If there’s one surefire way to test the waters of a new interest or broaden the horizons of a familiar pastime, it’s this— take to the Internet. For fashionistas, whether they be budding newcomers, edgy insiders, or haute couture connoisseurs, the Internet is perhaps the greatest resource of all for seeking out inspiration and keeping updated on cutting-edge trends. The next time you find yourself staring desolately into your closet, consider the following web resources for a quick fashion pick-me-up.
Polyvore's usefulness lies in its two primary features: its visualization of fashion into collages and its social commerce engine. Polyvore users search the site’s extensive library for clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, and shoes, which they then arrange into collages referred to as “sets.” These sets can then be exchanged between Polyvore users and shared across multiple social networking platforms such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. Users can also follow collaged items to their retailers; for example, if you fall in love with a pair of heels on Polyvore, whether they be found in your collage or in someone else’s, you can follow an outbound link to the retailer’s website for purchase. Polyvore is an excellent destination for anyone looking to connect with fellow fashionistas, to gain inspiration, or simply to liven up a drab closet.
Commonly referred to as the Instagram of the fashion world, Pose enables users to swap photos and videos of their favorite clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, shoes, and ensembles. In that the fashion community is already well-represented on Instagram, some may question the need for a likeminded site, but Pose has unique advantages— because of its nature as a niche resource, all entries on Pose are tagged by such identifiers as brand name, item type, and trend. Users also have hefty search capability; for example, a search for red lipstick will yield links to top-rated red lipsticks, user reviews of various brands, and user photos of ensembles featuring red lipstick. Pose also has ties to Pinterest in that these filtered results can then be dragged and dropped into “collections” created by users; suggestions for red lipstick might include “beauty” and/or “classic looks.” As a crossbreed of Instagram and Pinterest, Pose offers the best of both, and it serves as a powerful tool for gaining inspiration, sharing ideas, and connecting to fellow fashionistas.
Lyst is a personalized online marketplace for fashionistas, and a powerful one, at that— it permits users to create a tailored feed of their favorite designers, brands, and retailers. These feeds contain carefully curated selections from each favorite, notifications of new launches, and suggestions of likeminded users to follow. For those who choose to link their Pinterest boards to their Lyst feeds, Lyst will send notifications when pinned items go on sale and links to the discounted content. Even if the discounted item in question was pinned at one retailer (say, Saks Fifth Avenue), a notification will still be delivered if that item goes on sale at another retailer (say, Bloomingdale’s). Lyst doesn’t do much to provide fresh inspiration, but it keeps users apprised of the latest from their favorites, and it’s certainly cost-effective.
Stylecaster is a fashion media startup celebrating its fifth anniversary, and five years later, it’s better than ever. The array of content offered on Stylecaster is vast and prolific; its articles range from runway trends to haute couture shakeups, celebrity fashion inspiration to lifestyle articles, shopping guides to insider interviews with stylists. Stylecaster lacks the social media component of the previously listed resources, but it more than makes up for that lack with attentive reporting, creative lookbooks, and a diverse spread of topics.
Refinery29 is StyleCaster on steroids. Not only does it feature such fashion resources as street style features, updates on designer launches, and shopping guides curated by professional stylists, but it also boasts content on interior design, entertainment, and wellness. What’s more, the site also features a thorough guidebook to urban living with its city-specific subdivisions on the best events, bars, and sales in such metropolises as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The interactivity of the site is an added perk; DIY guides to interior design, fitness routines, and make-up techniques lend practicality and relatability to the content. Refinery29 is far more than a fashion media resource; it’s a comprehensive handbook to living a modern, fashionable lifestyle.