Google as fashion arbiter: search data shows what's hot and what's not

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 May, 2015, 6:03am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 May, 2015, 6:03am


Tulle skirts are in. Jogger pants are hot. But high-waisted shorts? You don't want to go there.

In its first fashion trends report, Google analysed billions of searches dating back to 2009 to provide a detailed analysis of what's hot and what's not.

For example, queries for tulle skirts jumped 34 per cent between January 2014 and 2015, according to the report.

"Who says you need to be a ballerina to wear a tulle skirt?" asked a blog post released on Sunday on the report by Google brand strategist Yarden Horwitz and fashion data scientist Olivier Zimmer.

"Originating on the west coast, the tulle skirt trend is making its way across the US," according to Google searches. "Consumers are seeking this skirt in all colours of the rainbow, but the most popular colours are the classics: black and white."

Google, by crunching the numbers on fashion searches and correlating them with location, offers insights into how the trends have been moving.

For example, the midi skirt - "not quite a maxi skirt, and definitely not a mini skirt" - made a comeback in the British market in 2013. The skirt "has seen nine times growth in searches over the past three years - and is still in its early stages of growth within the US market," the blog said.

Jogger pants are among the hotter fashion trends, for just about everyone.

According to the blog: "We're seeing top searches for jogger pants for men, women, boys, girls and even toddlers, indicating mass appeal for this apparel item."

People seemed interested in all kinds of jogger pants, Google found, but the most-searched item was for those decorated with emojis.

Overall searches for jogger pants rose 165 per cent in the year to 2014, according to the search giant, while the jump in searches for emoji pants was an astonishing 58,000 per cent.

The report also found that high-waisted shorts were on the downswing, off 42 per cent in Google searches through 2014.

Other items showing a "sustained decline" included vintage clothing, string bikinis and peplum-embellished dresses.

In denim, searches were up for biker jeans, boyfriend jeans, ripped jeans and bell-bottom jeans, but lower for high-waisted jeans and "raw denim".

Some of the trends are linked to seasons: Google said the rising seasonal trends for spring include white lace dresses, high waisted bikinis, rompers, shift dresses and white jumpsuits.

Seasonal declines were noted for skinny jeans, custom T-shirts and corset dresses.

The "falling stars", or one-time fads that are losing steam in fashion include "normcore" (unisex fashion), '90s jeans, zoo jeans and the scarf vest, Google said.

Agence France-Presse