Any girl who has seen the movie "Clueless" can understand the significance and novelty of having a virtual closet like Alicia Silverstone's character.
Rather than wander into her Beverly Hills-sized walk-in closet, she could simply surf a digital version of her wardrobe with a flick of the finger. Finding the perfect outfit for whatever occasion " be it a day in high school or a hot date " would never be a claustrophobic nightmare again.
The practicality of such a system seems obvious, yet even in today's technologically savvy world, there seemed to be no hope of ever having a wardrobe neatly organized into a personal, computerized clothing directory.
Fortunately, University of Oklahoma graduate Charlie Givens, 24, tackled the task.
On May 30, nearly a year after beginning the Web site's construction, Givens debuted MyClosetMyLife.com, a free social network created specifically for individuals who want an easier way to access their wardrobe on a daily basis.
"The idea came about when I was living in New York one summer and closet space and living quarters are very limited there," Givens said. "I was getting very frustrated because I could never access all of clothes in my closet, to pick out what to wear to work or to go out, so I'd be wearing the same thing over and over again. I thought there has to be an easier way. I was thinking about a digital closet where you could categorize your wardrobe and upload images."
A personal profile on MyClosetMyLife.com resembles Facebook or MySpace, but the site allows users to do more than interact with others. Catered to an individual's fashion needs, it lets users upload photos of their clothing and categorize them according to color, brand, occasion or style. Once a wardrobe is uploaded, users can begin accessing their virtual closet, creating sample outfits on a computer template rather than splaying the contents of their closets on their beds.
After observing his sister's, girlfriend's and cousin's reliance on friends' opinions and approval of their outfits, Givens said he knew he wanted to include a networking aspect that would allow friends to comment on each other's outfit selections.
"Say you have friends, you can become friends online, and once they approve you as a friend, you then have access to their entire closet and they have access to yours," he said.
Through this aspect of the site's networking system, friends can exchange comments and suggestions, as well as pick outfits for one another based on the contents of their virtual wardrobe.
MyClosetMyLife.com offers other fashion amenities, including a "Fashion Cents" point system, where users are entitled to a certain amount based on the their involvement in the site's applications. These points can be redeemed later for gift cards to retailers. Consultations from professional fashion consultants are also offered; the service is optional, charging on the basis of how many consultants are hired.
"It's a niche site," Givens said. "Facebook is such a general platform, where this is really tied to fashion itself and getting a more personalized approach from your friend." "Reneé Selanders