It usually starts with a simple Google query. Then, what began as a hunt for a single answer — i.e., Can I watch America’s Next Top Model on Netflix? (Short answer: no.) — turns into hours lost falling down a deep hole of Youtube clips, articles, and borderline Internet creeping. But, at the very least, How To Dress Like is one fashion obsessives' site that keeps all the endless digging in one neatly curated place. The site offers tips on mastering every style imaginable — the fictional, the historical, and the super specific subcultures alike — except you'll never really know who is doling out the advice.
For over a year, Emily Spivack has been collecting the websites that would fill How To Dress Like. She hasn't written them, she hasn't lent any pointers. Instead, her just-launched site is filled with a massive scraping of existing wikiHow pages that answer questions we've probably typed into Google before. Even the embarrassing ones you deleted on your browser history. There's "How To Dress Like A Prom Queen From The '90s," "How To Dress Like Kylie Jenner," "How To Dress Pastel Goth In High School," and, the straightforward, "How To Dress Your Coolest," along with instructions created by wikiHow users that often read as dry as a recipe. "I see it as an anthropological look of what we, in 2015, see an important or on our radar from a pop culture perspective," says Spivack, who updates the site once a day with more of the wikiHow user-created content. "At some point, we’ll look back at a fashion magazine or website as an indication, and I think we’ll also look back at an archive like this." To be blunt, we can't guarantee all the advice is spot-on. "I like to think the people who are writing [these wikiHow sites] are trying to support each other," Spivack tells us. But, ultimately, "You’re entrusting these strangers, as opposed to entrusting your friends or whoever else you might look to, for style advice." Thing is, for anyone who doesn't have an expert in their life on "How To Dress Neo Grunge," "How To Dress With Swag", or "How To Dress Like Ke$Ha Without Your Parents Flipping Out," this addictive little site is an invaluable resource. See ya later, Sunday.