comparison shopping, Eliason hopes that Tailored Fit will eventually become the one shopping service platform for all these interactions to take. Rather than being a mere aggregation service of products from across the web, the company actually works with retailers to integrate the products into the platform, and allow for an integrated shopping cart. That means that users are not only shown products tailored to their preferences, but they can buy all of them from the convenience of a single checkout.

Currently, Tailored Fit has over 120,000 products from 10 retailers, including popular online retailer ASOS and major chain Nordstrom. The company is working on a mobile app that aims to provide users with localized shopping experiences. For Eliason, the ultimate goal is to simply the entire clothes shopping experience – whether that's online or offline. In addition to working with major retailers, Tailored Fit is reaching out to local boutique shops that could benefit from local discovery. “We want to allow for local discovery and bring our recommendation technology to the real world – no is really doing that right now.”

Tailored Fit was featured at our Pittsburgh Mixer & Startup Showcase last month.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.