When it comes to online gathering places for savvy young clotheshorses, the major players are fairly well-known. Styleforum.net, Ask Andy, 4chan.org…
Wait a minute…4chan? Cesspool of all that is wrong with the internet? Violator of Time‘s Person of the Year polls and Sarah Palin’s email account? Birthplace of LOLcats and Rickrolling?
A cursory examination reveals that 4chan does in fact have a fashion forum, and it’s called /fa/! Its members refer to each other as /fa/scists (oh, dear) and really like online retailers like Yoox and Indochino. Their primary pastime? Conducting ruthless holy wars over everything from desert boots to keffiyehs.
(The forum can be found here; it is decidedly Not Safe for Work.)
Let’s run through the general types of discussion that happen on this hidden internet fashion kingdom, with examples!
- “What haircut should I get?”
These posts often seem to be genuinely helpful to the people doing the asking, although a generous helping of verbal abuse is generally doled out alongside the advice.
- “What are you wearing today?”
Citizens of the internet love showing off what they happen to be wearing on a given day (ahem), and /fa/ is no exception. That said, when a user posts a photo from an old Prada ad campaign and claims that it’s “just what they wore out last night,” a grain of salt is usually in order.
- “Should I buy this?”
As with the haircut advice threads, 4chan users are surprisingly unlikely to deliberately dispense misleading advice. On the other hand, the products in question are usually not in the best of taste, the net impact on the world’s fashionability is probably zero.
- “What did you eat today?”
Sometimes, people use these threads as an opportunity to converse with each other and type “NOM NOM NOM” repeatedly. And sometimes, it degenerates into people calling each other “skinnyfat.”
- “Please post pictures of X”
These threads are a distinctly effective way of collecting photos of certain articles of clothing, brands, and hairstyles. The question of why any online community is able to dredge up dozens of photos of “Hitler Youth haircuts” or “custom-painted Uggs” on demand is probably best left to the imagination.
- “Is this trend awesome or stupid?”
“Open toe boots make me want to punch a baby.” Thanks, 4chan!
- And, of course, blatant trolling
Being 4chan, people from other forums (often /fa/’s archenemy /k/, the terrifying guns ‘n’ ammo forum) frequently drop by and post questions designed to irk the fashion-loving regulars.
And that’s 4chan’s fashion forum! Tune in next week, when we check out the tween fashion communities on Club Penguin.