The best: As the leader in the online styling space, Polyvore made out list of Top 10 Fashion Websites. The best thing about Polyvore is that you can take items from (almost) anywhere on the web to create "sets" that express your style. This makes the site both incredibly dynamic for users and fertile marketing ground for new brands and retailers. In addition, the site has a thriving community with frequent and genuine interaction.
The worst: There's a lot of "extra" stuff on the site. Some sets have nothing to do with fashion, but use interior design or just random graphics. These are cool for art and home decor lovers, but if you're a fashion purist they are just distractions. Even many of the fashion-focussed creations are less about styling an actual outfit and more about producing a set that's graphically appealing.
The best: This site was the first to take dress up games from kid space to grown folks fun. There were plenty of sites that used a paperdoll concept, but they were cartoons with cartoony clothes. Looklet had the brilliant idea to make the dolls photographs of real women (models) that could be dressed with stylish and designer clothing. The format really brings the fashion to life and can even be used to plan out ones wardrobe. The styled models can then be put on pre-made backgrounds that include things like runways, photography sets, grocery stores, and sidewalks. You can also choose a plain grey background and mimic magazine editorials that focus solely on the clothes.
The worst: Though the format is great, it's time consuming for the creators, as each piece of clothing has to be photo'd in the model pose. As a result the selection is limited and (obviously) users cannot add their own items.
The best: This site does a great job integrating contests and activities into the offering. A favorite feature is the Style an Icon section in which users create outfits inspired by popular celebrities. This section has an open format, but is also used to promote brands and stores through styling contests.
The worst: The technology on the site is very glitchy. It suffers from the kind of bugs that you might expect a new site to have, but Closet Couture has been around long enough that they should have been addressed. Besides the technical blips, there are design and workflow flaws that just don't make the site very pleasant to use. You can see this in the caliber of sets that are created there.
The best:The site was created by some of the folk behind the wildly popular Polyvore.com. It leans (heavily) on the concept first released by Looklet, using models as dolls. Couturious takes it a step further and offers models of different body types... in theory anyhow. The site launched in February and the various bodytypes feature is still in the "coming soon" column. Let's hope they get it together since it will be awesome for those of us that aren't 5'10" and 115 pounds. Another plus is that the technology is very slick and the site navigation is on point.
The worst: Like the site it copied was inspired by, Couturious is limited in selection because if it's format. It seems they tried to take the best of Looklet and combine it with the shopping promotion of Polyvore. Great idea, but the outcome was that the site comes across as a blatant platform for brand promotion. And there aren't cutting edge or emerging brands there. Instead, you'll find the usual corporate fodder dominating this site. Accordingly, the sets found here are a bit boring.
by Mary Egbula