In the opening scene of the cult classic, Cher Horowitz — a well-meaning yet oblivious clotheshorse played by Alicia Silverstone —gets dressed with the help of a computer program that digitizes her entire wardrobe. Sitting at her clunky PC, Cher flips through articles of clothing until she lands on a match. (A plaid skirt with a polka-dot top? As if!)
Cluise, a free iOS and Android app that catalogues your clothing and makes five outfit recommendations based on real-time weather data, is a sleeker, modern adaptation of Cher’s sartorial system.
Before the app can work its magic, users must photograph and categorize every article of clothing. To speed things up, Cluise uses recognition software that automatically inputs the item’s hue (a real asset if you’re colorblind) and predicts the category based on its shape.
The true magic of Cluise, though, is its ability to put together a strong outfit within seconds, often with “Huh, why didn’t I think of that” combinations. It never occurred to me that my billowy tuxedo shirt would be so feminine beneath a cropped cashmere cardigan, or that my Brooks Bros. blazer could look so playful with a pair of pink floral pants. It cuts down drastically on the daily anguish of deciding what to wear, which takes women an average of 16 minutes every weekday, according to a 2009 study by British retailer Matalan.
“We wanted to create a product not just for people who are crazy for fashion,” explains founder Liuda Nebozhak, 26, a former marketer from Ukraine who says she’s no fashion plate. “We help our users to combine their clothes the way that they like.”Since Cluise’s 2013 launch, it has gained more than 227,000 members choosing from 1.5 million articles of clothing, Nebozhak said.
Outfit recommendations can be bookmarked, and users are encouraged to post photos of themselves wearing their new looks on the app’s Instagram-like feed where the Cluise community draws inspiration and offers feedback.
Cluise is remarkably thorough, though there is one major oversight: The app doesn’t take into consideration the occasion for which you’re dressing. Unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg, what you’d wear to a board meeting is likely to be different from what you’d wear to a friend’s birthday party. New features due out February will include personalized shopping recommendations for items your wardrobe is missing, Nebozhak says. Until then, Cluise continues to get you out the door with minimal hang-ups.
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OPERATING SYSTEM: iOS, Android
CREATOR: Proposal Invest Ltd. Corp.
USER RATINGS: Apple, (78 ratings); Google Play, (424 ratings)
REVIEW’S BOTTOM LINE: Go ahead, hit snooze. Cluise shaves minutes off your morning routine.