Dithering over that dress?
When it comes to buying a new outfit, forget asking your partner or a shop assistant for a second opinion.
Many shoppers now prefer to seek advice from a range of friends from afar – by posting ‘chelfies’, or changing room selfies, on social media.
Both men and women have been taking pictures of themselves while trying on clothes in stores and then uploading them to sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Women need an average of three ‘likes’ from friends before they buy items, while men tend to wait for at least four, a survey of 2,000 young people found. Two in five confessed they discard an outfit if it gets fewer than ten likes.
The trend, which has attracted a host of celebrities such as singer Jessie J and Irish model Vogue Williams, has seen the number of chelfies posted on Twitter double in the past three months, the research for fashion website Shopa found.
One in seven shoppers under the age of 30 – and as many as a third of 13-year-olds – now seeks online approval on every outfit, the study found. This has made the average shopping time almost double from 16 minutes to 31 minutes, while almost a third of people admitted spending up to two hours choosing an outfit while they wait for likes.
Women are most likely to seek opinions on evening dresses and high heels, while men ask for advice on trainers and shirts.
Behavioural psychologist Linda Papadopoulos said: ‘The results are unsurprising as, although online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, many of us still rely on our friends’ approval when purchasing new clothes or accessories.
‘The ease of being able to share a visual representation of the look we’re trying to achieve makes it easier to reach out for validation.’
‘The research suggests that, as shopping has migrated online from in-store; social media ‘likes’ are now one of the keys to driving purchase.
‘The ease of being able to share a visual representation of the look or style we’re trying to achieve makes it not only easier to reach out for validation, but indeed it also fits in with the norms of social networking; where acceptance of our choices is actively sought out.
‘It’s not surprising therefore that some people are waiting up to two hours for that nod of approval before making a purchase,’ she added.
The trend is now so common various fashion magazines and blogs offer advice on how to take the perfect chelfie.
According to Vogue magazine it is essential to take a picture in a potential outfit as the ‘camera never lies’.
Vogue offers its readers some top tips which include wearing ‘basic but good underwear’, stand on tiptoes and take pictures from various angles but never use flash.
As well as seeking approval, shoppers also turn to social media sites for fashion inspiration, 43 per cent of women said they used Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to learn about current trends.
Thirty eight per cent of men admitting to following celebrity profiles for advice.
The survey also found that women are wearing the fashion trousers in British households, with a quarter men admitting to changing their style to fit in with their partner’s wishes.
A third of women polled even admitted to secretly throwing away their partner’s fashion faux pas and 11 per cent admitted putting them in the wrong wash on purpose.
Ten per cent even said they were responsible for ‘accidentally’ ruining them.
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