Dave Sloan is CEO of Treehouse Logic, which offers a hosted design tool solution that enables customer co-creation. You can reach Dave at dave@treehouselogic.com and follow him on Twitter.

Do you have good taste? Feeling inspired? Lots of new fashion startups want to tap into your creativity. These new fashion sites are not your grandfather’s fashion brands. Instead, they invite anyone with design aspirations to co-create their own clothing or outfit.

Here are three ways to get started in fashion design from the comfort of your own computer.

1. Design and Sell Fashion Online

Garmz’s goal is to activate fashion talent. Based on a crowd-sourcing business model, designers upload their best designs and the community votes on favorites. The most popular designs get produced and put up in the Garmz online store. Profits from sales of the designed garment are shared with the designer.

Fabricly has set out to help you, the designer, launch your own clothing line. If you want to design for Fabricly, you simply submit your sketches via e-mail. The Fabricly team evaluates submissions and selects designers it wants to promote. Fabricly takes care of sourcing, production, PR and shares profits with the designer. “In short, Fabricly takes the pain and financial risk out of growing a fashion label.”

Both Garmz and Fabricly are in the business of democratizing the fashion world by giving creative, up-and-coming designers access to the fashion industry. As Garmz and Fabricly attract more designers and publish more unique content, they will grow the community of designers and shoppers. These sites give designers a platform to design, produce and sell their products online.

2. Design and Inspire

Instead of asking designers to sketch out free-form designs, Polyvore provides a web-based scrapbooking tool that accesses a broad library of fashion pieces. “Polyvore is the web’s largest community of tastemakers where people can discover their style and set trends around the world.” Polyvore encourages users to create sets, follow other users and inspire each other with fashion finds. The site also inspires creativity among its members by hosting design contests. These contests are often judged by celebrity icons like Kate Moss.

Fashiolista takes on the difficulty of finding fashion across a crowded Internet, i.e. “the shopping jungle,” by having members find and rate fashion finds. Users install a web browser extension to get started. As they browse through the Internet’s vast selection of garments and accessories, they can hit the “love it!” button from their browser tool bar. Loved items are added to a user’s Fashiolista profile and to the Fashiolista database of browseable items. Users customize their profile and follow fashion-forward members that inspire them, creating a fashion social network.

Google’s Boutiques.com invites members to create and follow online boutiques. Members can love, hate and share individual fashion items. To find items that may interest you, take the trademarked “stylyzer” quiz to be shown personalized recommendations. Like Pandora or Netflix, the algorithm learns more as people interact with the site, constantly improving the quality of recommendations. “Ultimately, Boutiques.com will provide shoppers with a much richer and interactive shopping experience and help drive traffic to retailers’ websites.”

3. Design and Buy

FashionPlaytes is a site where girls are their own fashion designers. Shoppers use a visual product configurator, i.e. “sketchbook,” to make selections including garment type, size, color, trim and accessories. FashionPlaytes offers tween girls an opportunity to design clothing and have it produced to wear at a reasonable price. The design experience is fun and playful, reminiscent of a video game.

Blank-Label is a build-a-shirt site that allows men to design their own dress shirt by selecting a fabric, style, collar and buttons. As users make selections they see a realistic graphical representation of the shirt they are creating. Users can submit their measurements along with their creation and should expect the custom shirt to take a few weeks to be sewn and shipped. “Designed by you. Stitched by us,” is the company’s slogan. Other custom shirt sites include World of Alfa, Shirtsmyway, and Propercloth.

These cool design-it-yourself startups are including you, the creative designer, in the shopping process. Some are marketplaces for up-and-coming designers, some are social fashion sites that encourage creative interaction and sharing, and others simply add visual product design to the online shopping experience. In any case, the Internet is becoming a hotbed of interactive design experiences. Get to it!

More Fashion Resources from Mashable:

4 Online Platforms for Personalized Style Advice
Why the Fashion Industry Is Betting Big on Branded Online Content
7 Stellar Examples of Branded Content from the Fashion Industry
12 Tech Toys for a Geeked-Out Wedding
How the Fashion Industry Is Using Digital Tools to Increase ROI

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, vm

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