By Heather Taylor
When In Doubt, Instagram (or Tumblr) It Out
Embrace the selfie (noun: self taken photo uploaded to a social networking site, typically done with an iPhone) when it comes to shopping for summertime looks and take pictures of yourself in outfits BEFORE buying them. I like to solicit advice from Tumblr and Instagram on various clothing pieces I’m trying on that I’m unsure about buying just yet, and like to make sure that a fair share of both guys and girls alike are in on this purchasing process, offering up their own two cents. I trust the judgment of those I’m friends with on said sites when it comes to style, many of which I know IRL (in real life) just as much as online. This helps cut back on making any unnecessary impulse buys as well—who said you couldn’t keep to a shopping budget during the summertime anyway?
Make a Vine Video
Go a step further than an awkwardly shot iPhone photo and opt for Vine, an app that allows you to make a short (six second) looping video. One of my favorite sites utilizing the Vine to great lengths is Lucky Magazine, which tweets out various videos filmed with their Vine account. In one recent Vine vid, they filmed a pair of red Vans high tops. Rather than shoot the shoes still on a window display or on someone’s feet roaming the streets of New York, the six seconds are stop motion of the shoelaces slowly being tied up into bows. Clever and fun, it also places the focus completely on the shoes and doesn’t let anything else distract you from watching in the process.
“Honestly though? How Do I Really Look, Really?”
Sometimes the Internet can be too kind. It can also be cut down the middle or wishy washy in responses back. “Cute!” “Pretty!” “Marry me!” These are all nice adjectives and all, but what do I really look like? Why isn’t anyone writing a note that the pants should be hemmed shorter or that the cardigan fits me badly or maybe I shouldn’t be wearing a bright red bra through a see-through blouse? (Hold up, maybe that’s where the “marry me” comment came from…)
If you’re still in need of real advice on whether to opt for that sundress or not, sign up for Fashism and ask away. Fashism is simple enough to navigate—post a photo of your look, ask a question like “Does this work?” and advice will be given with reviewers clicking the “love it” or “hate it” buttons provided.
Fashism is not for the faint of heart. If you’re used to constantly getting likes on Facebook or hearts on Tumblr, you may be more than a little disconcerted when your ensemble gets a series of hate clicks. But there is also a comments section available for anyone who went with love it or hate it to further explain why they opted for that choice. Take the dislike, along with the praise, with a grain of salt though—ultimately you’re the one deciding on what to buy and while getting advice online is always an added plus, you’re not shopping to appease brands or bloggers that may be following you. You’re doing your summertime look for yourself, so purchase what goes along with your personal sense of style the best.
Heather Taylor is a social media manager for MyCorporation.com, freelance writer, and blogger who writes and muses on social networks, business, and fashion and the occasional combination of all three. She has had her written work published with Yahoo! Shine, Forbes, Social Media Today, BettyConfidential, HelloGiggles, The Huffington Post, and more. Contact her on Twitter @howveryheather or directly email firstname.lastname@example.org.