Review: The BeSpeak App

Need directions? There’s an app for that. Want to waste time? There’s an app for that. Clueless about matching clothes? Well…now there’s an app for that as well.

Alan Flusser, famous for designing Michael Douglas’ wardrobe in the movie Wall Street and the book “Dressing the Man,” has created a free iPhone/iPod app to recreate this classic shot from Wall Street:

michael douglas from the movie Wall Street

Ok, you can do more with BeSpeak than that. BeSpeak starts by asking you personal questions – notably size (of neck, head, waist, etc) and skin/hair contrast. If you’re small, stick to small patterns. If you don’t have skin and hair contrast, pick contrasting colors. That’s the whole gist of the profile matching.

Once you’ve created a profile, you can customize four clothing items: Suit, shirt, tie, and pocket square. The colors and patterns of the items determine your skill and quality level. The skill level is interesting, but not very useful. The quality level is on a 10 point scale. Select colors or patterns unfitting to your profile, lose points.

Customizing your BeSpeak profile

Unfortunately, the wardrobe is quite limited. I couldn’t even create a gold solid tie, since gold isn’t a color option for ties. The closest was sea island yellow. Which isn’t very close at all. Suits fare even worse – though the base color matched, I was unable to recreate the colored pinstripes on my suit. There were only four available colors for accents.

Another problem I noticed was the absence of materials – after all, a brown tweed jacket will match quite differently than wool a suit of the same color. (It should also be noted that no option existed to determine individual trousers and jackets – suits only)

On the technical side, BeSpeak sports sleek graphics; but, for me, at least, very slow loading times hindered use. It might just be my iPod, though no other apps have slowed. Moreover, many of the clothing items I created the night before were reset the next day. Additionally, the startup is slow and somewhat pointless.

BeSpeak has a camera option when customizing clothing. This may be the solution to the limited options in customizing clothes. Since my lowly iPod touch doesn’t feature a camera, perhaps a reader can chime in?

BeSpeak is free, so there’s no harm in downloading. But, does it deserve a spot on your “main” iPod screen? Only if you have trouble matching colors to your body. This is its greatest strength – when customizing your colors, asterisks mark the colors that fit your skin and hair profile. But, as a demonstration of BeSpeak’s limited usefulness, clashing colors and patterns have little effect on the quality level of your ensemble. The following ensemble received an 8 out of 10 quality score:

BeSpeak's quality score

That’s the greatest drawback. BeSpeak concentrates primarily on your profile type, while ignoring the ensemble’s patterns and colors.

If nothing, you can at least experiment with the “create an ensemble” option. You might learn something from BeSpeak’s selections.

The Bespeak app

Gordon Gekko photo: Boston.com

2 Responses to “Review: The BeSpeak App”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by vintagegent, ABC Neckties. ABC Neckties said: Alan Flusser's BeSpeak App Matches Colors, Not Clothes – an iPod app review http://bit.ly/atn7xD MC [...]

  2. Baa says:

    Gordon Gekko

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