Fashionable iPhone apps for guys who hate going to the mall

Nov 23, 2010
Finance

This holiday season, high fashion retailers are becoming a perfect fit for mobile shopping. This is particularly good news for an unexpected audience: guys who don’t know a Chanel from a socket wrench. For that group, the calculus works like this: You need to buy something nice for the woman in your life. A trip […]

This holiday season, high fashion retailers are becoming a perfect fit for mobile shopping. This is particularly good news for an unexpected audience: guys who don’t know a Chanel from a socket wrench.

For that group, the calculus works like this: You need to buy something nice for the woman in your life. A trip to the mall with the post-Thanksgiving swarming masses has about as much appeal as a root canal. So you can sit on the couch while the football game is on and not only find high-end items, but also get help figuring out what to buy.

With that in mind, here are our five best apps for fashion shopping while watching the football game.

Shopstyle (Free)

Shopstyle is like Google for fashion shopping. Now, there is of course an actual Google fashion shopping site called Boutiques.com, which launched last week. But it is only on the web so far – it’s not available as a mobile app. So if you’re going to rely on your smartphone, and you have enough confidence to pick out clothes without help, Shopstyle is the best way to cast the net wide.

The app can search for clothing, jewelry and accessories from more than 300 retailers. Let’s say a little black dress is on her wish list and you don’t have a clue where to find it. Click on “dresses.” Refine by the color “black.” Refine again by size (yes – that part can be tricky). Refine again by price, and a couple thousand dresses will come up. Click on something you like and you will be forwarded you to that retailer’s site to purchase.

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Tiffany & Co. Engagement Ring Finder (Free)

Some guys get so caught up in the holiday mood, they actually decide to propose marriage. Which means they need to get a ring. Tiffany & Co.’s Engagement Ring Finder app lets a future groom do all of the research before stepping foot in a store. Browse ring shapes, settings, metals, designs, and see diamonds in actual size. You can even figure out her ring size. Swipe one of her rings when she’s not looking and place it onto the screen of your iPhone, aligning it with the correct circle in the guide. Once you find the ring you want, click and set up an appointment to get it at a Tiffany’s store. Unfortunately, you can’t get the ring mailed to you, but you can minimize the painful time spent actually being in a jewelry store.

Net-A-Porter (Free)

This online boutique was started by a former fashion magazine editor. It’s popular among fashionistas like Victoria Beckham because of its tightly-edited selection of clothing, shoes, jewelry and sunglasses. You almost can’t pick out something wrong. Go to “What to Wear Now” and up pops all sorts of ideas for women that might not occur to a typical male shopper — like leather pants, booties, capes and chic plastic rain boots. Net-A-Porter also has “style advisors” on hand to answer questions.

Gilt On the Go (Free)

Gilt is an invitation-only site for sample sales – i.e., luxury items from well-known designers at 70 percent off. Don’t fret about the invitation-only part. Sign-in and you’ll be emailed an invitation. The deals range from vintage clothing and watches, to candelabras and hotel accommodations in far-off locales like Bilbao, Spain. You can even buy a massage in your hometown. Word of caution: If you see something you think she’d like, pounce on it. Sales typically lasts 36 hours. After that, the items are gone forever.

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Victoria’s Secret All Access (Free)

Yeah, now, picture a perfect Thanksgiving afternoon. Got a glass of wine, the game is on, and between plays you’re shopping – by watching videos of Victoria’s Secret models wearing lingerie. Certainly it will be easier to pick out the perfect gift for the woman in your life once you see behind-the-scenes footage of a Heidi Klum photo shoot. And if your wife or girlfriend gets suspicious and demands to know what you’re doing on your phone, just turn the screen away and say, “Christmas shopping for you.”

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