Friday, August 12, 2011

Do Those Pants Make You Look Fat? Ask the Internet


So far 250,000 people have downloaded Go Try It On's app and commented on outfits 10 million times.
So far 250,000 people have downloaded Go Try It On’s app and commented on outfits 10 million times.
There is a reason that women go shopping in groups — they like to ask their stylish friend, mother or the store’s dressing room attendant whether something looks good.
Go Try It On, a start-up that runs a Web site and mobile app for getting real-time feedback on outfits, believes that with computers and cellphones, fashion consultations should be possible even when people aren’t together.
“It’s crowdsourcing an opinion on an outfit and getting a quick, unbiased second opinion,” said Marissa Evans, Go Try It On’s founder and chief executive.
On Friday, Go Try It On will announce that it has raised $3 million from investors including SPA Investments and Index Ventures. It is also introducing a way to make money, by allowing brands to critique users’ outfits and suggest products, beginning with Gap and Sephora.
Users upload a photo or use a Webcam to show an outfit and solicit advice from other users. The service, which is one of several trying to make online shopping more social, started last year, and so far 250,000 people have downloaded the app and commented on outfits 10 million times. Most of the users are young women, and 30 percent live abroad.
A user named Anne-Marie S., for instance, recently uploaded a cellphone picture of her outfit for going out for the night — flared jeans, a black and pink floral top and a white jacket. A few of the users suggested that the flared jeans were better for daytime and that she should switch to skinny jeans for night.
As of Friday, users will be able to choose a group of people to judge their outfits instead of sharing with everyone. The group can include friends, active users or professional stylists from brands. To start, Gap and Sephora will have stylists on Go Try It On on Fridays and Saturdays, when the most people ask for advice. They could suggest a shade of Sephora lipstick or a pair of Gap jeans, for instance.
“A Gap reviewer is interacting and engaging with their customers in a very one-to-one way, based on what someone looks like or an outfit, which is a discussion we’ve all had offline for years,” Ms. Evans said. “Why can’t that be something brands are paying for, like a new ad model?”

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