IF YOU are an adult human and have been dressing yourself for years, there’s every chance you have slipped into a style rut.
Maybe you shop at the same stores, buy clothing in a similar cut and stick with a general colour palette. We all do it to a certain point, because frankly who has the time to wade through shops praying for some divine inspiration? Research shows only 2 in 10 women actually enjoy shopping.
Occasionally branching out and shaking up your wardrobe is a good thing — and that’s where the ShopYou app comes in.
If you’re vaguely tech-savvy you may have heard of “bots” already. But you possibly haven’t allowed yourself to be dressed by one — and that is what ShopYou does.
Here’s how it works. You download the app and give some parameters of what you like and don’t like style-wise (because let’s face it, while a little change is nice, you don’t want it dressing you like a 19-year-old Forever New-lovin’ minx when you’re in your 30s).
You also select the brands that you like, from a range of lower and higher end brands — think Country Road, Decjuba, Seed, Uniqlo, Ellery, Gorman, Witchery, Ginger + Smart and Zimmermann. Side note, they are predominantly Australian stores, which is nice because you can feel smug about supporting local designers.
You can also stipulate that you are shopping for a specific occasion or purpose, such as workwear or a wedding.
Finally, you enter your size and body shape, so you can be matched with clothes that suit your physique.
Then, through the magic of artificial intelligence, it serves up a number of items personally tailored to you that you may never have selected in a store.
To test it out I ordered three things from the sale section of the ShopYou app, because who doesn’t love a bargain. Three things that were heavily discounted, that I would have absolutely walked past in a store. And the result? I got more compliments on my clothing in the course of a week than I have in years.
At Sunday lunch a girlfriend told me she liked the bold stripy Cue top I was wearing (in a halter-neck cut that I would never have selected before). When I asked what she liked about it, she said “it’s different from what you usually wear. It really suits you.”
A bright red French Connection skirt has been by far the biggest hit, getting two compliments, one of which was from a stranger in the street which we all know is the holy grail of compliments.
At work on the Wednesday a colleague told me that my high-waisted Fifth Label pants were a pleasant change to the jeans that I usually wear. Which was admittedly kind of negging me, but we’ll take it.
Compliments aside, wearing things that I usually wouldn’t wear also gave me a bit of a thrill personally. Because they put me out of my comfort zone I had to put a bit of thought into how to co-ordinate the rest of my outfit around these new pieces and that meant I was actually thinking and caring about what I was wearing rather than just throwing the same looks together.
It felt a bit like playing dress-ups in someone else’s clothes, which brought so much joy in childhood, why shouldn’t that extend to adulthood?
And after all, that’s what fashion should be about. Exploring, and having fun.