The INSIDER Summary:
- Google Images’s new tool, “Style Ideas,” shows you how to wear products in your everyday life.
- Users can search for an item, select a photo, and scroll down to see how people are wearing the garment for their own style inspiration.
- You can also save money by comparing prices of alternative styles under “Similar Items.”
I wouldn’t say I’m addicted, but I’m definitely not a casual online shopper.
Thanks to years of buying clothes in the wrong sizes from dozens of different brands, I can now tell — with approximately 95% accuracy — whether a dress, top, or a pair of jeans will fit me, just by looking at it online. Simply put, I know what looks good on me, and what really, really doesn’t. (Off-the-shoulder tops. Light wash denim. Anything strapless.)
Obviously, online shopping has its own set of shortcomings, especially when it comes to fashion. My biggest issue? Wasting money on things I never wear because I’m not sure how to style them.
Enter Google’s new mobile online shopping tool.
When Google first rolled out “Style Ideas” two weeks ago, I was underwhelmed. To be honest, it just seemed like a less cool version of Pinterest’s visual search tool, which was launched in 2016. But, unlike Pinterest, I use Google every day, and I was curious to see if the new feature would deliver on its promises.
So far, I’m a fan.
The tool is a cross between Pinterest and Instagram, but way more straightforward and convenient. As Google explains in this blog post, “Style Ideas” is a gallery of “inspirational lifestyle images and outfits that showcase” how to wear products in your everyday life. Here’s how to use it:
1. Search for a specific product or item of clothing on Google Images.
2. After you select an image, scroll down on the screen until you see “Style Ideas.”
3. See how other people are wearing the item, and use their style ideas as inspiration for your own.
4. You can also scroll through “Similar Items” to compare prices and browse through bargain options.
“Style Ideas,” TechCrunch explains, uses machine vision to analyze pictures on Google and pick out similar products. But you should know that the feature won’t show up for every product you look at on Google Images — not yet, at least. It all depends on how quickly retailers’ web developers can add the data necessary for the tool to work.
Currently, the feature is limited to mobile web and Android’s Google app. I’m excited, however, to experiment more with the tool and finally stop buying items that’ll just sit in my closet and collect dust.
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