8 Fashion Apps That Make Curated Shopping Insanely Easy
Consider these the fashion insider’s secret weapon for scoring deals.
It’s no secret that the pandemic has upped our screen time—does anyone else flinch when they get the usage notification on Sunday? Fashion brands have obviously taken notice as well, and are attempting to find new ways to engage potential shoppers through not just our computers, but our phones. Enter the fashion app.
Apps in the fashion space are no longer relegated to secondary shopping platforms. Today you can access styling services, fashion-related games, and newfound shopping capabilities specifically tailored to your personal preferences in both the primary and secondhand markets. Within this new digital realm, you can do anything from custom-designing your own garments for a virtual avatar, to working one-on-one with a stylist to revamp your personal shopping habits.
Lucy Yeomans, creator, founder, and CEO of the new fashion gaming app Drest, says that none other than Farmville initially piqued her interest in the app/virtual gaming space. “I couldn’t believe how many people I knew were devoting so much time to growing virtual crops, but quickly found myself getting competitive! One day I thought, What would it be like if I could engage—in a similarly strategic and competitive way—with a subject I actually cared about, such as fashion?”
The app is like a gateway to a younger, more tech-savvy consumer whom the luxury space has been struggling to reach. “Having watched the luxury brands facing increasing challenges in recent years as to how to successfully engage millennial and Gen Z audiences—who wanted to feel a part of the conversation and process, and not merely sit back as content was served to them—I felt gaming could provide the answer,” Yeomans told Coveteur via email.
The connective thread with nearly every fashion-related app we’ve come across is e-commerce—even Drest weaves it into their game-style programming. The issue within the industry is that many e-comm hubs think of an app as secondary to their online presence and don’t always devote the necessary time and resources to the space. “Unlike most shopping apps, which feel like a website ported to an app, we wanted to feel native to an app,” explains Taylor Tomasi Hill, creative and fashion director of shopping app The Yes. “The entire app feels native to your phone.”
Not only that, but it’s easier to personalize the experience on an app as opposed to a website. “You ‘yes’ or ‘no’ items as you shop,” explains Tomasi Hill of the process, “which helps you keep track of things you like (we save all the items you ‘yes’ in your yes list) and gives us signals on your preferences so our recommendations get better over time.”
Both Yeomans’ and Tomasi Hill’s career paths have followed the trajectory of fashion as it evolved from print to digital. “At the time, the industry considered my move [from Harper’s Bazaar UK to Net-A-Porter] a radical one—editorial content and e-commerce had never, until then, been so intrinsically linked,” explains Yeomans. It now seems only fitting that the industry follows as they both begin to explore the new field of apps as a new way to integrate the e-commerce experience.
In our opinion, here are the eight best fashion apps you should be paying attention to right now.
The Yes, your ultimate new shopping destination, was co-founded by Julie Bornstein (previously of StichFix, Nordstrom, and Sephora) and Amit Aggarwal of Google, Bing, and Groupon. Fashion superstar Taylor Tomasi Hill curates the impressive range of fashion items, which includes every part of the high-low shopping spectrum, from Zara and Everlane to Prada and Bottega Veneta. Essentially, The Yes is like a dating app for shopping. After downloading the app, you answer a series of questions about your style and shopping habits—favorite brands, how often you wear color, your sizing, etc. A clothing item presents itself, and you indicate whether it is a “yes” or a “no.” It then saves all of your “yes” items in one place that you can revisit. One caveat: The more time you spend on it, the more personalized your selection becomes—a requirement we will happily oblige.
Created by Lucy Yeomans, former editor-in-chief of Porter magazine and British Harper’s Bazaar, Drest is “the world’s first shoppable and interactive styling game for luxury fashion.” Users are able to virtually curate their own dream closet, styling pieces as they go. Rather than physically assembling outfits in your free time, you can experiment with your stylist chops while sitting on your couch. The app works with actual design houses to create the experiences—Gucci, Christian Louboutin, Oscar de la Renta, etc. And did we mention you can shop while you play? The ensembles you create can be purchased, lacing this sartorial dreamland with tantalizingly realistic potential.
So you’ve probably not only heard of The RealReal, but also spent a considerable amount of time browsing their website for your latest vintage find. Lucky for us, it seems the team has devoted a significant amount of time to grooming their app because it offers a personalized glimpse into their vintage and pre-owned wonderland. Be sure to enter all your information into your profile so they can automatically filter by size—an important step when shopping vintage. We also recommend “heart”-ing everything you love so that you can keep an eye on discounts and whether or not someone has snapped it up.
Founded by Anna Gray, Object Limited is one of your best mobile resources for expertly curated vintage. This is where you can score exceptionally unique pieces, from designer steals to rare silhouettes you won’t find anywhere else. Each seller has a profile so you can follow those whose curation skills you trust—and check back in for their latest drops. Also, we highly recommend checking out Gray’s Instagram for expert tips on how to style your purchases.
Calling all millennials: We have found an app that resembles lookbook.nu but reimagined for 2020. A new fashion app from Uniqlo, Style Hint is your self-dubbed “style search engine.” It’s basically Instagram for #OOTD with shopping capabilities embedded in each image. Not only that, but you can also search for specific items if you are in need of more targeted styling inspiration. Once you’re confident in your own styling game, you can then share your own outfit images to help others.
Yes, the Nintendo game that garnered intense popularity during the more stringent months of quarantine, Animal Crossing, now has a mobile component in their Pocket Camp app. Though the game—in which you are creating a virtual home on a deserted island—is not a fashion app by definition, it has been sanctioned a sartorial playground by the fashion community this year since an important part of the experience is dressing up your virtual avatar—perfect for the fashion void that was last spring’s lockdown. The app has partnered with designers ranging from Valentino to Marc Jacobs to Sandy Liang, who have created custom garments for the game and even hosted a virtual fashion show where users could preview looks from the current season.
If you’re not already familiar with Stitch Fix, the app basically gives you access to your own personal stylist. For a $20 styling fee, you fill out your own profile with your style, size, and fit preferences, and your stylist will get back to you with options that fall within your allotted budget. Sound easy? That’s because it is. You can also try things on for free and return what you don’t want. They also have extended size ranges, catering to plus sizes, maternity, and petite.
ThredUp is another excellent destination for vintage finds, although their offering is more accessible than most in terms of price. They offer a few extra perks as well, including a closet clean-out kit (couldn’t we all use that right now?) and personalized goody boxes where a stylist will curate a selection of 10 items for you—another way to take the guesswork out of shopping. Pro tip: Their collection of retired Rent the Runway pieces is loaded with amazing finds.
Top photo: Courtesy of Drest
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