Google dominates how we search on the Internet (and, for many of us, how we email, advertise, blog, share video and photos, and do a bunch of other stuff), and while it's had a shopping search engine for awhile, it hasn't been the sophisticated shopping experience that, say, TheFind or ShopStyle is. Until now, that is. Yesterday, Google officially debuted Boutiques.com, which incorporates elements of the aforementioned sites, tied in with editorial content, social media, and Google's famous algorithms. It's interesting and new; I'm not sure how well it works yet, but I'm fascinated enough by it that I'm willing to keep experimenting with it. For example, 90% of the items in my boutique are black and gray, which, okay, I wear a lot, and it has many of my favorite designers (Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone), but so far there's not enough variety; it almost feels like shopping in my own closet, not my ideal closet. Still, I'm confident that the more information I give it, the better products it will give me--that's how it works, right?
You start by choosing between a series of images; this defines your style as one of six styles: boho, casual chic (which is what I got), classic, edgy, romantic, or street. Then you pick colors, silhouettes, and brands you love and/or hate, and Boutiques.com generates a long list of products for you. You can like or hate these products based on several criteria; you can save any item you see to your favorites. This being Google, there's also a search component, and I must say, the facets (options by which you can search) are some of the best out there. What's getting the most attention, however, are the "boutiques," which are shoppable pages with items chosen by everyone from bloggers like Rumi Neely of Fashiontoast and Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes to celebrities like the Olsen twins, Carey Mulligan, and Rashida Jones. There are designers--Tory Burch, Christian Siriano--and independent retailers like Les Nouvelles and Mick Margo. You can follow your favorites, hence the social networking aspect of it. Here's my boutique if you want to follow me; like I said, it's not too exciting yet, but give it time. I don't know if Boutiques.com will be my new go-to search engine, but it's a fun new way to shop and, if anything, a great diversion.