Friday, September 7, 2007
FashMatch made it today into the Wall Street Journal
Does This Outfit Match?
By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO
September 6, 2007; Page D2
Can a Web site help you select what blouse to wear with a polka-dot skirt or what shoes to pair with a little black dress?
New online services are trying to act as virtual wardrobe consultants, helping users assemble matching outfits using technology ranging from complex mathematical algorithms that account for colors and patterns to collective feedback from other users.
6pm.com might recommend matching a bag like that above with boots like the one below.
Some services, like FashMatch.com, allow users to match thousands of items they store in their indexes, as well as items whose photos users upload to the site. Others, like shoe and handbag retailer 6pm.com, will suggest matches only from items they sell.
The sites helped us assemble combinations we wouldn't have thought of on our own -- such as FashMatch's recommendation of a chunky beaded bracelet to go with an olive green sundress. But other advice, like 6pm.com's suggestion to pair a blue-and-white pattern purse with green loafers, was iffy.
How it works: Users suggest matches by searching for various items and pairing them as outfits in a virtual wardrobe. Based on how the community votes on the combinations, the site offers matching items.
Comment: Advice, such as matching a pink wrap dress with silver heels and sunglasses, was creative but may be too trendy for a conservative dresser.
How it works: The site converts images into mathematical formulas that account for patterns, textures and color. The site pairs items with similar attributes and applies rules to prevent fashion faux pas like mixing vertical and horizontal stripes.
Comment: A test version of the new technology, which could be launched as soon as the end of the month, made the strange suggestion of wearing plaid slip-on shoes with a patterned dress because the color palettes were similar. The company says the technology will be improved for the official release.
How it works: Matches -- which are limited to the roughly 10,000 bags and shoes available for purchase through the site -- are generated by an algorithm that looks at attributes like color and style, as well as customer rankings.
Comment: Suggested matches such as a $60 brown satchel handbag with a pair of $100 gold boots were cute and on point.
Write to Jessica E. Vascellaro at firstname.lastname@example.org