A fashionista has to do a lot of work to maintain that title. Fashion trends come and go so quickly that it's difficult to stay abreast of them. And how do you decide what's going to be fashionable or not?
Fortunately in this modern, high-tech age, there are some handy tools available. If you're a fashionista with a smartphone, get ready to download: We've got 10 great apps that will keep you on top of what's hot.
The foundation of any great fashionable wardrobe is definitely shoes. Shoes can make or break an outfit, so you've got to have just the right pair. Though they have a wide range of products, Zappos.com is best known for their shoe selection. Whether you're looking for athletic shoes or designer heels, they've got it. And now this shopping experience is literally at your fingertips, thanks to the Zappos app, which is available to Droid, iPhone, and iPad users. Just like the Zappos Web site, the app lets you browse according to brand or search by shoe type; you can also access your Zappos account through either the app or the Web site. But beware -- the ease of shopping through the Zappos app can make shoes hazardous to the health of your bank account [source: Appolicious].
Ever have one of those days when you just can't decide whether your outfit works? If you're looking for constructive comments on your look, turn to Go Try it On. With this app (available on iPhone and iPad), users post pictures of themselves, and others vote whether to "wear it" or "change it." You can post to the wider community or keep it private so that only your friends will view the image. There's also an option to blur your facial features to maintain anonymity. According to AppAdvice, Go Try it On is addictively fun, particularly for folks who really love to offer fashion advice.
Trying to figure out what size you are according to a particular store or designer can be a challenge. One retailer might consider you a small, but another store's version of small will make you look like you've just gone through a growth spurt. This lack of standardization can be particularly troublesome when you're shopping online and don't have the dressing room to steer you in the right direction.
The What's My Size? app, available for iPhone or iPad, helps cut out the confusion. Input your measurements into the app and tell it whether you prefer a slim, comfort or relaxed fit. The app translates this information into sizes for dozens of clothing retailers. And guys, don't worry: There's also a version for you.
Beauty superstore Sephora is a playground for the fashion-conscious. After all, nothing finishes off a great ensemble like the right lip gloss or perfume. The Sephora to Go app helps you make purchases when you're on the move and also enhances your in-store experience; one feature of the app allows you to scan barcodes in your local Sephora store, which brings up more information about the product. Or, have a little fun with the "Try It On" feature -- it gives you a virtual manicure. Plus, you can keep track of your account information, get staff recommendations, make shopping lists and cash in on special offers, all from your iPhone or iPad [source: Smith].
Every fashionista wants to make a stylistic splash, but can it be done without breaking the bank? It takes some legwork to find the best deals on clothes, makeup and accessories. The Find app helps cut down on the burden of bargain hunting with a few cool tricks. First, it has a search feature that enables you to see where you can find a particular product on the Web, or you can see which nearby stores carry that item. Additionally, if you've got the product in your hand and want to see how prices compare at other stores or online, it has a barcode scanning feature that tells you who's got the lowest price. Plus, The Find tells you when coupons or deals are available, so you can save every penny possible. All that from a free app!
Sample sale sites have become all the rage for fashionistas on the hunt for a brand name bargains, and Rue La La is one of the most popular. Membership is free, though you either have to be invited to join by an existing member or put your name on a waiting list. The site offers online boutiques that are only open for a couple of days and which tend to sell out very quickly. The offerings include apparel and accessories, home furnishings and housewares and even hotel and travel opportunities. Upscale designers and brands like Stella McCartney and Missoni can be had for a lot less than you'd normally pay.
Given how quickly the boutiques sell out, timing is key. So, the Rue La La app (available on Droid, Blackberry, iPhone and iPad) is a must-have to make sure you find out about the sales the moment they open. No matter where you are, you can shop from the Rue La La app and strike while the proverbial iron is hot.
Gentlemen, do you know all the ways to tie a tie -- and which knots are best for which outfits and occasions? If not, don't fret; the How to Tie a Tie app is here to save the day. The free version (available on Blackberry, Droid, iPhone and iPad) offers pictorial and written instructions to guide you through 12 different knots. The paid version offers 20 different necktie knots, plus two bowtie guides. Even those among you who can pull off a four-in-hand in your sleep might want to consider widening your repertoire of knots. It gives your whole look a subtle kick, taking you from fine to fabulous. And with the app right on your phone, you can take your knot-tying tutorial anywhere.
A great hairstyle can really define your style, but it's difficult to know if a particular cut will suit your features. With the Hair Makeover app for iPhone (there's a free and paid version), you can take some of the guesswork out of choosing a new do. Just upload a photo of yourself to the app and choose from nearly 300 different haircuts to virtually try on, and both men's and women's hairstyles are available. The app has a Facebook and Twitter uploading option, so you can poll your friends to see which hairstyle they like best on you. When you decide which one you might like to try, you can save the photo to show your hairdresser.
Valet Magazine offers style and grooming tips for the modern gentleman. This iPhone and iPad app gives style-conscious guys advice on everything from etiquette to socks. Its interactive options are cool, too; Bryan Wolfe of App Advice likes the Local Concierge feature, which points users toward Valet-endorsed dry cleaners and tailors in their neighborhoods. Another app-only section is Shop Talk, highlighting the editors' favorite products, which you can purchase directly through the app. Cool and informative, the Valet app proves that fashion isn't limited to the ladies.
A true fashionista not only knows the trends but also the industry that makes them trendy in the first place. New York Magazine has an app for Droid that features, among other things, fashion-focused blog The Cut (iPad users, there's an app just for The Cut). The column covers everything fashion-related, including advertising analysis, model profiles, background info on designers and tips on where to find the hottest products. Readers local to the New York area will get even more out of the experience since The Cut includes info on which stores are offering sales. The app interface makes it easy to skim through the stories, offering witty snippets of each story to draw the reader in. With a ton of fashion-oriented articles at your fingertips, The Cut is the perfect app for fashionistas who have some free time on their perfectly manicured hands.
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More Great Links
- The Art Institutes. "Online Sample Sales Accessible to All." Nov. 10, 2010. (July 27, 2011) http://insite.artinstitutes.edu/online-sample-sales-accessible-to-all-26568.aspx
- Cowles, Charlotte. "The Cut's iPad App Is Here!" The Cut. Jan. 24, 2011. (July 21, 2011) http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2011/01/the_cuts_ipad_app_is_here.html
- National Institute of Standards and Technology Museum. "Short History of Ready-Made Clothing." Oct. 8, 2004. (July 26, 2011) http://museum.nist.gov/exhibits/apparel/history.htm
- New York Magazine. "Check Out the New NYMag.com Android Mobile App." May 28, 2010. (July 21, 2011) http://nymag.com/nymag/sponsored/android/
- Swartz, Kathryn. "Zappos Mobile App Makes Shoe Shopping Too Easy." Appolicious. May 3, 2011. (July 20, 2011) http://www.appolicious.com/articles/7851-zappos-mobile-app-makes-shoe-shopping-too-easy
- Tedeschi, Bob. "Shopping Apps Like RedLaser and The Find Can Locate Deals." The New York Times. Nov. 24, 2010. (July 25, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/25/technology/personaltech/25smart.html
- Time. "A Brief History Of: The Necktie." June 13, 2008. (July 26, 2011) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1813960,00.html
- Wolfe, Bryan M. "The Go Try it On App is Addictive Fun." App Advice. Nov. 4, 2010. (July 26, 2011) http://appadvice.com/appnn/2010/11/app-addictive-fun
- Wolfe, Bryan M. "The Valet Magazine App Brings Men's Fashion to the iPad." App Advice. Feb. 14, 2011. (July 27, 2011) http://appadvice.com/appnn/2011/02/valet-app-brings-mens-fashion-ipad