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  • Elizabeth Little

Remembering Polyvore: the Favourite Fashion Site of the 2010s


Image via my personal Polyvore, circa 2013-2016.


When I was in high school, I longed to be a part of the fashion industry. Blogs were at an all-time high, and Instagram was still finding its feet. Doing everything I could to appear relevant, I eventually stumbled upon Polyvore. The site was an online community with like-minded individuals who loved fashion. I used the site daily during my teens, but as the years went on they began getting rid of features that I loved, and by the time I started university in 2016, I had switched almost exclusively to Instagram. By 2018, it had dropped in popularity causing it to be bought out by luxury fashion e-retailer SSENSE. It was a sad day for fashion lovers everywhere, including myself who hadn’t used the platform in nearly two years. So let’s take a trip back through memory land and revisit the magic that once was Polyvore.

Founded in 2007, Polyvore had millions of active users by the early 2010s. Members used the platform to create collages, often being used as mood boards or style boards. When creating the collages, creators could use clothes from popular shopping websites to keep their style boards up to date. What made Polyvore even more engaging than other competing sites was that within the collages were often shoppable links, which would take the consumers directly to the items they were interested in buying. Polyvore is actually how discovered a number of British brands, such as Asos and Boohoo, the former of which I still often shop at today.

Image via my personal Polyvore, circa 2013-2016.


My favourite bit of the platform, though, was the advice column. In it, users could submit questions to the open site and anyone with an account could reply. Most of the questions involved styling advice, as just like you could do with the collages, you could link current products into your answers. The question would be ‘live’ for a few days, and then when it would end the poster would pick their favourite response. I like to think of this as the beginning of my fashion writing career (even if I was recommending skater skirts and skinny jeans to people, but what can you say, it was 2013). I still remember someone asking what they should wear to a Two Door Cinema Club concert – my favourite band at the time – and was devastated when the poster didn’t pick my suggestion as her favourite. Despite occasional disappointments, the advice section was the best way to meet new people on the platform, and it really felt as if we were making friends.

In 2015, Polyvore was purchased by Yahoo and started expanding to create an app, but with new arrivals, the advice section fell through the cracks. Whilst I did enjoy making collages through the site, for me and many others it had lost a lot of its original appeal. Though its Google ranking began dropping over the next few years, it maintained a steady and loyal audience. But then one day in 2018, everything changed for the beloved site; luxury e-commerce site SSENSE acquired the platform and with no warning the site was gone. To this day when typing ‘Polyvore’ into the web bar, it will redirect you to the SSENSE homepage. Many long time fans felt betrayed by this sudden change, as the disappearance of the site also meant the loss of years of content.

Polyvore may be gone, but it is certainly not forgotten. Just the other day a classmate and I were discussing our nostalgia for the social media platform and how it helped grow our love of fashion. If you’re eager to try out a similar website today, there are a number of apps out there that have the ability to create aesthetic collages – like Villoid, TrendMe, and UrStyle – but time is yet to see if any will have the same cult following that Polyvore once had.

Image via my personal Polyvore, circa 2013-2016.

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