arlier this week, Google went where it had never dared go before: Fashion. The search engine giant launched Boutiques.com, a new clothing and accessories site that uses a visual search engine to determine a user's unique style and scour the web for clothing that suits her. (At present, the site only carries women's clothing.) It also allows users to create their own "virtual boutiques" and to shop at online boutiques created by celebrities and famous designers. Is Boutiques.com a shopping breakthrough?
Yes, it's undoubtedly superior: "Boutiques.com's ultimate game-changer" is "how precisely it analyzes your preferences to give you what you requested," says Cathy Horyn in The New York Times. With seemingly limitless "capabilities and components", the site "significantly improves how fashion is presented and sold online" and it "may also change how people shop for clothes."
"Google fashion shopping site makes debut"
Especially for those on a budget: "This is a fashion-forward-budget-minded-woman's dream site," says Rosalyn Hoffman at The Huffington Post. The site accurately determined my personal style — "edgy-classic" — and when I searched for a "simple black dress with a round neck" it returned "more divine round-neck black dresses than we'd ever seen in one place." All that's missing: The ability to let users computer-generate silhouettes of their own bodies to virtually try on clothes.
"Stylish and on a budget? Meet your new best friend: Google Boutiques"
I'm not sold: Boutiques.com "still has a long way to go to become the go-to shopping portal the search engine giant envisioned at its launch," says Lydia Dishman at BNET. It can be difficult to find specific designers and the check-out part is a bit "wonky." Both literally and figuratively, the site "didn't close the sale for me."
"Why Google’s Boutiques.com falls short of the sale"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- How my boyfriend and I learned to live on one income
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- Obama's next steps on immigration
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Affirmative action is doomed. Here's what progressives should do about it.
- How to make perfect fried rice in 6 easy steps
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
Subscribe to the Week