Dawn of the digital style guru - News - Fashion - The Independent

Dawn of the digital style guru

Genevieve Roberts and David Ryan try out the latest in online, interactive clothes shopping

Fashion is a bruising business at the best of times and, for many, the idea of having their fashion foibles scrutinised by millions is the stuff of nightmares. But the rise of online digital styling is transforming shopping, and a growing number of consumers are willingly exposing themselves to merciless critique.

Shoppers can upload pictures of their outfits to be judged, and share their vital stats to seek sartorial suggestions. A raft of sites are leaping on to the bandwagon, prompting questions about whether they are any good.

Poppy Dinsey, the founder of the site WIWT (What I Wore Today), said: "It used to be thought that the one thing that online could not offer, that traditional shopping could, was styling. But now personal shoppers are working online to give style advice and accessory suggestions, while communities are sharing style advice."

To test this notion, I and my colleague David Ryan tested some of the newest sites.

WIWT.com

More than 6,000 outfits have been uploaded since the site launched in September, with more than a million page views. The site has rapidly become a community, and you're more likely to remain anonymous than attract the disapproval of the fashion pack.

I'm flattered when my dress attracts three stars – strangers' objective approval counts double that of friends.

Dressipi.com

Launched last Wednesday, Dressipi calculates your "fashion fingerprint", and has already attracted 20,000 users.

I'm delighted to learn I have a "waspy waist", and appreciate the broad sartorial advice: avoid drop waists and go for belted shirt dresses and waisted, not baggy, coats. Stylists offer suggestions for birthday outfits. I love the Vivienne Westwood dress they pick, and am now searching for a high street version.

Meemee.me

It sounds like a dream: create an avatar who will try on clothes while you avoid the changing room. But the avatar is – at this stage – only personalised by hair colour and skin tone, so doesn't show height and weight ratio, which would be a great improvement.

StylistPick.com

"Free, unique, individual" are the watchwords that stylists use to select accessories for me – for sale at £39.95 – after I've filled in a questionnaire, in the footsteps of more than 50,000 others. Stylists include Arabella Greenhill, a Marie Claire fashion editor.

MiMirror

Inviting friends' opinions through Facebook seems to be asking for mockery: "What is that bat on your shoulder?" a friend posts about a bow on my top, while "Big bust – which is a good thing" I'd rather stayed in the fitting room.

The MiMirror in Republic at Westfield, Stratford, east London, allows you to seek advice from friends online. It's a shame you can't choose who sees the images.

Gotryiton.com

Since its launch in March last year, more than 12 million opinions have been posted. Its chief executive, Marissa Evans, says the 80 per cent female community is about "helpful advice, not being hurtful".

While Evans denies the site can be brutal, it's here that its real strength lies. It's hard for friends to tell you those clothes do make your bum look big.

Debenhams picture app

Launched last week, the app lets you try on virtual clothes in a real-life world. Style advice comes from friends who you email with pictures – or if you're feeling especially brave, can tweet or send to Facebook.

The three-day, online pop-up store closed yesterday, but more are planned.

A male view: David Ryan

I do care what I wear, honestly, but I hate clothes shopping. I am 52 years old and have never owned a suit! At the Republic store at Westfield, Stratford, I tried out some hopelessly trendy straight, fawn corduroys, a check shirt and green body warmer. "West Country chic!" came one response on Facebook. I then went a bit sharper: jeans, powder-blue shirt, leather ankle boots and a black duffel-style jacket.

"Not bad," my daughter Facebooked. "A duffel coat would really suit you," she added.

"Yes, one that fits!" fizzed a poison shaft. It was then I lost the plot. A light grey rompersuit and woolly hat with tassles is not an easy look, but I think I carried it off. I was baffled by WIWT. I posted my picture but have gained no followers and scored 0 kudos. My picture on Go Try It On, has yet, perhaps luckily, to be rated.

Suggested Topics
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Energy Markets Analyst

    £400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

    Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

    £30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    Nursery Manager

    £22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

    Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week