Fashion, Tech

Someone coded a tool so you never have to try on a T-Shirt again

Give it a try.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
May 15, 2022

Quarantine, left James Daniels, 33, like so many others, down on his luck professionally and considering new opportunities. As a result, he enrolled in a coding boot camp. He was also a frequent contributor to the Male Fashion Advice subreddit (MFA) during the time. Daniels was drawn to blogs that explained systems for dressing yourself, such as color coordination or what to wear on a first date.


Spending an excessive amount of time searching through clothes that he liked but didn’t fit irritated the civil engineer. As a result, he took matters into his own hands and put his recent coding class lessons to the test. He’d worked in civil engineering and construction for the greater part of a decade before the pandemic struck. And basically, he created a tool to eliminate the need for you to ever try on a T-shirt again.


Daniels created his own “system” to avoid wasted shopping trips and as a way to pay it forward while testing out new coding skills. His idea was to create a tool that could compare a person’s dimensions to measures from practically every firm that has ever sold a T-shirt.


The idea behind his “MFA Helper” is that everyone has a specific size of T-shirt that fits them, and once you know those measures (your ideal T-shirt measurements), the tool will automatically filter just those that fit you. His original plan was to allow users to note which T-shirt they owned that fit them best, then filter T-shirts based on that. However, he ended up including a basic calculator that calculates your ideal measurements based on a few questions about your height, build, weight, and other factors.


He spent a lot of time going in and out of stores and measuring whatever T-shirts they had in stock to get the information he needed. MFA Helper took Daniels 2 years to get to the point where he believed it was good enough to share with fellow MFA members.


Daniels added “Fit” and “Reliability” scores to the MFA Helper results page. The Fit score is essentially a calculation that compares the garment measures to the user’s ideal measurements: “A 100 is a perfect score, therefore if you had a garment that was precisely the same as your ideal measurements, it would get a 100.”


Here’s an example from the real world. If a garment’s chest measurement is 30 centimeters, and your ideal chest measurement is 31, your Fit score may be dropped to 99. Daniels is from Wales, hence the MFA Helper only deals with metric figures.


Daniels claims that most of the feedback he’s gotten from MFA subscribers has been good. But, like everything else on the internet—and especially Reddit—it has its critics. Others have responded by saying that, while they admire his efforts, they can’t help but believe they were in vain.


“As you mentioned previously, most outlets have set sizes, but the actual size of each item can vary massively,” one MFAer argued, citing the fact that because each brand uses multiple factories to manufacture its products, a single type of H&M shirt can have different pattern cuts, meaning that no two medium H&M shirts are necessarily alike.


In any case, Daniels created this tool and then decided to stop his efforts. But now there’s a tool that helps you avoid trying on a T-shirt!


You can try out MFA Helper for yourself here.