As promised, here’s my review of an amazing app I recently discovered for managing my wardrobe!
When I received my iPad for free, I wasn’t really interested in it but I figured I’d find something useful to do with it. The only thing I cared about was whether there was an app that could help me inventory and organize my closet. At the time, no such thing existed (at least not in what I considered a usable form). Fast forward a few years, and I recently tried searching again. I ran across a few appealing contenders, and decided to try Stylebook.
I’m hard-pressed to actually PAY for an app. I can probably count on one hand the number I’ve downloaded that weren’t free. But this one looked like it would be worth the $3.99. And it is. Totally.
This powerful app allows you to upload photos of individual items of clothing from your device. I have an iPad 1 with no camera, so I originally used my iPhone and added photos to the Stylebook there, then used the built-in sync feature to transfer them to Stylebook on my iPad. Once the photo is added, the app has built-in tools to help you remove the background so you can later create outfit collages and layer different pieces, similar to Polyvore. You can then save your outfits for future reference.
You can add all kinds of info to each clothing item, such as color, fabric, brand, keywords and more, so you can later search by whatever criteria you wish. You also place each item into a category. You can add or delete categories based on your needs, and even create sub-categories for more detailed organization.
One of my favorite features is the calendar. You can add items to the calendar on the day you wore them (or a future day you plan to wear them). Then you can track how often you wear any given piece and what pieces are being neglected. Since you can also enter how much you paid for the item, the calendar even tells you the Cost Per Wear.
If you travel, there’s a fabulous Packing List so you can pre-plan outfits for your trip. While I’m not a fan of travelling, this will come in handy for me when I go visit family because I am very particular in planning perfect outfits around my current favorite pieces when I am away from home.
You can enter inspiration from other sources, as well as creating a list of your favorite stores. There is some integrated online shopping for certain stores, but I have not used either the inspiration or store features at all, and probably won’t.
It takes some practice to get the hang of taking ideal photos of each clothing item (especially black, as the items all end up looking the same if you don’t have very ample lighting). And it takes a ton of time if you have
an addiction thousands of items in your closet. 😉 I ended up ordering an inexpensive display mannequin because when I first started photographing blazers and tops on their hangers, I felt they looked too sloppy. But I’m pretty picky, so the mannequin is definitely not required. I’m also cheating and using my digital camera to take the photos, which I then have to email or sync to my iPad, because phone cameras are terrible at photographing lots of black. You could always download professional photos of the clothing from the seller’s website, when available, to save you some work on photographing everything.
My only complaints about the app are that the navigation isn’t the most intuitive (I hit the wrong button a lot, and after you remove the background from an image you have to hit ‘save’ 4 times) and the WiFi sync leaves a lot to be desired. But these issues aren’t deal breakers. Also, I think it is currently only available for iOS (can’t say for sure because I don’t have any other kind of mobile device, but I think their website only mentioned the Apple Store app).
I think I’ll be thrilled with the outfit-planning capabilities of this app once I get done with the legwork! My favorite part is that I can browse my closet from afar come up with new ideas during my wasted lunch hours at work, rather than trying to find time in the evening or the rushed, groggy morning.