PlumWillow

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
PlumWillow Website Poster Image

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Teen social shopping site requires Facebook account.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

The site has a strong commercial focus -- but users are also encouraged to "show off creativity and sense of style" and "express kindness and encouragement when interacting with other members."

Violence
Sex

The comments are pretty clean, although the site does feature some "Sex and the City" merchandise and a notepad from Urban Outfitters that lists reasons "why I must have sex with you." Some of the skirts are a little short, but nothing very risque.

Language

Comments appear instantly, so words like "damn" can appear in posts.

Consumerism

You can buy any of the outfits or accessories on the site by clicking on a link to the retailer site.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasionally a clothing item, accessory, or outfit has some kind of alcohol reference.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that users can browse PlumWillow without providing any personal information. However, to post comments, you need to be a registered member, and you must have a Facebook account and be 13 or older to register.

User Reviews

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Is it any good?

PLUMWILLOW lets girls play cyberstylist by creating sample outfits using images from a variety of retailer websites. Registered members can comment on other girls' fashion creations and post quiz questions about the looks. The site is easy to use: To create outfits, you just need to drag and click images of skirts, shirts, and other pieces. However, there is a strong commercial bent to the site -- according to an article in the Hackensack, N.J. paper The Record, PlumWillow earns a commission if a user buys an item by clicking on it from the site -- and there's plenty of retailer info listed for each item to encourage girls to buy things. Also, although the comments are pretty tame, there appears to be no language filter, which leaves some leeway for potential abuse.

But for now, the site seems like a safe, fun way for girls to be creative and experiment with different fashion looks -- as long as users keep the critiques clean and your teen doesn't feel the need to buy every item she sees.

Online interaction: You can follow members who you think are stylish on the site -- and can also click on a link to be directly taken to their Facebook profile. (Thanks to the site's usage of Facebook Connect, girls can easily link their Facebook friends into the fashion talk or friend other PlumWillow users on Facebook.)

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what's good -- and what isn't so good -- about being a fashionista. Is it possible to put too much emphasis on your sense of style or appearance?

  • What kinds of things could be viewed as constructive criticism when rating someone else's outfit? What kind of comments and words might not be good to say about someone's appearance -- even if you think you're just being honest?

  • To register on this site, teens must have a Facebook account. Our Facebook Advice for Parents gives tips on helping your teen use the social networking site responsibly and respectfully.

Website details

For kids who love to connect with others online

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