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Did Clueless predict the future?via tumblr.com

This computer program judges your fashion sense

It's like Clueless IRL!

Not sure about whether an outfit is fetch or not? This new software can (apparently) tell you. Computer scientists from Toronto and Spain made a program that was taught about fashion by learning which outfits did well on street style websites such as Chictopia. The more upvotes an outfit got from users, the more 'fashionable' it was deemed to be. 

The clever bit is that the programmers even realised that what was in style in AW14 might not be fashionable now, so they made sure the date the outfit was posted was taken into account, as well as information like the location it was posted from and any written descriptions of the clothes. The resulting software means you can upload a quick outfit selfie, and get advice – such as whether to add some pastel to your ensemble or wear black boots. 

Not everyone is convinced, though. Alexandra Greenawalt, a New York-based stylist, doesn't think that robots will be stealing her job any time soon – she told New Scientist that, when dressing clients, she considers a wide range of factors, including their age, occupation and body shape. An effective algorithm would need to take all that into account, too. She does think that this could be a useful development, and wants to see how it could work. "What will be interesting to see is if it can predict fashion before it happens or just (offer advice) based on likes in the past," she says. "I would imagine the teens and 20-year-olds who are very much wanting to be in fashion would find it valuable."

While scientists and developers everywhere seem hellbent on jamming technology and clothing together at the moment, the main flaw with this program is that it doesn’t encourage people to develop their own look, instead telling them to just copy everyone else’s. What’s more, fashion is about pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable to wear – just look at the men’s buttcrack trend that hit the catwalk last week, which we have a feeling computer would probably say no to. Sometimes it’s good to be daring, and that means wearing outfits that our mums, the Daily Mail and (perhaps) his computer program would shake their heads at.