NEW YORK — As its name suggests, the new Web site Dress Your Guests aims to put to rest any dress code dilemmas.
This story first appeared in the June 4, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Founded by Elyse Newhouse and Kate Brennan, the site went live two weeks ago to help party and wedding guests team up to decide what to wear to specific events. The founders said they have each been on both sides of the what-are-you-wearing conundrum, as guests as well as hostesses. They started their company to make it easy for guests to share fashion advice and to give the invited a chance to connect a bit before the occasion. “I worked at Ralph Lauren, where everyone is impeccably dressed and even those women would ask what they should wear to certain events,” Brennan said.
Designed to be “a personalized style guide,” DYG doles out fashion advice for weddings, proms, private parties or just a night on the town. A host registers his or her event online, customizes an invitation to include proper attire and sends it to guests. Once they register, guests can interact with other registered guests or online stylists to ask for pointers about the dress code and potential outfits for the occasion. Beyond that, the site helps partygoers avoid the dreaded who-wore-it-best scenario of having two guests at the same party wearing the same outfit.
In addition, the idea is that guests will be spared the stress, hassle and expense of buying multiple outfits for an event, as well as having to take extra luggage to a destination wedding in order to have enough options. “The site allows you to feel confident in the type of attire you decide on,” Brennan said. “More people are traveling for destination weddings.”
In addition to clothing options, registered guests can discuss accessories, hairstyles and anything else related to a particular event. They can also speak to each other privately online and post photos. “We know young people like to send pictures of themselves to each other, but some of the older generation also like sending things. Some people might not be comfortable with Facebook or Instagram but they like the idea that this is private,” Newhouse said.
While she and Brennan expected DYG to be popular for weddings and black-tie events, they have been somewhat surprised by how many hosts and hostesses of informal get-togethers and private parties are using the service. Focused on building DYG’s user base, the pair do not have an immediate plan to introduce an e-commerce component. They do plan to launch a blog on the site that may have an advertising component in a few weeks.
To help spread the word about DYG, special events are being planned in New York and Washington. A pre-Fourth of July event at Milly’s Madison Avenue store will focus on holiday packing, and another gathering might be held at the new Kate Spade store. The June 13 Washington event will be a party for Lauren Weisberger’s second book, “Revenge Wears Prada,” at the W Hotel.