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Fashion & Finance: The hottest sites to style you for the office

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February 10, 2012

My coworker recently sent me a great article on Mashable, detailing a new internet start up, Stylitics, described by the author as “a new way to organize your wardrobe and track your spending.” The site features a virtual closet and outfit builder, complete with the ability to see your outfit history and interpret personal style trends.

In addition, after using the site for a while, Stylitics will help you track what you wear, compile data about your spending habits, brand loyalty, and even provide points, which can be redeemed for useful discounts and freebies. As Mashable author Lauren Indvik describes, the site is “an analytics dashboard that does for your closet what Mint.com does for your finances.” Pretty cool!

I like the idea of being able to manage and stay aware of what brands you tend to buy, what your budget allows, and whether or not your purchases have a return on investment. For me, ROI is wearability. If I can wear a piece I bought a hundred different times, in different seasons, with different outfits, it’s worth every penny.

This post got me thinking about the fact that digital tools and innovation on the web helps us in all that we do. Whether it is breaking down what a new tax code means for a client, helping to connect with others or managing our time better, emerging media and other useful web tools make a big difference in our lives.

So, for this post, I wanted to identify some web tools that should be added to your fashion toolbox, specifically for those seeking help with style, size and budget.

Derks Menswear, a Canadian retailer, offers some incredibly helpful Fashion Tools on their website. First, they start at the bottom and focus on your feet, with helpful tips and product care information for men’s shoes. While reading through some of the tips and tricks info, I learned that the most common mistake men make when shining their shoes is using too much polish. This will apparently create a thick layer of polish, which has damaging effects on your shoes, ruining the texture and color of your “kicks.” Read up on the site’s Spit N Shine section to learn how to properly care for your dress shoes.

Next, the site tackles grooming, covering everything from men’s hair, to their skin, to the perfect shave—all important aspects of a professional business image. Last, check out the site’s Thread Care section, with lots of helpful advice on how to get the most bang out of your wardrobe buck by caring and repairing your garments the right way. 

I have to say this is one of my favorite parts of the website, as I agree that caring and maintaining the quality and design of your clothes is one of the best things you can do. You’ll really get your money’s worth out of what you buy when you take care of fabrics properly. While dry-cleaning can get expensive, I find it helps me preserve and take care of some of the nicer pieces that I own.

A little further digging around the web universe got me to this interesting thread on Reddit.com, a unique source for what’s new and interesting on the web, allowing users to interact with one another in discussion threads. The user posing the question wanted some advice on where they could find a social type of website that would help them manage their wardrobe, plug in a budget, track a wish list and share pictures, links and ideas.

Users suggested three websites: Shopstyle, Polyvore and Svpply, all amazing fashion and style-driven sites that act as fashion tools for savvy shoppers and stylists. On these sites you can pull together looks from the web—shop, plug in the set budget you are looking to spend and compare prices.

Last, Kent State University has compiled a useful resource page for their fashion students, with lots of helpful links for those looking for style and design information. Some of the links that may be helpful to you include a Clothing Size Conversion Table with conversion charts for American, British and European sizes for women’s, men’s, and children’s apparel and shoes (most helpful when buying items from overseas), as well as COLOURlovers , a cool online community that offers digital color palettes and inspiration.

Hopefully some of these online tools will help inspire you when you need a little help in the style department. Next post, look for some info on what’s to come for spring, and how cleaning out your closet can make room for some new trend pieces perfect for work, while helping to support your community!

Emily Alexandria Burns is a State University of New York Fashion Institute of Technology graduate and started her career in New York City working for companies including Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni, Christian Dior and Jones Apparel Group. She is now e-marketing communications specialist for Freed Maxick & Battaglia CPAs in Buffalo, N.Y., and recently named the Association for Accounting Marketing's 2011 "Rookie of the Year." Follow her on Twitter @FreedMaxickPR or email her at emily.burns@freedmaxick.com.

 

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