Some people think shopping for clothes is a blast, while others think it’s unbearable. Wherever you stand, there are a host of new apps that can make the clothes-shopping experience even more fun — or at least less painful.
Today’s wave of apps use all sorts of features to help you refine your style and buy garments that are right for you, such as your device’s camera or artificial intelligence chatbots. Here are five style apps released this year that will change how you buy clothes going forward.
- Style Check
Style Check is a skill for Amazon Alexa devices, and it just took a giant leap through the new Echo Look device. Echo Look works like any other Alexa voice-enable personal assistant device, the major difference being the new device has an integrated camera. You can use the camera to take full-length photos and short videos hands free to get a look at every angle of your outfit.
There is no screen on the Echo Look, but you can see what the camera sees right on your smartphone. You can then use the Style Check skill to get a second opinion. Style Check uses machine learning algorithms and input from fashion experts to help you decide which outfits look best on you based on variables including fit, color, styling and the latest trends. The skill learns your preferences over time and makes the decisions much smarter.
Amazon also recently adopted a process to produce clothing only after a customer has ordered it, known as on-demand manufacturing. There’s no word yet if this feature will be integrated into Style Check.
The Outfits app for iOS gives you outfit ideas and recommendations every day based on what’s in your closet and the weather in your location. The app also helps you pare down your closet to make it more efficient, keeping fewer pieces that all work well together.
Outfits, which costs $5 per month, also learns over time as you log your daily looks. As time passes your wardrobe will begin to make more sense and give you a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.
The app features a shopping companion as well, which gives you suggestions on what to buy based on what you already own.
Let’s be honest — the majority of style and fashion apps out there tend to cater to female fashions. Now there’s a new style app designed specifically for men. Called Swaggle, the iOS app is essentially an online consignment store for quality menswear, where users can buy and sell new and pre-owned clothing.
Shoppers can search for items based on category, size, brand, price and distance. The user interface is a breeze, allowing to swipe left for items you’d like to skip and swipe right to make an offer on an item.
Making an offer is also a unique feature. Sellers may accept your initial offer or come back with a counteroffer, creating a back-and-forth negotiation process.
The Lily app recently took SXSW by storm due to its innovative AI-powered chat feature that learns your emotions and perceptions about your own body to help you find clothes that are right for you.
You chat with the personality-laced iOS app just like you would a friend, and it helps you select the right items to buy. One of the app’s strengths is its partnership with a good number of well-known retailers, such as Macy’s, H&M, Express, Lulus, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Banana Republic.
Lily’s laid-back and conversational tone makes it a welcoming experience, and its relationship with top-level retailers puts it over the top.
The Mode.ai bot is like a personal style assistant you chat with on Facebook Messenger. The chatbot instructs you to type words such as “jeans” or “jackets” to search for an item, then allows you to refine your search by price, size and brand.
To further customize your experience, you can enter variables such as your size and preferred brands, giving you more personalized results. You can also type “who wore it” to see photos of celebrities and models that have used similar looks.
Whether you enjoy clothes shopping or not, there’s no longer an excuse for not looking your best. Any one of these five apps will help you look and feel your best, and even help you have a little fun in the process.