Stylewhile’s Smooth Use of Avatars Makes Online Try-Ons Work


The nice Finnish representatives demonstrating their new iPad app, Stylewhile, on Friday night, are definitely onto something.  Their just-launched program aids a virtual try-on process by circumventing it, allowing users to dress avatars from an aggregated set of retailers.

Founder and CEO Jutta Haaramo and her team wanted to creatively enhance online retail with the end goal of making it more practical.  The result is a clean, glitch-free app that lets users choose from a few different body types and faces (the latter is just for fun/personalization) onto which one drags and drops any combination of clothes.  We tried it out — you could do this forever.  The app saves recently tried items on a sidebar, making it easy to indulge any level of fashion OCD, going back, re-jiggering, and generally creating outfit permutations ad infinitum.

Stylewhile interfaceClothing options at left, your avatar at right. Not shown: a sidebar with recently tried items, normally to the right of the “model.”

Online retailers who offer e-commerce through the app pay a commission to Stylewhile, leaving it free for shoppers to download and play with at length.  Which is exactly what you’ll want to do.  The interface is clean, straightforward, and glitch-free, and the avatar (instead of, say, a grainy image of yourself) lends a gamification air to the program while making it actually work well.

The app, which just launched, is exclusively available through Saks Fifth Avenue for the next month.  After that, expect to see Stylewhile expand to a host of other retailers.  We’ve been waiting for a really good iteration of a virtual try-on program for a while, but this app’s slick interface and general functionality demonstrates that there might not even be a need for selfie photos in the online dressing room.

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