Hello all! Lazy Saturdays have kind of become a diehard habit around my apartment lately, with winter lingering way beyond its welcomed stay. After months and months of weekends spent cowering under a pile of blankets and binge watching How I Met Your Mother reruns on Netflix (Let’s not talk about that ending, by the way), I was beyond ready to welcome what was supposed to be a breezy and beautiful Saturday into my open arms to get some productivity in.
Unfortunately, I’ve spent the past two hours forlornly staring out my corner windows with a sad look of dejection on my face. It’s down pouring, we’re expecting hail, we’re in the middle of a severe thunderstorm warning and all thoughts I’d had about finally refinishing my old Ikea desk this weekend have dissipated much like the 60-degree temperatures.
I think this is Mother Nature’s way of telling me I need to finish up my indoor projects before embarking on my outdoor ones. And a great way of saving me $1.50 from the car wash that was on today’s “to do” list.
So, what are my indoor projects? I have a few. I’ve given up on any project that has to do with decorating my
hellhole unique apartment, since I will begin a new lease across the alley next month, but I do still have quite a bit to finish up.
As your classic Type A personality, I’ve always been a bit of an organized control freak, so that’s where my new project comes in.
Introducing Stylebook. This $4 app is available through the iTunes app store, and I’ve started using it in an effort to get the most out of my shopping and streamline my purchasing habits. Over spring break, I did a very light clean-out of my closet, and found myself repeating the phrase “whoa, I forgot I even owned this” way more than I’d like to admit. For a very budget conscious (ahem, broke) journalist, I couldn’t believe what I seemed to be spending on fast fashion and trendy clothing that I wouldn’t wear for more than a season.
I created a Google Doc to start tracking the “cost per wear” of all my newer investments, and after I mentioned it to my friend Caitlin, she said, “you know there’s an app for that?” (Silly me, duh.) So I looked into it, and downloaded Stylebook.
Stylebook quickly worked its way into my coveted home screen territory, and I’ve been using it daily. For those who are unfamiliar with the app, you can use it to track your purchases. You can photograph them, add information about the size, material, color and care, and then plot your wardrobe onto a calendar. The app will keep track of how many times you wear each piece, what the cost-per-wear of each piece equates to, and if you’re going on a trip, you can use the app to plan your packing needs.
The app even goes so far in depth as to let you know the status of each article of clothing. “Available,” “Dry Cleaners,” “At the Tailor” and “Lent Out” are just a few of the options.
Just to give you an idea of the interface, here are a few screenshots:
Left is the home screen, center is the “Style Stats” screen and right is the calendar.
I’ve had this app for about a week, which is plenty of time to play around with it.
Firstly, this app requires an incredible time commitment up front. I’ve spent at least 10 hours photographing my entire wardrobe, and I’m not even halfway done. I imagine that once I get my entire wardrobe done, however, it’ll be much, much easier to input items as I buy them. I can also imagine that once I’m finished with the incredibly time consuming task of digitally archiving my entire wardrobe, this app will make it very easy to plan outfits out ahead of time.
I love how easily it lets me keep track of what I wear and how often I wear it. The sole reason I bought this app was for the cost per wear calculator, which, it’s safe to say, has exceeded my expectations. Like you can kind of see above, it lets you know on a month-to-month basis what you’ve worn most, and what you’ve gotten the best value out of.
I also really like the “Looks” function. You can mix and match pieces to create certain looks, much like a Polyvore setup. You can name and categorize these looks, so if you’re in a panic over what to wear out for a date night, you can pull up a set of pre-determined outfits to choose from. I can’t imagine I’ll use this often, but I will definitely have a few classic work outfits saved for those days I can’t manage to make it out of bed before 8:30 a.m.
The app also has an Inspiration feature. I have a physical inspiration board next to my closet as well as a few on my Pinterest, so I haven’t used this part of the app much at all, but I suppose it’s there if I need it.
Obviously, there are quite a few good things about this app. Unfortunately, there are also a few downfalls.
Like I mentioned, the initial cataloging of one’s entire wardrobe is incredibly intimidating and time consuming.
It’s also kind of hard to photograph some items. The app has a slider that allows you to remove the background from any photo, but sometimes, it removes part of the garment as well.
Yikes. In order to photograph my clothing items, I set up a miniature photo studio in my bedroom using a window and some foam poster boards from the drugstore. You have to lay items flat to photograph them. Otherwise, you’ll end up with hangers in your photos.
I had anticipated that there would be some challenges, but the app seemed to have a really hard time picking some pieces apart from their backgrounds. I had been shooting some smaller objects on top of a green background, but Stylebook still had a hard time distinguishing a white and gold bracelet from the colored construction paper, and everything ended up with kind of a green tint to it. Shadows also made a huge impact on a lot of my photos. In order to completely eliminate any interference and end up with website-quality photos, you really would need a full professional set-up, which is kind of a disappointment. Stylebook does allow you to manually edit your photos though, using your finger to swipe away the excess background, but really, who wants another step in a process that’s already incredibly lengthy? You can import photos from a retailer’s website for newer items, but if you’re adding clothes you’ve had for a few seasons, you’re stuck with the cumbersome and somewhat faulty process.
There are also a few improvements I’d suggest already, just from using the app for a week. It would be very nifty if Stylebook could somehow sync with my weather app, and use that data to judge whether the elements I’ve selected for an upcoming outfit would be appropriate considering the forecast. It would also be great if Stylebook had built in alerts to let me know if I’ve already worn a piece earlier in the week, or if I’m accidentally planning on wearing a piece with a status set at “Laundry Basket.”
But, for $4, I would definitely consider the Stylebook app a worthy investment, especially considering how busy I am and how much I love planning everything and anything out ahead of time.
What do you use to keep track of your clothes?