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Closet 2.0: Benefit To Consumers, Retailers

Theresa Huffman |
December 7, 2011 | 8:44 p.m. PST


Sites like Stylitics.com offer virtual tools to sort out clothes for all fashionistas. (screenshot of Stylitics)
Sites like Stylitics.com offer virtual tools to sort out clothes for all fashionistas. (screenshot of Stylitics)
Browsing through an online store has evolved into a sensory shopping experience within the past few years. Shoppers can zoom in on product, see it on a model, and read reviews. If we can see a store’s contents without leaving our desk, isn’t it time our closets follow suit?

Tracking personal style and sharing it with others is becoming easy and fun, thanks to online innovators. Consumers don’t need a celebrity-sized closet to take advantage of new organizational sites. These tools can be especially helpful when clothing is being stored in several different locations. 

Websites dedicated to styling outfits fall into a couple of categories. Websites like Polyvore and Closet Couture serve as creative outlets for users to find images of clothing and accessories from the web and arrange them into outfits for inspiration or just for fun. Polyvore users can also upload their own images and save outfits to share on other social networking sites or blogs. Think of it as a combination of a real closet and a dream closet. 

Both consumers and retailers benefit from the service; shoppers can get feedback on their purchases and styling choices while brands reach a wider audience through online sharing. 

Closet Couture offers the option of uploading and saving already purchased clothes into a comprehensive database while still allowing users to create looks with what they call the “school of style.” The website also offers the option of styling an “icon” like Blake Lively and saving the image into a database that can be browsed by others. 

For users who would rather be the star of the show, Stylitics is a new platform that gives personal feedback when items are added to the closet, including a summary of favorite brands and dollars spent. It’s the closest thing to hiring a wardrobe consultant or organizational specialist without actually hiring anyone. 

Like other virtual closet spaces, users can add their own items to a database that tracks what they own. The difference is the calendar layout; which allows  input of previous outfits or planning for special occasions. Users can even check the weather for the rest of the week without having to leave the page. With this day-by-day approach, it is easier to upload a bit at a time instead of spending hours at the computer building a virtual version of an actual closet. The site’s format is especially useful in planning vacation style with the click of a mouse. 

After building and online wardrobe, users will see that online closets may be much more than a data storage place. Closet Couture and Polyvore open individuals’ style choices to a range of viewers for comment, while Stylitics will instantly analyze which brands are worn most often  and how they are worn, all while gauging that against the average Stylitics user. 

“We wanted to create a better way for people to manage and know their own, authentic style,” Rohan Deuskar, Stylitics co-founder and CEO said on the company's recent press release

If knowledge is power, this new wave of stylish sites gives retailers an edge and puts the consumers in control.


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