The Algorithm That Just Solved All Your Fashion Problems


Ever wondered if your friends are being honest or not when you ask for fashion advice? Now thanks to advancing technology you don’t have to worry. Using complex algorithms and formulas far beyond anything we can image, this nifty piece of software can calculate your ‘fashionability’, and like a true friend, tell you what suits you and perhaps what you should change.

Be warned: it’s not in his software’s nature to sugarcoat things, fashion phobes we suggest you sit this one out.

Those of you who are willing to face the ugly truth, listen up, because this could well change your entire outlook on fashion. Researchers at the University of Toronto are the geniuses behind the algorithm, though it’s not been well received by all fields. Fashion critics have questioned the algorithms credibility as fashion is an art, so surely it’s judgement is subjective; to which the researchers retorted that they “opt for leveraging the taste of the public as a proxy for fashionability”.

The process uses a combination of computer vision and machine learning to study a range of fashionability factors. These include the garments worn by the user, the appeal of the background in which the photo is taken, the style of the photo, and how visually appealing the person is, along with their age. This variety of factors is combined to provide a more complex insight into an individual’s fashion sense and personal style, rather than basing a judgement solely on the garments alone.

“The garment itself bring fashionable is also not s perfect indicator of someone’s fashionability as people typically also judge how well the garments align with someone’s ‘look’, body, characteristics, or even personality.”

The algorithm scans your personal metadata of outfit posts to outline your settings from a scene classifier and user-provided location data, then with the help of Flickr80K, analyses your photography style. These factors are then very cleverly combined into an equation, which essentially gives you a thumbs up or down on your fashionability. Brutal. The so called “taste of the public” is said to be extracted from popular fashion website Chictopia where a dataset of posts are curated that receive feedback from its community of fashionistas. These posts also contain location data, which allows the algorithm to form regional judgements on fashion sense.

Overall, this algorithm is designed to predict “what the user should be wearing in order to maximise her/his look instead of their current outfit.” Would you let a machine tell you what you can and can’t wear?