Wednesday, July 29, 2015

52 Wardrobe Organization Using Stylebook

A couple of weeks ago I completed a major closet purging session and went through every last piece of clothing that I owned.  I typically keep a "donate" bag inside of my closet, so I have been pretty good about maintaining a "one in" and "one out" policy.  And being that our personal closets are not all that big to begin with, I really didn't think I would find myself getting rid of too many pieces of clothing.

I still ended up removing 114 pieces of clothing/shoes from my wardrobe!  That was almost half of what I owned and left me feeling a) astonished and b) amazing.  Suddenly, I felt free from my daily "what should I wear" battles.  I shared in this post how I tucked everything back into place, and today I am going to share a little more about the new system I have been trying out ever since. 



I am going to preface this post with a few points right off of the bat:
  • This post is not at all sponsored by Stylebook.  In fact, they were a long time blog sponsor (which is how I learned about them), but they are no longer advertising on iHeart Organizing.  I decided to purchase the app on my own to help me make better use of the clothing that I own.
  • Stylebook is an app that I use on my iPad and iPhone.  Just like many organizational apps, this app can be utilized down to an incredible depth of detail.  I am using it at a higher level and know that I am not fully taking advantage of every last feature that the app offers.
  • Some of you asked that I share a few examples of the outfits that I decided to keep.  Knowing I am far from a fashionista, I was a bit apprehensive, but further down I do share how I put together a week's worth of outfits using the inspiration I gathered and stored in the Stylebook app.  Not a trendsetter, totally a follower.

The first step for me was to completely empty out my closet and my drawers.  I dumped every last piece of clothing onto my bed to prepare myself for a major sorting session.


As I began to work through my jumbo pile, I started to realize a few things.
  • Many items hadn't been touched in over a year.  I would let myself believe that I would find a way to wear it or make it work to avoid letting go of something I thought I loved and splurged on.  This time I was ruthless and was OK letting go of things regardless of the cost or intention.
  • I made sure to pay attention to the brands of the clothing I was purging the most.  There were a few brands that hadn't held up well to frequent washings and wearings.
  • Many of the clothing items I was putting in my donate pile, were items that I purchased either impulsively or to create a single outfit.
  • Having too many pieces of clothing to select from can create an overwhelming feeling in the morning and can also mean that the clothes that are being invested in, are not being worn often enough.
  • Having too many clothes costs more than just dollars, it costs sanity and space.
  • I had a lot of items that were quite similar in shape, size and style.  Below is an example of two dresses that I owned, and when I put them together I had to ask myself, "why"?


With each item of clothing I touched during the sorting process, I asked myself quite a few questions.  Do I really love it?  Like, really, really love it?  How often do I wear the item?  And more importantly, how many different outfit combinations can I make with the specific item?

Last week I shared my tips for making the most of your home decor, and I shared my new rule of three.  The rule is that any home decor item that I purchase should work within at least three different areas of our home.  I also tried to apply a similar rule with my clothing.  Was I able to create at least three different looks/outfits with each piece I was keeping?  And more importantly, did I enjoy the piece of clothing enough to even try?

I think the overall goal was to make the most of my closet and the items I own.  I want to spend less and achieve more.  To make the most of the amount of storage I have available instead of going out to purchase more as my inventory grows/changes.

Because I am not a blogger known for creating creative outfits, and because I also do better with visuals, I thought I would utilize Stylebook to manage my current clothing inventory.  Previously, I had pin boards on my closet door that I would use as outfit inspiration each morning...


The concept worked well but required me to print and pin up the photos, and truthfully I started to fall behind.  The same outfits stayed on the board to the point of not being useful any longer.  In fact, one board fell down completely a few months ago and I didn't even miss it.

Where did those outfit ideas come from?  Bloggers.  And where did I find those ideas and store many of them?  Pinterest.

As much as I fight it at times, technology can make our lives easier and is much more instant than the process of printing, cutting and pinning.  After my sorting session, I had reduced my clothing inventory to only key pieces that I truly enjoyed.  Now it was time to digitally catalog each of those special pieces.

Wowza!  This was not a quick process.  Fairly easy, but it did take a few different time slotted sessions to get everything added in.  And for those with walk-in closets and rows of clothing, this may not be the best solution for you.


Using a combination of Google Images, Online Shopping Sites and the "Shop" feature in the application, I loaded in an image of each of the items of clothing that I decided to keep (or images that closely resemble my clothing items). 



Once each item of clothing is saved, you can take things a step further and create outfit combinations with each of the clothing images.  Those combinations can also be saved within specific outfit categories, such as "day", "evening", "formal", etc...


If you are at all like me, you like someone else to tell you how to dress.  I typically will utilize Pinterest to search for specific outfit combinations based on the item I would like to wear.  For example, if I would like to wear a coral skirt, I will search for "Coral Skirt" on Pinterest.


I will then scroll through the images until I find outfits I can make with the items I own (or outfits that look similar or can be used as inspiration).  I save each of those items to my inspiration files in Stylebook.

LOVE YOUR STYLE HI SUGARPLUM



And that is as much as I have personally done with the app.  I have saved quite the variety of outfit ideas based on the clothing that I already owned, and finding at least three ways to wear each piece.  Now, each morning I am able to flip through the categories in my Inspiration file and based on what my day holds, I can easily plan my attire.  And because the application is on my iPad, I can do this from bed the evening before or right away each morning.  Heck, I can even plan an entire week's worth of outfits in a jiff!

 
I also loved that many of the clothing items left in my closet really reflected my personality and my favorite colors (the same ones I use in my decor, printables and day-to-day life).  That was a VERY good sign.

P.S.  Major props to the fashion bloggers putting together outfits effortlessly each day.  Even laying out pieces to photograph is not as easy as one would think! 


A few more notes about my Stylebook experience:
  • I can easily sync and share my items between my iPhone & iPad, however, I wish it was automatic based on my profile and not something that I have to do manually.

  • This app will prevent me from purchasing duplicate items and help me become much more intentional about my clothing shopping.
  • Once I got over the major time suck of the initial setup, maintaining the app is easy breezy.  If I purchase a new piece of clothing, I just have to track it down on the clothing's website and save it to my Stylebook app right away. 
  • I have been utilizing the app for a couple weeks now and it definitely has helped me make better use out of the items I am storing in my closet.  I am actually excited to pull together outfits each day because it is easy and I know I won't be wearing the same things week after week.  No more clothing ruts!
  • One of the biggest wins for me is that although my closet is organized (even by clothing type and color), I can gaze at everything hanging there and nothing jumps out at me.  Looking at a full closet becomes visually overwhelming to me.  This app allows me to see my inventory right with the push of a button and also provides me with a variety of compatible outfits at any time, from anywhere.
  • Stylebook offers a calendar that allows you to schedule your specific outfits out in advance.  I haven't done that yet, but I did want to mention that for any of you long term outfit planners.
  • Stylebook also offers the ability to photograph your clothing, I opted to utilize stock images for a cleaner look.


Overall, the app is pretty user friendly, however, I did run into some questions along the way and realized I was making things a bit harder than necessary.  I found this website extremely helpful when it came to troubleshooting my questions



Anyone else a fan of the Stylebook app?  Or any other apps that help you manage your wardrobe?  I would also love to know where y'all find your clothing inspiration.

52 comments:

  1. I have been trying so hard to minimize my closet items! I am guilty about keeping things because it was expensive. I hate wasting money and it is my personal down fall.

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  2. Wow - this totally reminds me of the app in the beginning of Clueless that would pick out items for Cher to wear!

    I'm kind of tempted to do this myself...as a fashion blogger over time, I've accumulated a good amount of staple pieces. And if I'm going to an event and need ideas on what to wear - I'll often scroll down my instagram feed (which is mainly my outfits) or look through my "inspiration board" on Pinterest...but this appeals to me as I could save collages for future outfits - and it would all be in one place!

    MY BLOG: ♥♥♥ Ella Pretty ♥♥♥



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    1. Oh my goodness yes! Loved Clueless and was obsessed with her closet back in the day! So funny!

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  3. While it seems like this app is a great idea, I don't think I'm ready for it. I do need to clean my closet. I am a teacher and I did a great idea last year. The week before school started, I went through my closet and made as many different kinds of outfits as possible. I made some casual, some more dressy, etc. I put them together with undergarments and accessories as much as possible. I think I came up with 20 or 25 outfits. It made getting dressed in the morning so easy. It was similar to your pin board but everything was physically together (the accessories and foldable items were on the shelf above the hanging items). The problem is that I didn't keep up with it. When I washed clothes, I put it back in the closet just like "normal". Soon I didn't have any preplanned outfits.

    So this year, I think I will set time in my calendar to pick outfits and hang them up together.

    My Bright Blue House

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    1. Love that! You could also take a picture of each outfit you create so that if you lose track after laundering, you still have a quick visual to reference. :)

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    2. This is a great idea - a little more manageable to get started and I might put together some ideas I don't think of when I'm rushed!

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  4. I haven't started using it yet, but Closet+ is a free version that seems to be similar. But it does say there are in-app purchases... and since I haven't played with it yet, I don't know how much is locked away because of that.

    Worth looking at if you're interested though, since it's initially free?

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  5. I SO wish this app was available for Android. I would buy it in a hot minute! I don't have an iPad or an iPhone, only an Android phone and a Mac computer. A computer based app or program would be better for me as I have a vision impairment. I am jealous of people who can use this! It looks fabulous!

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  6. This is a great idea! I love all the apps people are coming out with these days!

    Her Heartland Soul
    http://herheartlandsoul.com

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  7. Wow! The app does sound like it makes things a bit more simpler. I've never really thought of planning my clothes out on my phone/and didn't know that such a great idea existed! Well, my inspiration really is bloggers. I like to see their styles and pick out what I like and incorporate with my own ideas.
    I was wondering Jen... could you tell me your favorite colors? I can kind of tell which ones you love but it would be nice to have you list them out.
    Thanks,
    Sandy

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sandy! My "go-to" colors are pinks and corals, greens, blues, white and black.

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  8. This is very frustrating! I've been wanting something like this ever since watching Clueless! However, I'm all Android now and these kind of apps are only available on the Appstore. I regularly search for some equivalent but they don't seem good enough :(

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    Replies
    1. Sorry about that, I didn't realize this app was only Apple based. Sounds like my superfab readers have found a few alternatives worth checking out.

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  9. Perfect timing! A wardrobe clean out is on my list for this weekend :)

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  10. I just started using a similar app that's free and is available for Apple and Android -- ClosetSpace. What I love about it is that I can do most of the "work" on my desktop and then that automatically syncs with my tablet and phone. It does have some quirks, hence some bad reviews... I've learned you can't just import pictures from websites like it says you can (it ends up "losing" the pictures), so you have to save the image to your computer and upload it to the site. Once I figured that out, it's been great! I tend to wear the same couple of outfits over and over, so this forces me to use more of my closet.

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  11. AHHHH I totally needed something like this! thank you thank you thank you!
    XO, Ellen from Ask Away
    http://www.askawayblog.com

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  12. I tried Closet + years ago, but I didn't keep up with it. I keep debating on whether to get this or not, since I can never decide what to wear!

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  13. I love your style! Would you mind sharing where you like to shop for clothes, or what brands you find you tend to stick with? Thanks!

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    1. Thank you! I tend to shop at different stores for different pieces. I like The Limited for their petite sizes (pants) and JCrew, Nordstrom and Express for tops. I shop at Target and Old Navy on occasion as well, but have found the tops don't last/wear as well over time.

      xoxo!

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  14. My new favourite question I ask myself when purging clothes, home decor etc is: "Would I buy this right now, right today?" Many times the answer is "meh, not really"
    :-)

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  15. I love this app and I've been using it for about 2 years. The initial set up is time consuming but so worth it to me. I use the calendar feature daily to track my outfits and to see when I've last worn an item or outfit. It makes purging easy since I can see the last time I worn the item. I've never used a stock pic for an item before, I always take a pic. And when I get a new item I try to make as many outfits with it as possible to get the best value from it. I'm a bit nerdy when it comes to this app, there are so many things you can do to make the most out of your wardrobe.

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    1. I am really struggling with taking my own pictures and having them look good. How did you do it? Lay it flat or hang them? How did you get rid of the background? Help would be appreciated.

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    2. Maybe these will help you? Lots of good tips on this site Jen linked to.

      https://stylebookapptips.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/iphone-camera-tricks-and-tips/

      https://stylebookapptips.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/choosing-a-good-background-removal-color/

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    3. I lay them down on the floor in a spot with indirect sunlight. After taking a pic, go into the app & add the pic. ( you can also take a pic directly from the app) you get the option to clean up the pic when you are adding it. So I clean up the background. They aren't perfect but they are good enough for me! I hope this helps!

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  16. Your posts are usually helpful but this one I NEED even more than usual. I keep pinning cute outfits but don't always translate them into clothes I already have. I don't need more clothes, I need better use of my closet.

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    1. That is exactly where I was at, perfectly said!

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  17. I like the idea of this app - but I can't put outfits together. I'm terrible at mixing and matching. :( I need an app that will create outfits for me from my closet.

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    1. Lindy you should check out the Audrey's blog at puttingmetogether.com. Her whole blog is about mixing & remixing what you currently have in your closet.

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  18. Wish they had an Android app.

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    1. After reading this post, I googled the Closet+ mentioned in one of the comments and couldn't find it so I googled closet management apps for android and found one called Stylicious...and it's free. I've only downloaded it to my phone thus far but it will allow me to take pictures of my own clothes and I think it will work on my Kindle as well.

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    2. Thank you so much for chiming in with an alternative!

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  19. Thanks for this post! I actually downloaded this app about a year ago - and have never even used it! Pathetic! It was just a bit overwhelming for me, even though getting dressed each morning without it is much more overwhelming :) I'm tackling it this weekend!

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    1. Not pathetic Katie! I have also had it on my phone for ages. Sometimes we just need to find the time and/or motivation. :)

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    2. I have had it for almost a year and haven't used it because I was overwhelmed and I couldn't get my pictures to look,good and I have too much older stuff to find it all online in stock images. Maybe I'll give up on perfection and try it again this weekend

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  20. Hmm, I think I need this! Great post about your experience using it!

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  21. I absolutely love this app. (And I first heard about it from your site!) I took my own pictures of each of my clothing items, which took a while but I didn't like seeing random people's arms and legs. :) I sometimes used online photos and just used the eraser tool to get a clean outline. Also, I'm using the packing feature for the first time as a way of planning an upcoming trip to Europe. Have you tried this? It creates a packing checklist and you can cross out items as you go! I'm not so good about mixing and matching clothing, but this really helped me to create a bunch of looks using very few items so I can travel with just a carry-on. I rarely use the calendar for planning ahead, but I do use it to record what I wore each day. I have a terrible memory, and I really like that it helps me not wear the same thing every week. Plus, then I can tell when I haven't worn an item in 463 days and it should probably go to Goodwill.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience how the benefits of utilizing the calendar and packing functions. I am really intrigued about the packing benefits and love that you keep track of what you are wearing for donation purposes. Thanks again Krista!

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  22. Eye-opening, getting excited about possibilities! I have a problem, tho: I'm a little behind the times (wink) and only have an ol' fashioned laptop... no smart phone, tablet, etc. Is there a similar program that can be used via laptop (in other words, that's not an app)? I came across this article... maybe someone has used some of these? http://stylecaster.com/best-apps-to-organize-your-closet/

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  23. I love the outfits all laid out at the end! I can see how this might be really helpful long-term, but I don't think I could get past the initial time investment.

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  24. For a while now I've liked the idea of planning my outfits (I love planning and I kept wearing similar things often.). When I first found out about these kind of apps I couldn't find the ones I heard about (for my Amazon Fire phone). The ones suggested here aren't on there either, so I just searched and found one called Stylicious. I haven't tried it yet, but the reviews are pretty good. I am very excited to try it though, because it will be so much better than what I've been trying to do for the past couple weeks (putting day of the week tags on the hangers). I will let you know how it turns out. :)

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  25. Speaking of clothes and style, if you want to look and feel your best, check out dressingyourtruth.com
    I love it! It has blessed my life tremendously :).

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  26. I am so excited I found this post! I think i hoard clothes... Like i've gone through things, then when i go to sell them or give away i start to have second thoughts. It's awful! Even though i haven't worn it in such a long time and I know i won't. I think it's because I've spent all this money and feel bad. I love the app idea though! I have never thought of doing something like that. I think that would be a great way to organize outfits, but i think i have to get the narrowing clothes part down first haha. Maybe i'll start documenting my progress on my blog. Thank you for sharing! - Melissa

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  27. I tried 2 apps about a year ago, stylebook and cloth and ended up sticking with cloth. The style book was just too intensive to set up. What I love about cloth is I just take a picture of my out fit while I'm wearing it then I can see when I last wore it. Also nice to roll back thru my feed to remind myself of looks I haven't worn recently. I never have to worry if I'm accidentally wearing something to work that I just wore a few days prior and yes I'm that forgetful when it comes to clothes!
    There was a glitch once from an update and I lost 6 months of documented outfits...technology is not perfect :(

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  28. I love the idea of this app! I downloaded it a few months ago but haven't been able to do too much with it. It's a lot of work to snap photos of all of my clothes! But I think it will help with the closet purge!

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  29. MORE OUTFIT PHOTOS!!!! Please, I can't be the only one. Hah. I *hate* shopping for clothes, even though I totally love (and could 24/7) shopping for home stuff. I think that you have amazing taste!

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  30. I started using the app this past spring. So far, I have only entered items where I could find the image online. I haven't had time for photographing my closet. It's a work in progress, one I am willing to continue plugging away at.

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  31. I witnessed your app in action, and was blown away by all the legwork to load everything...but then so cool to save and create new looks! You are so crazy stylish, and your eye for color is spot-on! I second the other..more style posts please!! And thanks fo the link love...I love your style (Especially those wedges!) :) xo

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  32. For those who are asking about something like this app, but for the computer, check out Go Chic or Go Home. It is an online way to organize and remix your clothing, post pictures of your outfit for other members to critique (if wanted), and get ideas from other ladies who have posted outfits. Check it out.

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  33. Hi there!

    Absolutly loved your post! I started to use it, and I love it. I even blogged about it!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    https://swanildaz.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/always-stylish-with-a-little-help-from-stylebook/

    Swanildaz

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  34. Oh my goodness, thank you! I have had StyleBook on my phone for over a year and had 1 item in my closet. It never occurred to me to download pictures from the stores where I purchased my items. 24 hours after reading your blog, I had 11 items imported and 4 more ready to add. Thank you.

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