Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Finding fashion in virtual wardrobes

♫ Freedom Call – Starlight

I've been thinking of making a blog post about my extremely girlish online hobbies, and now I got the ignition to do it. At first I'm going to introduce you to Poupeegirl, which is a Japanese fashion community and game, sort of. Basically, it has two purposes; showing off your clothes by posting photos of them and commenting on other people's photos; and dressing up your own poupee, your avatar, which often tries to represent the user behind the vector doll.

Meet Raphael ragdoll, my poupee, whose looks are loosely based on mine (yeah, I've dyed her hair when I've dyed my own) and whose clothes are based on what I could imagine wearing in real life if I had the chance. Part of the fun is dressing up your avatar once a day and taking a snapshot of it – one of the actions which earns you some virtual currency which you can waste on poupee clothes.

A screenshot of my poupee home page UI. This is actually not the profile page view, but you can go to see it here. I've been using poupeegirl quite long – for a bit over four years, I think. The site is five years old. I would have checked out when I actually joined, but their calendar system didn't work properly. To be honest though, the technology behind the service (*cough*Flash*cough*) is quite shaky, so... No wonder.

Yet the service is still quite fun to use, although I've been somewhat lazy lately, yet still taking snapshots. It's become a habit, sort of. If some of my readers are already using poupeegirl, feel free to add me as a friend there – however, please drop me a message, I don't add everyone back by default.

The pros and cons of the site:
+ Most of the content is in English these days as well – yet you can amuse yourself with some occasional Engrish. Would you like to see my "race-up" boots?
+ A vast variety of different alternative styles is represented in the community, yet it may be difficult to find the goths among the gyarus.
+ Users have very inspirational styles.
+ The avatars can easily be dressed up in alternative fashion as well.
– Most of the brands listed in service are either Japanese or particularly popular in Japan. However, one can enjoy the service without browsing the listed brands.
– Poupeegirl staff is (or at least was) known to be strict and probably difficult to communicate with in English. The rules regarding photo posting are strict, which is also good, but you gotta be careful not to post copyrighted material, photos showing people, items in wrong categories... 
– Most users leave boring comments such as "♥".

Today I found another fashion service on the internet; Dressipi.com. It's not a community like poupeegirl, but rather a personal tool for finding fashion items which might be perfect for you, based on your preferences, color choices, body type etc.

I wanted to give it a try although I had a feeling it might not have much to offer for someone like me who's not into high fashion but strongly into alternative stuff, and to some extent I seem to have been right. I started out by letting the service know this and that about me; my height, weight, body type, eye and hair color... And then I answered some extremely difficult questions about what kind of styles I might be interested in. It was easy to choose the option "I work in a creative industry" rather than "I'm a stay-at-home mum", but choosing my favorite brands from their lists was difficult since I didn't even know most of them! However, they have listed different types of brands; both in style and price, but nothing for those interested in dark (=gothic) subcultures (naturally, a few brands are swinging somewhere close). But otherwise they had brands from H&M to Vero Moda and from Alexander McQueen to Vivienne Westwood and DKNY.

The site would suggest which types of clothes flatter my body the most; it also tells me what to avoid. And then... it lists items from the brands I might want to wear and suggests them on the "Perfect for you" page:

I felt almost like a killjoy clicking "dislike" on most things it suggested. :/ The service is supposed to learn more about my taste the more I use it, and especially if I purchased something. Well, having gone through a bunch of suggestions I had seen a few truly interesting pieces, but nothing that I'd really really need to have.

The pros and cons:
+ The site seems like a very good tool for those who really are interested in fashion, especially the newest trends.
+ Easy to use.
– If you are strongly into alternative fashion and indies alternative brands, you might not find anything to your liking.

But I'll probably continue using Dressipi for a while to see if I can find anything truly interesting there. I'm so picky about clothes, especially if they're expensive... I'm into original and particularly imaginative designs rather than well-known brands! However, how do you, my dear readers, feel about clothes in general? Are you the type who might like a lot of different styles, but who would refuse to wear most of them anyway? Or would you wear anything that you like?
Personally, I'm the first type. In a way my taste is quite broad; I can easily like styles which differ from mine, I may enjoy fashion images... But no matter how nice a certain fashion item might be, I wouldn't wear it myself so easily. I'm picky; I have quite a clear idea of what kind of clothes and accessories tell those stories that I want to convey with my style. I'm not sure if some people consider it strange; perhaps it might seem like I followed some strict sub-cultural rules, such as those of the lolita fashion. However, I certainly have written my own rules, and I don't feel confined, I truly wouldn't feel comfortable wearing just anything although I considered the same clothes absolutely stunning when worn by someone else.

Yet I cannot deny it; being picky and particular about your clothing makes it difficult to find anything nice to wear. I don't have favorite brands or shops, and I can usually find at least some minor details in any piece of clothing that are not to my liking! Especially in alternative clothes; so many goth clothes have too many different details, in my humble opinion. I think quite many gothic brands end up making clothes which seem cheap due to being too over-the-top. A sad situation for someone who's both picky and absolutely all thumbs with a sewing machine...
So long!


  1. I think I have some combination of both; I know what a like, and it just comes down to aesthetics really [since I see most things online and mostly can't account for other things like comfort just by looking]. I think the biggest case of the former is in skirts; I see some beautiful skirts in alternative styles, but I dislike wearing skirts with a passion [which is why the ones I have are missing the fronts]. Everything else is sort of as I get them, if that makes sense...

    I'll definitely be taking a look at the dressipi site, thank you for sharing~ [This seems like and overly long chattery comment... my apologies.]

    1. Ah yeah, I guess you just pointed out the most important feature of my habits with this issue! I only wear trousers/pants for exercise purposes or when I'm lazily at home, but never to work or anywhere else where I bother to pay attention to what I'm wearing. Yet, I see stylish pants all the time! Sometimes I even get this "wow,I want those" -feeling until I realize that "no wait, I don't wear pants..." And I don't have any better reason for it but that I've kinda decided they're "not my style". Yeah, now this was a core example of what I was talking about.

  2. Mehehe, meikä kokeileekin tuota Poupeegirliä. :3 Näyttää niin hauskalta härvellykseltä että.


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