Mobile phone companies have long wanted to be a part of the fashion crowd. Even in the dark days pre-dating the iPhone, manufacturers tried to attract style-conscious consumers (remember 2004’s Motorola Razr or the cool flippy T-Mobile Sidekick?).
Today, thanks to leaps and bounds in technology, not only are mobile devices driving a huge chunk of fashion sales in the UK, but brands are falling over themselves trying to connect to the users who themselves are connected to their phones.
So much so is the shift that popular Instagrammers now regularly take up front-row seats at fashion shows and earlier this month Barbour became the first brand in the UK to sell to customers directly through Twitter.
But smartphones don’t just allow us to shop on-the-go or amass a cult-like following, they can actually up your style game in very simple ways – and here’s how.
A large part of the internet’s success is down to its ability to create communities in which people can discuss ideas and share tips. Chat rooms were the earliest form of this, but today they exist on Twitter, Facebook and site forums like ours.
These can be used almost instantaneously to gather feedback or advice on a particular look or item of clothing; it’s like taking a million friends shopping or showing them your wardrobe all at once.
Even someone who likes others to admire their natural style shouldn’t be scared to open up to the internet and ask for a nudge in the right direction when it comes to what to wear or how to wear it.
Just keep in mind the armchair experts out there and remember the internet’s style advice is only as good as the people who are writing it.
Two outfits posted by username ICA on FashionBeans’ forum
We’ve already covered the smartphone apps no stylish man should be without but it’s worth noting that in 2014 there were over 1.2million apps available in Apple’s App Store alone, with as many as 60,000 being added each month.
So as well as it taking a lifetime to download and test every single one, there is a constant flow of launches, so regularly browse the lifestyle and fashion section on iTunes or Google Play to find those that work for you.
Screenshots aren’t just for when you want to break the rules of Snapchat. Along with saving pictures, this can be a great way of building an image bank of looks you would like to recreate or interpret in your own style.
While reading articles on sites like FashionBeans, scrolling through street style blogs or using apps like Instagram, whenever you come across an lookbook image or outfit you like, screenshot or save the image. Later, when at home or out shopping, you can reference back to it and begin to pull together the necessary pieces.
Also make a note of any item used in the look that you need to buy to complete it.
Scrapbooking and note taking goes hand in hand. By building a wishlist of items you want to buy to complete certain looks or hit specific trends, you avoid splashing money on items you may only wear a handful of times.
Aim to add items to the list that you will be able to wear with several of your scrapbooked looks.
Saved lots of images that use black polo shirts but are yet to own one? Add it to the list. When pay day rolls around you can head out and make your way through the list, as easy as a trip to Tesco.
iOS’ reminders app is particularly great for creating a handy checklist of pieces that you can tick off once you’ve purchased.
Go-To Outfit Pictures
Any menswear aficionado will advocate for planning outfits the night (or even week) before. However, one boozy Tuesday out after work and you wake up on the Wednesday with a sore head not knowing what to throw on. This is when a second image bank can come in handy.
Make time one lazy weekend to go through your wardrobe and create five or six go-to looks that work for a variety of occasions, then take pictures (either on or off you). Not only will this encourage you to reconsider those items you may not have worn in a while, but it also challenges you to try out and experiment with combinations you may not have considered while you’re rushing around each morning.
By doing this, while you’re waiting for the paracetamol and ibuprofen to kick in, you can flick through the images, select an outfit and head to work (via the coffee shop) in the knowledge that your look is on-point, even if you aren’t.
Got any smartphone tips or tricks that you want to share?
Drop them in the comments section below.