Fashion for the rest of us

From street fashion to runway trends of Paris, smart phone users can get the best style advice through innovative apps

By Vishnu Anand

Today, global fashion trends  are orchestrated by designers sitting in their   cozy  studios, conveniently using Hollywood and the international music fraternity as their props. These are trends that the paparazzi, global media, and the internet are quick to pick up and disseminate to larger audiences worldwide.

And then there is everyday fashion – that is  inspired by  global  trends , but localized for wearability and affordability. Mobile social media is the perfect place to discover, discuss and dissect   every day fashion -- and in India, there are a handful of impressive apps to help you choose the right styles. 

Street fashion trends

Bangalore-based Wooplr claims to be India’s first free shopping discovery app that helps you discover fashion finds from stores around you that have been recommended by like minded people. Users can decide what to buy and where to shop,  based on their interests, location and social circle. Flowing from the feeling  peer conversations are more effective than advertising messages,  Wooplr provides a platform for users to click selfies of themselves in an ensemble they have procured at a neighbourhood store, tag the store and share it for others to see and comment. Rather than base your purchase decision on photo-shopped images of models, Wooplr provides real images of real people wearing real clothes. Adding to the Wooplr experience is a dedicated bunch of ‘tastemakers’ – fashion bloggers who post photos, provide feedback and have discussions on new stores, new collections and popular trends. Going forward, Wooplr plans to allow users to purchase fashion of their choice by linking them to the brand’s online store.  

The Wooplr app is available for Android and iOS users.

Peer opinions

When Meghna Saraogi, a visual communications expert from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore created an Android  app called StyleDotMe, she attacked head-on, a never ending mental turmoil for a lot of women (and men) when they shop for clothes – does this actually look good on me? This is when your circle of friends, sometimes even strangers come in handy with their two pence of advice. StyleDotMe allows you to post pics of a new dress you plan to buy and invite polls around it. You can even time the poll to end in say, the next 5 minutes so you make instant purchase decisions. Everyone who likes your dress leaves a dot next to the picture , and the crowdsourced number of dots against your pic might be a vital indicator to pick up or discard your choice.

We also recommend you download on to your phone, one of the many discount calculator apps as well. Unless you are a mathematics guru, it is humanly impossible to understand why a 50% + 20% off is not a 70% off! (Hint: The 20% off is on the 50% off price, not the original amount).   March 9 2015