Stitches: Google Fashion Trends

Last week, Google released an analysis of fashion related search terms. Several websites have featured some of the main conclusions from the report, which are summarized in this Think with Google article.  While the main conclusions are interesting, there are some surprises in the rest of the report that I haven’t seen highlighted.

Besides an analysis of how frequently terms were searched for, the report presents lists of terms that were most commonly searched for along with the original term. That is, for the clothing items focused on, like “tulle skirt” or “joggers”, Google looked at what words were most often paired with those items in searches.

Surprisingly, I found a reference to sewing! Some of the most common search terms paired with “tulle skirt” included: how to make, DIY, tutorial, and sew. I wonder why so many people were searching for information on making tulle skirts–perhaps tulle skirts seem relatively easy to make or are more expensive compared to similar, non-tulle skirts. Unfortunately, the report does not include any other information that might indicate why tulle skirts were frequently paired with search terms related to sewing. Midi skirts, another item analyzed in this way, were not frequently searched for with terms related to sewing.

While we may never know why so many people were searching for tulle skirt tutorials, there was another search term phenomenon that has a clear antecedent. For all of the basic clothing items (dress, skirts, pants, shirts, etc), Google looked at the relative frequency of search terms related to these items and the percent change in the frequency compared to the year before (for January-February).  By far, the most interested category was dresses, which saw a 51, 493% increase in the frequency of searches for “white and gold dress” and a 215,408% increase in the frequency of searches for “blue and black dress”! While I know that the discussion of that image (if you missed, see this explanation) was viral for a few days, I still find it surprising that these two search terms were the most common, after “prom dresses”.



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