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Would you have recognized that these clothes are not real?

Have you ever heard of digital clothing? This is exactly what the name suggests: Clothes that do not exist in real life, but take place exclusively in the virtual world. For money, the “fake” sweaters, pants and shoes are transferred to the user’s own photo. To find out what the benefits are and how well the whole thing really works, Tikbow author Lena tried out Digital Clothing.

Even though the sustainability factor is playing an increasingly important role in the fashion world, fast fashion is still booming. Influencers are constantly posting pictures in new clothes on social media, and hardly any items are worn twice. A fact that is also rubbing off on other social media users. Digital Clothing wants to be the solution to this unnecessary clothing consumption mania. But what exactly is it and can digital clothing really convince in the test?

What is Digital Clothing – and what does it do?

This much in advance: you can’t really wear digital clothing. They are clothing and accessories that are created with the help of computer software and 3D programs. The pieces therefore only exist in the digital world – for example, in photos or videos.

The advantage: While the production of physical clothing consumes a lot of resources such as water, the situation is different with digital clothing. According to a study by Ericsson, CO2 emissions during the production of a digital garment are around 95 percent lower than for physical clothing. One of the reasons for this is that there are no long transport routes. That’s why fake clothing could really contribute to greater sustainability – at least in social media spheres, where clothing is often bought and worn just for a single photo.

How can you wear digital clothing?

Just like in traditional fashion online stores, on the websites of digital fashion providers you select the items of clothing you want to wear and buy from a large catalog. Then there are two ways to actually project the clothes onto your own body. For both options, it is essential to take a full body photo before the purchase process. Now it is either that you download the file of the selected clothing and adapt it to your own photo using Photoshop or a similar editing program. Other sites offer to do this work for the customer. In this case, you only have to select the clothes, upload a photo and then receive the finished picture with a digital outfit, just like in my test.

My experience with digital clothing

Take a photo and go shopping

Before I could even start shopping, I had to take a suitable photo of myself. DressX, the provider I chose for my test, recommends the following for the picture: tight clothing, little fabric, even light without strong contrasts and a plain background such as a white wall. In addition, the part of the body that you want to digitally dress should not be covered by hair or objects. So I tried to stick to all the criteria, uploaded my photo to the store and then finally went shopping. It wasn’t easy for me with all the choices, but after all, the possibilities are endless when it comes to digital fashion. Therefore, there were not only traditional clothes to buy in the store, but also extremely imaginative pieces that would not be feasible and wearable in reality.

My choice ultimately fell on a digital outfit consisting of a sweatshirt and white patent pants. Cost: 55 euros – Shipping costs were logically none. Normally, I would have received the finished picture by e-mail after one or two working days. In my case, however, due to "technical difficulties" it took about a week and a half longer – annoying.

The result: my digital look

At first glance, the digital look is convincing.
At first glance, digital look has üconvinced mePhoto: Tikbow

When the mail finally arrived, my first thought was: the pants are already eye-catching. Overall, though, I already liked the end result. If it were real clothing, I would wear the sweater and pants beyond the digital world. On closer inspection, however, I gradually noticed details that revealed the pants and top to be fake. Thus, the fabric of both garments looked quite matte on my photo, quite different from the website. My white bottom really didn’t look like patent pants in the picture. What I also didn’t like was the low-waist fit of the pants. But: Unlike physical clothing, I couldn’t just pull the pants up or send them back. My sister also immediately noticed a discrepancy: "Your right hand looks so dark", she said. True. My index finger in particular was dark as hell. However, I attributed this flaw to myself. Positioning the hand on the waist was probably not the best idea for my digital clothing photo.

Digital Clothing – yes or no? My conclusion

In my opinion, digital fashion has the potential to draw more attention to the issue of sustainable clothing – which is of course great. I also see a big advantage in the fact that users can try out looks that they wouldn’t or couldn’t wear in real life, and without having to produce anything extra for it. I also like the almost infinite range of styling options and the creativity and work of the digital fashion designers. The principle of Digital Clothing is fun – but of course I also found one or the other snag in my test.

I already started with the photo. Since I didn’t have a picture that even came close to the requirements, I took a new picture. To give this photo into foreign hands was already a little bit unpleasant, because I had to pose on the picture according to the requirements in clothes, in which I would not feel comfortable in the Öffentlichkeit. Second drawback was the price. 55 dollars for a photo – not exactly a bargain. For that money I could have bought real clothes and actually worn them. And: Since I don’t wear my clothes privately just for a photo, the incentive to dress digitally was and is rather low anyway.

But for influencers, for example, who earn their money with photos in different looks, the concept of digital fashion makes sense in my opinion. At least it’s going in the right direction in terms of sustainability. However, it would be even better if social media were more conscious of real clothing and consumption. That means saying goodbye to the throwaway mentality, wearing clothes more than once, and shopping more sustainably.