Fashion Apps Tried And Tested
The Debrief: Because sometimes it's nice to replace actual social interaction with technology
I really like Instagram. A lot. I like scrolling through stylised brunch spreads and cactus collections, and competiting with my boyfriend to see who can take the better picture of exactly the same view on holiday. It slots so nicely into those moments of boredom – you know, those moments that would have been filled with conversations in the time before instagram. Yawn, amirite? There’s nothing worse than exhausting the scroll down insta-feed when I’ve got time to kill - and there are only so many times in one day that I can hit up Facebook to read about people that I haven’t seen since school getting engaged/married/surgery. Cue fashion apps. These little time-wasters promise me trends, styling hacks, even direct shopping – everything but social intimacy. Perfect. I tried out three of the suckers; it was going to be five, but my phone ran out of storage space.
The start page suggests people to follow, divided into categories; celebs and stylists, bloggers by area (all US as far as I can see), brands and retailers. Some big names – The Man Repeller is on here, and Stella McCartney tops the brand list. I follow those two and then move on, partly because I have commitment issues, and partly because the sheer volume of selfies overwhelms me. It’s literally wall to wall in here - I suppose I should have guessed that from the name. While scrolling through my feed of only Stella McCartney things (I’ve lost Man Repeller. Where is she?), I find the search feature. Handy – lets you search to see posts on a specific thing. In this case, it’s a bunch of people wearing Stella McCartney boots. The comment section hosts such niceties as ‘cute’ and ‘nice trousers’. This seems like a good portal for newbie bloggers to cut their teeth, perfect their selfies, and learn from more established faces. If you’re more into looking than sharing (sounds creepier than I meant it) then it all gets a bit repetitive. Slightly panicked that I can’t find a ‘delete account’ option, I change my username to something generic and flee.
I always feel a bit 1984-y when apps try to access my location. Further heebie-jeebies ensue when the t&c’s include the phrase ‘I promise to keep our community Stylish and supportive’ which makes me feel a little like I’ve joined a cult. And maybe I have. It’s suspiciously friendly from the get go – it offers to help me find a longed-for item of clothing. I put up a shot of my shoes – suckaas! I already found them! – and post it. I add the tag ‘white brogues’ (Grensons, since you ask) and wait impatiently for 17 seconds, before losing interest and heading off to look at what other people are hunting for. Their posts look like they’ve been taken from instagram, show loved-and-lost ebay listings, or ask for cheaper versions of designer buys. A few quite funny ones show covert snaps of strangers in the street. ‘Her bag! That One Exactly’, they plead. There are actually LOADS of people looking for a striped t-shirt dress – surely that is easy to find? Have they never heard of Asos? ‘Sideboob t-shirt dress’ is a new one on me though. Quite a niche market for that, I expect. I’m actually quite enjoying myself on here, can you tell? You’re reliant on your fellow user to provide the answers, which does make for some slightly questionable suggestions, but everyone seems very friendly and helpful, like thousands of perky shop assistants. Everyone also seems to be a teenager, too. As I go to leave, I spot a picture of a topless male model. ‘WHO IS THIS BEAUTIFUL HUMAN’, it asks. Ah, to be 17 again…
This claims to be the ‘Tinder for fashion’, which makes me want it. I’ve never had Tinder, but my boyfriend used to let me go on his sometimes (long story) and I thought it was pretty cool. And the original Tinder is a form of shopping too, really, isn’t it? The sign-up process asks for my birthday, so I lie and say that it’s today, in case something fun happens. It doesn’t. If it really was my birthday, I would be PISSED. I type ‘mary jane’ into the search bar, wondering if it will know that these are shoes, and can tell that I want the Hobbs ones. It does, and it can’t. It shows me lots of mary janes though, and only one completely irrelevant picture of a dress. My next search brings up options from Zara, H&M, Reiss, and Urban Outfitters, and I am left wondering if this mightn’t be quite useful, actually. Plus, I just really like swiping left – it’s like my boyfriend’s tinder account all over again.
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