Now that spring is in full swing, it's time to change wardrobes. While some people are inherent fashion gurus, others might need a little advice on what to wear. And finding the latest fashion trends is easier than ever. Thanks to mobile apps, you can now consult fashion experts, create virtual closets, share your finds and shop from wherever you are. I headed straight for two of the most popular fashion sites: Style.com (iPhone, iPad, Nook Color) and Net-a-porter.com (iPhone, Android, iPad) to test their new, free apps.
Run by Condé Nast, publisher of numerous magazines including Vogue, Teen Vogue, W magazine, and Glamour, Style.com is the go-to website for fashionistas worldwide. The site recently launched free apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Nook Color. On the app’s home screen, you can browse the latest fashion shows, parties and videos.
When you click on a particular fashion show, you can use your finger to slide from one look to the next. Photos are high quality, which makes the app all the more fun to use. When you press the blue "Review" button on the right; you get a pop-up screen with a summary of the fashion show written by an official Style.com expert, including quotes from the designer. You can also easily share your favorite looks via Twitter, Facebook and more.
Browsing the Style.com database is easy; all you have to do is use the navigation bar at the top. The latest fashion shows are listed in alphabetical order, and you can consult shows by seasons all the way back to the year 2000 when you click on "All Shows." If you want to see who partied when and where, click on "Latest Parties." In the "Videos" section, in turn, you’ll find both runway and feature videos. However, there appears to be no search button; thus while you can browse, there's no obvious way to search for a particular show or party. Another improvement would be to integrate a shopping feature. The apps shows you the looks and tells you what the Style.com writer thought of them, but what if you want to buy them yourself? Unfortunately, the app leaves you on your own.
If you're ready to shop, the Net-a-porter.com app can help. From the home screen, you can easily navigate to the important sections: What’s New, Designer A-Z, Clothing, Bags, Shoes, Lingerie, Accessories, Dresses, Tops, and Knitwear. From here, you can also access the "Trend Edit," Net-a-porter’s go-to guide for spring/summer, featuring 25 essential style updates.
Net-a-porter’s Trend Edit is a fun way to find inspiration on what to wear this spring and/or summer. Press the squares to reveal the trends, and swipe to browse between the trend lists. For example, one of the trends is called "Domestic Goddess." If you are interested in learning more, click on "Shop" and you’ll be taken to a screen that not only explains the trend, but also gives you a grid of possible clothes and accessories to choose from. You can add the items to your cart immediately.
For each item, you will be able to view Editor’s Notes, Details, Size & Fit, as well as Size Charts. The first three are features that I found particularly helpful; with the Editor’s Notes, you receive a well-rounded description of the item, and in Details, you’ll get information on the material, including a percentage breakdown and how to clean it. The fact that the app provides exact measurements of each item is particularly helpful since you can’t actually try it on. You can also view a Size Chart, and see more items from the same designer.
In addition to the shopping feature, the net-a-porter app also comes with a "News" section that educates you on the latest trends, including celebrity sightings in clothes that are available on the app. Did you know, for example, that Rihanna was recently seen wearing a T-shirt by Maison Martin Margiela? If you like the look, you can buy it yourself directly through the app. By clicking on the "Live" button on the top right, you can find out what other net-a-porter customers recently bought. Note that you will need an internet connection to run all of these features.