There are plenty of things I’m happy to hand over to Amazon, rather than doing them myself. Recommending a movie? Sure. Keeping track of my shopping wish list? Absolutely. Automatically ordering detergent when I run out? I could warm up to it.
But today I learned that picking my outfit is not that list. In the brief window between my morning run and heading into the GeekWire office, I decided to let Amazon help me choose what to wear using its new “Outfit Compare” tool. The Seattle e-commerce giant rolled out the feature for Prime members over the weekend. I like to think I do a decent job dressing myself but there’s always room for improvement, right?
I accessed the tool by opening my Amazon iOS app, selecting “Other Ways to Shop” from the navigation bar, and clicking “Outfit Compare.” The app prompts you to upload two photos of competing outfits, which I did with a little help from my boyfriend, Max.
The first round was a control of sorts. Though I’ve been known to wear some crazy getups, I put on an outfit I probably wouldn’t wear to the office. Denim, plaid, and slippers are quite the combo — even for me. Then I compared it with a simple, sensible work look. Amazon made the right call.
So where, exactly, does this outfit advice come from? Amazon’s FAQs say that the fashion specialists “come from varied backgrounds in the fashion, retail, editorial, styling and creative fields” and have “honed their expertise through ongoing training focusing on personal style, seasonal trends and more.”
Once Amazon’s behind-the-scenes experts passed my first test, it was time to give them a bigger challenge. I decided to get feedback on the outfit I planned to wear today and a perfectly fine, albeit slightly frumpy, alternative.
I was disappointed to learn Amazon’s fashionistas didn’t choose my artfully selected, southwest-inspired first day of spring outfit.
I suppose it’s some consolation that my first choice outfit didn’t lose by a landslide. Amazon’s fashion specialists qualify their selection with a sliding scale, letting you know how strongly they feel about one choice over the other.
Just for fun, I decided to see whether Amazon’s fashionistas were more impressed by Max’s running clothes or standard uniform of sweats and a fleece pullover. Turns out, it was a close call.
We had a good time playing around with the “Outfit Compare” tool, but I wouldn’t recommend it for busy weekday mornings. It takes about five to 10 minutes for the results to come in, which is not time I typically have to spare before work.
I could see it being handy in a dressing room for shoppers trying to decide between two looks. As GeekWire’s Todd Bishop noted, that use case is probably the reason Amazon developed the tool, to begin with. If shoppers are using the app in brick-and-mortar retail stores, they’re more likely to compare prices with Amazon products.
As for me, I decided to listen to my own inner stylist. A second opinion is great but style is all about free expression and I had to let my quirky fashion flag fly.