Like many men out there, I hate buying clothes. Wading my way through a crowded store is uncomfortable, searching through stacks upon stacks of the same article of clothing for the right size is a pain and trying stuff on in the dressing room is just, well... emasculating.
Sure I could buy online, but I have a horrible sense of style. Almost my entire wardrobe consists of golf shirts and khakis. So when I first heard about a menswear-buying app called Klothed I was intrigued.
"We built something that makes it easy for a man to shop for clothes and plan what they're going to wear," the company's co-founder Barry Fogarty told me in a recent interview.
Klothed, which launched on Apple's Canadian App Store in May, lets you create a digital model with your own face that can try on clothes for you. (It is expected to launch in the U.S. in the next two-to-four months.)
As for the body, it's not going to be a perfect representation of you, but the app lets you choose between two body types to give you an idea of how the clothing will fit. There's the standard department-store catalogue model physique and a slightly portlier body shape that, based on "anthropometric data," is more typical of the North American male. Fogarty added that more body types, such as big-and-tall, will be coming in the future. (Alternatively, users can just pick from a library of preloaded models that vary in age and ethnicity.)
Once you've created a profile, you can shop at retailers signed up with the app – currently GotStyle, 18Waits and Joe Fresh, with more coming in the next few months.
The options are filtered by the body type you chose (and measurements which are also saved in the profile). Your model can put on clothes to find a look that looks good on you. Or at least a look you think might look good. And then you can ask for help.
"A lot of men want guidance and support," Fogarty said, "Whether it's from a sales associate in a store or whether it's from a trusted source - their boyfriend, girlfriend whatever it may be."
In addition to being able to buy the outfit you've put together, you can save it and send it to, say, your wife for advice. If she has the app installed, she can load up your profile to decide how bad your choices are and make changes if need be.
"It's a menswear app but we're targeting women as a marketing demographic," Fogarty said. "Women who want to improve the look of their men."
The app also lets you save these outfits to your calendar in case you're the type of person who needs to plan out what you're wearing ahead of time.
Currently, the app is only available in iOS with Android (and possibly an HTML version for desktops/laptops coming). I don't have any Apple devices so I wasn't able to really test it out too much. But, at first glance, some features are a little lacking. Klothed only lets you search one retailer at a time and you can only browse through the clothing using the categories: tops, bottoms, shoes and preset outfits for business and casual. You cannot filter your search by price or colour, though Fogarty said that functionality is coming soon.
The other issue is with buying the clothing. Fogarty said Klothed is working with Shopify to set up a storefront to allow you to purchase all your items at once using Apple Pay. But, for now, you can buy the clothing from each retailer's own website. Every piece of clothing is its own transaction – even if they're from the same store.
Still... it beats waiting in line for a change room at Old Navy with a stack of khakis.
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