As SF Indie Fashion readers may recall, last summer, I embarked upon an experimental shopping journey through the IndiDenim ordering process. As I wrote in my first post Indi Denim: Part I, my goal at the time was as follows:
In my quest to a) avoid denim shopping and b) offer myself up as an online retail guinea pig to other indie fashion consumers, I’m going to report on my experience with the company from beginning to end.
Why? Because it can be a bit daunting to drop $135 on jeans you’ve never seen, much less tried on. But the concept intrigues me. So I decided, what the hey, let’s live crazy dangerously and offer our $135 up for the sake of SF Indie Fashion readers. Oh yeah, and my lower half, which I do sincerely hope will be wearing a decent, if not rad, pair of jeans when this is all said and done.
As many SF Indie Fashion readers already know, I did not keep the resulting pair of jeans. If you’re interested (and if you want to see some really embarrassing pictures of my lily white stomach), you can read what happened in Indi Denim: Part 2 and Indi Denim: Conclusion (Dangerous Curves Ahead).
In the end, I wasn’t happy with the pair of jeans I received. I returned them, promptly got a refund and chalked the experience up to blogging history.
So imagine my surprise when the company contacted me in December to ask whether I’d be willing to come in to their Emeryville-based headquarters to try out the Indi Intellifit Design Studio, a new body scanner designed to take perfect measurements in a few seconds while you’re standing there, fully clothed.
Read on for the full story…
At the time, I was surprised that they’d invited me, but then I realized that the posts on this blog are among the first to appear when you search Google for the company’s name. Frankly, I don’t blame them for being like, who is this blogger and how can we stop her? In all seriousness, my goal was never to pick on this company, but rather to try something out that I thought my readers would be interested in.
As it turns out, the company’s new public relations diva is someone I respect and have worked with before, so when she contacted me, it was pretty much a given that I’d do her the courtesy of going in with an open mind. And yes, in case you’re wondering, they did offer to comp me a pair of jeans in exchange for coming in and trying the new technology out.
Right now would be the appropriate time, I suppose, for me to go into my philosophy regarding freebies and swag. Here’s what I’ll say on that front: I get free stuff often, and I never write about things I don’t like. Most of the time, the freebies that come through this site go to my readers, not me. And no matter who gets the free stuff in the end, I never cover anything unless I think it’s worthwhile, whether I’m writing here on this blog or for the other publications to which I contribute. Also, the first time around, I spent my own moolah on this experiment, so I don’t feel all that bad about accepting, especially since it was going to take some kind of incentive to get me out to Emeryville during the middle of a work day.
Now that we’ve got that covered, on to the good stuff. My experience with Indi Denim’s Intellifit Design Studio has, thus far, been quite good. When I placed my original order and ended up with an ill-fitting pair of jeans, I was curious whether the error was mine or the company’s. It’s completely possible that I screwed up my own measurements or answered one of the subjective fit questions that accompany the online ordering questionnaire in a misleading way.
On the appointed day, I arrived at my scheduled time and perused the samples on the racks to determine what wash, pocket shape and embellishments I’d like to have on my future pair of jeans. Then I stepped into the body scanner, a rather Star Trek-esque pod that measures the body using the same kind of safe scanning technology one would undergo at the airport. There’s a specific way you have to stand to get the right scan, and you can’t move or fidget while the machine is doing its thing, but it takes less than 30 seconds to complete the whole process.
Once I exited the pod, I received a receipt-like piece of paper printed with my measurements. Thanks to the Intellifit scanner, I now know fun facts like my calves, for example, are 13.58 inches in circumference (oh yeah, I’m sturdy) and my arms are exactly 20.4 inches long.
While most customers place their orders at the time of their visit, there was a slight computer problem that day that prevented me from completing the order at the IndiDenim office. That was kind of a good thing, because I was about to order one style and changed my mind after thinking about it on the drive back across the Bay Bridge.
Those who, like me, decide to order after leaving the office use an online ID to call up their Intellifit measurements and place their order online.
These days, the ordering process is much the same as it was last summer when I originally experimented with it, though there are new add-ons, including a fun monogramming option that I’d use if I could think of a rad three-letter word I wanted printed on my butt pockets. Wow, maybe? Because who wouldn’t want the word “wow” on their butt?
I’ll be placing my order within the next 24 hours, and I’ll be reporting on the jeans once they arrive, in another four to six weeks.
***For anyone who’s interested in trying out the company’s new body scanning technology, note that Indi Denim is currently offering 30 percent off jeans when you agree to visit the company in person, get scanned and then pick the jeans up in person and provide feedback on the experience.
**Update: Please check out all posts in this series**