Where can you get fashion inspiration?

Filed under: community

Last night I answered someone’s questions on reddit’s subcommunity on female fashion advice. In response to her question about where to get fashion inspiration, I listed several websites and realized there’s no really good guide for super beginners (especially those who are not aspiring fashionistas).

Here are some websites and a comparison of how they stack up in terms of search-ability. I looked for the company’s profile on CrunchBase, because it is a free database of technology companies, people, and investors that anyone can edit. It’s also the place to look for information about startup tech companies, which most fashion tech companies are.

  • Polyvore http://www.polyvore.com
  • LookBook http://lookbook.nu
  • The StyleUp http://www.thestyleup.com/
  • Pose http://pose.com/
  • Trendabl http://trendabl.com


Profile: Polyvore is the leading community site for online style where users are empowered to discover their style and set trends around the world. The company collaborates with prominent brands such as Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg, Lancôme, Net-a-Porter, Gap and Coach to drive product engagement; and its user-generated fashion campaigns have been judged by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Polyvore is funded by Benchmark Capital and Matrix Partners (Read more on CrunchBase)

The website features a way for users to create and save their own outfits from a central catalog into “sets” into image form. Taking this catalog/collage view, they can share with communities via contests and buttons to embed the image into blogs. Each product in the catalog has a link to an online store, useful if users want to purchase items. As far as searching for style, you have to find the right users, hashtags, and communities. For example if you want to find work outfits you can use the hashtag work or look through someone’s collection.

For a historical view on this website, NY Times has an article describing the purpose of their website.

How to use: consult this guide.


Profile: LOOKBOOK.nu is the leading online community dedicated to real-life fashion inspiration from real people around the world. Inspired by popular “street fashion” photoblogs such as The Sartorialist, San Francisco-based couple Jason Su and Yuri Lee launched the site in 2008 to give trendsetters and fashion mavens a collective gallery to post their own street fashion photography. Today, LOOKBOOK.nu is now home to a 600,000 member strong community and a global worldwide readership of over 4.5 million unique visitors per month. (Read more on CrunchBase)

This website features pictures of users taking photos of themselves in their outfits. Outfits can be ranked by other members on the website, and top ranked outfits are listed on the leaderboard. Outfits are tagged with hashtags as well, so you can search for a style such as ‘casual’ with that keyword. This website also features contests for users to submit outfits for prizes.

The concept of a lookbook is to show a finished product. That said, the photos on this website are more lifestyle (aka life-like) than polyvore’s catalogue look. Each image can be tagged with the clothing item, which is a nice feature to identify what the person is wearing.


Profile: This website is so new that crunchbase doesn’t have a profile yet. The concept of this website is providing you with a daily dose of style inspiration related to the weather. When you sign up, you are asked to choose from four different styles. Each daily email will contain the weather forecast, an image of an outfit, and some buttons to rate. There community features and ability to search for style when you log in and access the inspiration feed. There’s currently no way to filter the search results more specifically than the top four categories.


Profile: Pose captures and enhances the in-store shopping experience. Pose’s mobile application allows users to add products to a personal style feed, share their finds and start a conversation. Pose is something special for women. Simply says that Pose.com is a posing and stylish images from the users. (Read more on CrunchBase)

This website is mainly a mobile application. It provides a search box at the top of the page, so if you search for casual you will see photos similar to instagram style “selfies”. It is similar to lookbook.nu concept except the cataloging features per outfit are not as vast.


Profile: Trendabl is a fashion focused photo-sharing iPhone app that will launch in March 2012. Members will be able take pictures of anything fashion related, add a filter and tag the photos with info such as brands, store, color and price. Users will be able to share these posts with their friends or whoever follows them. Users will also be able to follow their favorite fashion icons, celebrities, designers, stylists, magazines, bloggers and websites. Many more details to come as we approach our launch date! (Read more on CrunchBase)

Another mobile application for recording your outfit and sharing it with other users. The content is only accessible on iphone. They provide a search box to search for users or hashtags. Search filters include price, categories (item type such as pants or shirt), brand, and color. This is less than lookbook.nu, which had search filters for color, materials, patterns, location, and countries.

Meta Analysis of all of these:

BrandPolyvoreLookbookThe StyleUpPoseTrendable
Web InterfaceYesYesYesYesNo
Mobile InterfaceYes (Email)Yes (iPhone, Android)Yes (iPhone)
Search FeatureYesYesYesYesYes (hashtag, user)
Search Result FiltersPolyvorebrand color materials patterns location countriesNo price categories (item type such as pants or shirt) brand color