Loke Men Couture is an app that allows men to find clothing that fits. Based on the norse god Loke - better known as Loki - who's a shapeshifter, Loke Men Couture combines customizability with fashion.
The Problems with Men’s Clothing
We can all agree that everyone’s body is unique and different. However, most clothing brands operate on the assumption that there are only a few different sizes a body should be, typically making clothes that fit only certain body types. There are some clothing brands that have evolved to offer extended sizing, but most of those revolutionary brands are exclusively focused on women’s clothing.
While there are some men’s clothing companies that focus specifically on larger men, they still operate on the assumption that larger men’s bodies look a certain way, not leaving room for men whose bodies don’t conform to these assumptions.
Typically, as sizes get bigger, every measurement gets proportionately bigger, such as the sleeve lengths and torso heights getting longer as the sizes go up. However, there are men who are chubby but short, men who have short legs with a wide waist, or men who are slim but have a long torso. These kinds of men don’t fit in traditional clothing sizes, and typical “Big and Tall” brands are boring and don’t fit all bodies.
Solution: Loke Men Couture
With all of these problems in mind, I have designed Loke Men Couture, an app that men can use to shop for clothes that are custom fitted for each user. Loke puts all of your clothing needs into one app. It is meant to help you find your size, wear what you want, and stop paying for clothes that don’t fit or are ugly.
Since you probably don’t know your exact measurements, or how to get those measurements on your own, Loke has a built-in function that allows you to find your measurements with the tap of a button. You’ll set your phone up on the floor and stand in front of the phone in the specified poses and Loke will determine your measurements. Your measurements will be saved to your profile and can be re-measured at any time using the measurement icon. You’re then able to shop through the app, without worry that a desired item won’t have your size. Each item is made to your custom measurements, in the desired fit. You have the option to choose between a slim, regular, or oversized fit that each is determined based on your measurements to make sure every item fits the way you want it to.
The ideas behind Loke Men Couture are a result of long-term research I performed on extended-size clothing. Before researching, I wanted to make my own clothing brand that addressed the problems I had with other brands. I quickly learned that a new clothing brand was the last thing we needed, but a way to customize the fit of our clothing could be a successful app.
Through various online searches, I realized there is way more extended-size clothing than I imagined, and how the majority of these brands were for women. There were very few extended clothing options I found for men, but they offered clothing that didn’t fit all bodies, and had no optimized mobile browsing option. I also read through low-rated reviews on these stores and discovered that the most common complaints were that the clothing they offered was “boxy” and didn’t fit correctly and the designs for these clothing items were too plain. Offline, I talked with other men and found that there was an interest in a way to find clothes that fit without sacrificing fashion-ability or quality.
The next step was to look into services similar to the app I was going to design as well as to gather data I could find online. KingSize is a brand that also offers extended-size clothing options but does not have the custom sizing and fashionable clothing designs that I was planning on adding. As for found data, I found that online clothing customers are usually confident their purchases will fit, but a third of shoppers expect they’ll have to return some items when ordering, with variations in sizing the number one reason for online shoppers making returns.
I observed myself and other men with non-conforming body shapes shopping for clothes online. Watching other uniquely shaped men made me see how much they struggled in finding something to wear, especially clothing that they felt was fashionable. When on websites that they deemed fashionable, they had to filter every category they looked in for the size they believed to fit, often producing very little results, sometimes not finding anything in their size at all. As for myself, I’ve spent years shopping at different brands to find one that is fashionable but also fits my unique body. It took a lot of trial and error. Not every guy has the time and money to dedicate to finding fashionable clothing that fits. I, as well as many others, have had to return many items of clothing to online stores, some of which get ultimately trashed.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
The function should be more important than its looks, but no one is going to use the app if it’s ugly or difficult to navigate. I struggled a bit with a visual direction, being left uninspired by current “Big and Tall” brands. I decided I wanted to use the name of some sort of shapeshifter for the name of the brand, since being able to change shape references the customizability of the clothing sizes. I was torn by what culture to choose the shapeshifter from, until I finally landed on the shapeshifter Loke from Norse mythology, or Loki as better known from the mainstream Marvel movies of the 21st century. It’s pretty widely known that Loki is a Norse demi-god with the ability to shape-shift, and the Norse mythology has a pretty rich history to draw inspiration from.
I chose to use the name Loke Men Couture for my brand, which is pretty wordy, so Loke is used as a shortened version of the name. Loke by itself doesn’t reference that it’s a clothing brand, or that it’s for men, so I chose to use “Men” and “Couture” in the main name and logo.
I chose a font that appears friendly and woodsy, to draw users in and reference masculinity. I also wanted to reference Loke’s Nordic symbol, which is two snakes intertwined like two S’s. I also needed to reference clothing, so instead of an actual snake, I used the silhouette of a snake, slithering through the eye of a needle, like it’s a needle and thread. I also extended the leg of the L and the right stem of the N to reference the swirling motion of the “snake.”
I knew everything I had to put in the app, but I didn’t know how to organize it in a way that people would easily understand. The most important part of the app is the part that is used to get the measurements. I wanted it to be easy for users to successfully set the phone up to let it acquire these measurements, so I used three screens to introduce what the user had to do.
Then, the user would set the scene and let the app measure them. Once the measurements are in, the user will enter their height and their measurements will be accurately calculated and saved to their profile.
They’re then brought to the app’s home page, where they can shop for clothes without worrying about whether they’ll find their size. After browsing and finding a product they like, they’ll be able to select a fitting option based on their style preference. For tops, they’ll be able to choose from a slim, regular, or oversized option, all of which are catered to each user’s measurements. Similar to the tops, there are also different cuts to choose from for bottoms. Once clothing options are found, they’re then added to the user’s cart and they’re able to checkout.