An app for a fad

Load your smartphone with the brightest fashion apps in the market to walk the talk of a style maven who is at the top of his game.
Hitani Kaur        Print Edition: May 12, 2013

Yves Saint-Laurent famously said that fashion fades but style is eternal. While the legendary designer certainly knew his cashmere from his pashmina, the less fashion savvy among us who can't tell a moccasin from a loafer (hint: one has laces, the other doesn't) need a little help to get by. From picking the appropriate knot for your tie to discovering the best shopping bargains and creating a distinct look that expresses your sense of style, it's smartphones to the rescue. They are loaded with apps to help you fake it till you make it. So before you start trolling the stalls in search of that perfect look, browse your app centre for hip tips right from the palm of your hand.

HAIR STYLING
Let's start at the top and work our way down. There are several apps that apply image processing to a photo so you can visualise how you'd look with a particular hairstyle. Hairstyle Salon, available for free at the Apple App Store, even facilitates pinch-and-zoom gestures to size and position the picture before adding a pre-made hairstyle graphic to it. A little more fine control over the superimposed styling is available in the aptly named Men's Hairstyles app, which offers more than 240 different options. If disheveled is more your style, Beard Styles For Men helps you visualise your face with different shaving patterns and beards, so you can experiment without having to hide at home in case things go wrong. This app also compiles online videos that show you how to shave with precision.

GET SOME HELP
Cool Guy, which is free on iOS and Android, lets you mix and match clothes you already own after you've taken their photos. It even lets you share your outfit with friends if you need that extra reassurance before heading out. Another great app that works like a fashion assistant is the Glamour Magazine: Ask a Stylist app. If you're ever stuck in the wear-or-not-to-wear zone, tap into the experts at Glamour, who can provide fashion answers that elude you. Just upload a photo, key in your detailed queries, select a stylist, and do as you're told.

It might seem frivolous, but really, learning to tie a tie is every man's rite of passage. A necessity for the well-heeled man, Necktie Deluxe is available on Apple. With clear images and simple instructions, it helps even the fumble-fingered do an admirable job with a bow-tie. The app also schools you on several other knots, each described carefully as to its character, shape and best application. Tie-a-Tie Lite, a free app, keeps you looking sharp with step-by-step diagrams popping up with each tap.

KEEP IT STYLISH

Trendstop has been a favourite amongst fashion apps, and rightly so. No other app can hold a candle to it when it comes to keeping track of the latest trends and tracking the spiffiest collections. The app's layout is slightly cluttered, so the larger your phone's display screen is, the better. Style.com, yet another holy grail among fashion tools, is great for staying updated on trends and designer collections - helping you search from specific men's shows from Milan to New York through slideshows. Lustr, on the other hand, helps you acquire what you like.

The app works as a fashion finder and hence, if you're visiting a foreign city, this is your one-stop-shop for the scoop on sales, stores and shopping bargains in the area. No more googling info or relying on the advice of some friend's friend's friend. Lustr does it all at a click.

mosimageALL THINGS FASHION

Lastly, or rather to begin with, you need to create your sense of style. The best way to do this is by browsing these style blogs. At the very least, they make for aesthetically beautiful photographs that are a pleasure to leaf through. The two street style blogs that offer quirky and innovative content are The Sartorialist and Jak & Jil. While the fashion aesthetic in the former is more sophisticated because it's largely European, the latter is directed at the younger urban. Great ways to observe peoples' interpretations of fashion, both give you the confidence to break the rules and make your own style statement.

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