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‘The TikTok Effect’: How the social platform drives fashion searches

By Tess Stenzel


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Viral social media platform TikTok is increasingly becoming a fashion authority online, with many young consumers looking to the app for fashion inspiration.

According to Google Trends, global searches for the keyword ‘TikTok fashion’ have tripled since January 2020, up 195 percent.

After the term ‘TikTok leggings’ increased on Google by 1,150 percent in February alone, online retailer PrettyLittleThings, aimed at 16-35-year-old women, capitalized on the trend by releasing its own range of leggings.

Currently, the tight-lifting leggings are among the most in-demand search items in the UK, with retailers dubbing it the ‘The TikTok Effect.’

Moreover, separate research from online search platform Stylight showed that Y2K fashion is also having an influential moment with GenZ on TikTok. Baggy pants have increased 170 percent (in February year-on-year), cut out and cropped tops by 38 percent, pleated miniskirts by 131 percent, oval and angular sunglasses by 477 percent, and sleeveless sweaters by 54 percent.

Retailers are becoming increasingly conscious of what consumers are viewing online. In January, after the period-piece drama, Bridgerton dropped on Netflix, corset sales sky-rocketed by 138 percent in the UK thanks to the ‘Netflix Effect’, according to Google Trends.

Tech-savvy brands are beginning to acknowledge how platforms like Netflix and TikTok can become a gateway to GenZ and young millennial shoppers.

Prints and colors

Prints and colors are trending as well. Cow print has proven to be a dominating trend in 2021. According to Google data, year-over-year, searches for cow print have increased by 290 percent. Fashion-related searches for the color pink have increased 150 percent since 2020, making it the undisputed color of the year in all its shades, added Stylight in a press release.

GenZ still loves tie-dye. In similar numbers to 2020, clicks on tie-dye prints have increased by 195 percent on Google, and following suit with a 39 percent increase in searches for the classic houndstooth print, stated Stylight.

Image: Stylight