Do you know the feeling of looking in your wardrobe and seeing lots of clothes but having absolutely nothing to wear? I do. I used to own a lot of clothes but when it came down to it, a lot of them simply did not go with anything else in my wardrobe and never saw the light of day. It has been a while since I ruthlessly purged my clothes and began to create a capsule wardrobe consisting of a few key bottoms and tops that coordinated with each other and I liked to wear. This has made a huge difference to my ability to create an outfit to wear, to work in particular, and dramatically reduced the amount of time it takes to get ready in the morning.
One of the key rules I made for myself was that each item of clothing (other than special event wear) had to go with at least three other items already in my wardrobe. This has made choosing what to wear so much simpler and given me lots of outfit combinations to choose from. What I was finding though, was that I tended to wear the exact same things over and over again. Some of my clothes just never saw the light of day while others got worn to death. I’m a creature of habit I guess. I then stumbled across a digital solution to that problem, right on my phone. I began to use an app called Stylebook to catalogue my clothes, create different outfits and plan what to wear. It’s funny how often people comment now about how nice one of my outfits is, when all I have done is make a different combination from the clothes I already own. It’s a nice feeling.
By using the Stylebook – left brain / right brain, LLC app I have been able to make full use of the clothes I already own and make better clothes shopping choices.
It helps me to:
Shop in my wardrobe
I have always worn the same few pieces of clothes in rotation and while there are other perfectly good clothes in my wardrobe, they will get very little wear simply because I tend to forget I have them.
Using the app I now know exactly what I own in each clothing category of tops, bottoms, shoes, dresses, bags, accessories and outerwear. I choose an item from each category and put them together to create an outfit. This is then saved for use again later.
By using the fantastic ‘outfit shuffle’ feature I can also see different combinations of clothes that work together. I don’t know how it does it but I like most of suggestions even though I would never in a million years have even considered combining those items myself.
Avoid wasting money buying something I already have
I tend to be drawn to particular colours while shopping. This means that it is very easy for me to make duplicate purchases. It’s not that I buy exactly the same top or skirt twice. It’s just that I can end up with three different tops in exactly the same colour. Obviously it would be better to have three tops in different colours so I have more outfit combinations available. Now when I am at the shops I use the app to quickly see what I already have in my wardrobe and I no longer make that mistake.
Easily see what items are missing from my wardrobe
By putting my outfits together I can easily see if I have the right shoes or jacket to go with a particular group of clothes. There’s nothing worse than having to put an outfit back in the wardrobe because it’s missing an important item. I have a lovely skirt and top combination that I rarely wear because I have no coordinating jacket for cooler weather. I didn’t make this connection before. Now I know that if I owned that one extra item, I would wear the outfit much more often. I have added item that to my shopping list.
Know whether the new item will match 3 other pieces in my wardrobe
Since implementing the capsule wardrobe and creating the rule for myself that any new clothing item I purchase needs to go with at least three other items I already own, I get much more wear out of everything. The difficulty arises when I am at the shop and I can’t really remember what I already have and whether I have anything that will coordinate with this new purchase. Now all I have to do is open the app and have a look, saving me from making an expensive mistake.
Save time by planning outfits in advance
I have always advocated planning tomorrow’s outfit the night before to save time in the morning. Now I can plan outfits days in advance if I wish. Doing so prevents me from wearing the same basic combinations over and over again. I am now no longer stuck in the rut of wearing basic black pants and a different top for days in a row.
Identify clothes I rarely wear
By adding my outfits to the calendar I also help the app to identify clothes I wear often and those that have been left neglected recently. I can then use this information to make a point of wearing that particular piece or I can make a decision to donate it. Sometimes I realise I just no longer like a particular top or skirt so off it goes to the Good Samaritans.
An added bonus includes calculating a cost per wear amount.
I haven’t tried this feature yet but I plan to begin using it the next time I purchase a new piece of clothing. The app has a spot to enter the purchase price of the item, then when that piece is worn, it works out how much it has cost me each time I wear it. The more the item is worn, the less it costs per wear. Some advocate deciding upon a figure and then retiring an item of clothing once the cost per wear amount equals it. I’m not sure if I will do that but it’s something to consider.
Using the Stylebook app has certainly made a difference to how I dress each day. It has given a huge value for the small amount of money I spent. This is before considering the money I have saved by no longer making those poor shopping choices. Check it out on the app store