Instagram Is Way More Persuasive Than You Think

Photo: Courtesy of Pandora Sykes.
This jacket was bought through an Instagram poll. An inadvertent poll made by me, but a poll nonetheless. A few weeks ago, on a day full of showroom appointments, I swung by Topshop’s flagship store to rifle through the vintage-heavy basement (it’s really, really good for suede) and found this super-fitted "shuttered" suede jacket, which I selfie’d (note use of verb) whilst captioning that I was tempted to buy it. I already have a lot of suede coats, I didn’t need another one. Funds were tight, time short, and I had a job to get done. Oy vey!

Related: The Silhouette Of Spring

An hour later, I checked my phone and saw a stream of Instagram comments. "OMG I hope you bought it!" Was 100% of the thrust. I felt stricken. I hadn’t bought it! I’d given the jacket free press, but hadn’t yet made it my own. Suddenly, I realized how badly I needed that jacket. If I didn’t buy it, it would haunt me through my own social media; winking at me with its accumulated likes, sticking its tongue out through the slew of affirmative, encouraging comments.

I finished my appointments and virtually raced back to store, gulping hot, panicky breaths until the coat was in a paper bag, all my own. A pathetic urge quelled. I know what you’re thinking; this is much like a scene from Girls.*

Related: My Uniform For 2015
Photo: Courtesy of Pandora Sykes.
I’ve never been directly swayed by Instagram before. Whilst it’s an inherently interactive medium, I don’t use it for approbation or to affirm my choices — Should I do this, Instagram? Should I do that? — because it’s a slippery slope. I think you just trust the opinions of those that you know in real life, not benevolent strangers who happen to appreciate your particular aesthetic. This little incident made me realize that Instagram is perhaps the most reliable tool for crowd-sourcing opinion.

Need an answer? Ask Instagram. It’s the new-fangled Jeeves. It’s also a great jacket. I’m glad Instagram made me buy it (that’s going to hold up in the Court of Natwest, that one) but it was also a salient lesson in how persuasive a small device — or more specifically, social media — can be.
*I never claimed my blog wasn’t trite and self-absorbed.

Next: In Defense Of The Frilled White Shirt

More from Fashion


R29 Original Series