January 08, 2019 at 12:24PM
After spending a frustrating amount of time trolling the internet looking for a suitable dress to wear to my sister’s wedding, one night, while scrolling through the vastness of my Instagram’s explore page, I came across an option that seemed perfect: It was a black, with a light-blue lace overlay and beaded accents on the cuffs and collar. There was one hitch, however—the photo had no information, hashtags, or links to help me figure out where I could find it in real life.
I spent the next three days running a screenshot of it through reverse Google image search and typing random descriptive phrases into my browser’s search field like “pastel blue lace dress,” “beaded long sleeve lace dress,” “long sleeve lace overlay dress” hoping it’d render some results.
Needless to say, it didn’t. I was about to give up. But then I inadvertently stumbled upon the solution to my problems in the form of a subreddit called Find Fashion, which does, well, exactly what it says it does. I uploaded a screenshot of my dream dress and then waited. Two days later I had an answer: It was a Diane Von Furstenberg number that I was then able to find online in my size …and on sale.
With my own fashion crisis averted, I began to dig deeper into the subreddit and discovered that so far 24,000 people have shared pictures or descriptions of pieces of clothing, shoes, and accessories that they need help identifying. Users upload everything from photos of stylish people on the street to screengrabs from TV shows, and more in their search for the item that got away.
Helping people find the exact thing they’re looking for seems to be the main focus of the thread, though some users have gotten pretty clever with how they use it to share information. Users have taken to uploading images of items that are sort of what they’re looking for, sold out, vintage, or out of their price range. The internet then responds to them with options they can actually get their hands on. Another nifty way users have been employing the forum is by seeking help identify silhouettes, styles, or materials that have eluded them.
So the next time you find yourself obsessing over the outfits worn on the Great British Baking Show, save yourself a few hours and ask the internet for a hand.
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