Wardrobe overhaul

When I moved into my house, I did some fairly major decluttering, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to do anything about my clothes. And then, I spent the better part of a year opening my wardrobe, complaining I didn’t have anything to wear and going to class in the same pair of black leggings and black t-shirt.

I knew that my favourite brands like Lindy Bop and Collectif would have big sales in July and I wanted to make the most of them, so just before uni went back, I started going through my wardrobe with a critical eye. Everything that was too small, or too short, or made me feel uncomfortable, went into a ‘get rid of somehow pile.’ In the middle of me scrutinising every dress in my wardrobe, a friend sent me a link to an app that has kind of changed my life. Well, it’s changed my wardrobe anyway.

Remember that scene in Clueless where Cher uses a computer to scroll through her wardrobe and create the perfect yellow tartan outfit? So the Stylebook app is pretty much that program, but it’s also so, so much more.

The first part of Stylebook is that it’s a way of keeping track of your clothes. You snap a picture, do a little editing so the background becomes transparent, and log some details. There are some fields like colour, size, brand, and cost of the item and also a large section where you can add anything like the fact that you bought it on sale or that it was a gift from your mum or a bargain found at an op-shop.

It takes a while to load in enough items to start seeing a benefit from the app, so I encourage a targeted approach to getting started! I had a lot of things out already because I was organising, so I took photos and entered everything that was out before I put them away. I also tried to take photos of everything before I put my clean laundry away. It took a few days, but once I’d loaded about twenty items, I started seeing a benefit.

The first one was that you can create full outfits and play with what things look like. So I knew that I liked a particular pair of pants with a particular t-shirt and pretty much only ever wear those pants with that top, so I put the items together and created an outfit. Then, using the calendar feature, each time I wore this outfit, I added it to a day and then… magic…

Using all that data you enter for each item, Stylebook crunches the numbers and tells you how much your wardrobe is worth, then works out how often you wear items to calculate a cost per wear. This, for me, has been amazing. It helps me work out whether I’m getting value out of the items I paid a lot of money for. It is a bit scary to see how much your wardrobe is worth, but it can help you give your insurance company a more accurate estimate of the value of some of your home contents, which is great when it comes to replacing things in the event they’re stolen or damaged.

Style stats on most worn items has also helped me realise that these days, I have very little need for copious amounts of high heels now I’m not working in an office full-time or doing pageants, and I now know that I reach for dresses much more than skirts. It’s already helped me to sell and donate a bunch of clothes and shoes that were just taking up space in my wardrobe, and I know once I’ve entered more of my wardrobe (I have so much more to do!), it’ll provide the evidence I need to get rid of anything I’ve been holding onto but not wearing. It will help me shop with a bit more purpose (the colour stats of my wardrobe are a bit disturbingly skewed towards the blue/green area).

There are so many more features to Stylebook that I haven’t played with but can’t wait to use, like their tool to help you pack for holidays, so there will likely be another post when I start to unlock the app’s full potential. I’ve also found there are some things I wish the app had, like the ability to archive items that you’ve sold or donated rather than having to delete them to remove from your wardrobe.

Stylebook has helped me become more conscious about my wardrobe, and, to bring things full-circle, I have not ONCE gone to uni in my black leggings and t-shirt this semester, so I count that as a huge win.

So, what are your best tips for organising your wardrobe? Now I’m on a tear, I want to keep going!!

Check out Stylebook for iPhone in the app store by clicking here. If you do buy it, please, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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