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#OOTD - The Instagram Code That Solves Fashion

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I'm fairly sure that to this day I have never taken a picture of myself and posted it on my Instagram. Hang on, I'll check... Alright, 4 times, once in face-paint, once with my cousin at a music festival, once posing with Vernon Kaye at an NFL Show taping and one of my eye on hangover day. The notion of Instagram being a filter for fashion is, accordingly, pretty alien to me, but even from my limited perspective I can see the appeal.

Instagram have led the charge in a revolution of 'professional-looking' photography. If you take an image, tweak it with a few lighting editors and slap a filter over it it won't look anywhere near professional, but it'll do the job. This ease of improved presentation has been a gold-mine for fashion-conscious people who like to flaunt their outfits online and gather feedback. Second only to people who like to take pictures of their food.

Of course, the reliability of Instagram feedback is entirely subjective and depending on how many followers you have and how active they are, it can be anything from coherent to utter gibberish. Well, the University of Toronto have introduced a kind of study which might help with that. Tag any new picture with #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) and it will be subjected to an algorithm which can theoretically advise you on how to improve your dress sense.

The program started out on a site dedicated to posting and rating outfits, analysing how many likes and comments each image received and counter-balancing them to figure out what people were doing to improve their stats. As a fully fledged system, the algorithm also supposedly takes things into account like lighting, angle and even factors in general fashion trends from the past few years. 

Some would probably argue that you can't boil looking good into a set of numbers and statistics, but the advent of social media has changed the rules of fashion in ways nobody could have predicted. Fashion labels are now promoting themselves through loyal consumers as much as through magazines and shoots. There are more than a few people on my Facebook feed who regularly post images of their new clothes/make-up and make a point of tagging the pertinent labels as a gesture of support. 

If labels actually involved themselves with this kind of thing, people could start posting pictures specifically to get advice back on what to buy next. Is it a worthy substitute for the advice of a friend? Depends on the friend, but it's not the kind of thing that the fashion designers are apt to ignore.



Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#OOTD - The Instagram Code That Solves Fashion Reviewed by Callum Davies on Sunday, June 21, 2015 Rating: 5

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