Retail Therapy – my new page on overshopping

Dear reader

I have recently added a new page to my blog titled “retail therapy“.

On this page I hope to be documenting my journey towards less: shopping less, having less, and wanting less. Please stop by regularly as I will be posting new content at least once a week. If you, like me, also tend to overshop, my posts should be both entertaining and informative for you and I am looking forward to your comments in the comments section. At the same time I will continue to blog about everything style on my main page. I hope to see you around!

Styling for Nerds – The Stylebook App

A few days ago, the girls in my office started talking about clothes. There are always some who don’t care about clothes, and some who care a lot. At this stage it’s known to mankind that I do happen to care, but I don’t think anybody in the office expected quite what I came out with that morning. In other words, our female contingent now thinks I am one or more of the following: a) a nerd, b) mentally ill or c) ahead of my time.

I’m sure you want to know more about this revelation of mine which had the entire office ooo-ing and aaa-ing so much that the weekly team meeting was cut short to make time for some Q&A. So, here it is.

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I’ve only waited 20 years…

People who know me well know that I have closet OCD. I really like organising and reorganising my clothes. Sad, I know, but I have a lot of clothes, and I don’t have a lot of space, so organisation is crucial. I engage in this activity so much and so relentlessly that the other half has created a new verb for my favourite passtime: “are you ocd’ing in your wardrobe again”, “honey stop ocd’ing with the sock drawer” or “you’ve ocd’ed again, haven’t you” are commonly used phrases in our household. Ocd’ing is normal for me. But now a very clever app has made it possible for me to take my disorder to the next level. And I told my colleagues all about it.

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Cher’s matching some outfits

The Stylebook app is the mother ship of closet organisation tools and I’ve wanted something like this ever since I saw Cher Horrowitz match outfits on her computer in the 1995 teen movie “Clueless”. For those of you who aren’t old enough to remember Clueless but are young enough to enjoy a high school rom com, give it a watch. The soundtrack is fun too.

I may have had to wait twenty years for it, but the wait was worth it. The Stylebook is exactly what I wanted – an electronic copy of my physical wardrobe, a visual database of garments, a place where I can log inspirations, create outfits and track how often I’ve worn something.

Particularly great is the Looks function where you can mix and match clothes on the screen and put a whole outfit together without touching a single physical thing. Sometimes you will find that what looks good on the screen does not look so good on your body, but often it works astonishingly well.

You can then log what you have worn on your calendar, from which Stylebook pulls information to calculate statistics – showing cost per wear and worst/best value items.

Stylebook is a great tool to organise and get more out of your wardrobe, but you have to be prepared to do the work. And it’s hard work. If you think photographing every single item of clothing you own and then essentially postprocessing the photo so as to remove any unwanted borders sounds like fun, wait till you arrive at item 100. Or 200. It took me months to get my wardrobe on Stylebook and I’ve still not archived everything. Admittedly a first world problem, so I will spare you further accounts of my ordeal. Suffice to say that if you have a very large wardrobe (another first world problem), you need Stylebook.

We all need a bit of organisation in our lives but most people will probably be fine with just hanging blouses with blouses and jeans with jeans. The problem is that with a rather large closet like mine, and limited storage space, the approach doesn’t work well. If you know the “So many clothes, so little to wear” phenomenon you know what I’m talking about. If your clothes aren’t visible, you won’t wear them. You certainly won’t be able to come up with any new and exciting combinations if there is too much crammed together. The mind needs space. Even though I have a very good memory and a highly analytical brain, I struggle to keep hundreds of things on rotation on my mental clothes rack. I previously tried to get around this dilemma by setting up a spreadsheet for all my clothing, logging item type, color, brand, size, cost and so forth. As an accountant, I love spreadsheets. I thought from there I would be able to create pivot tables and graphs which would shine light into the vortex of my wardrobe. They didn’t. The spreadsheet approach failed as it became too complicated to manouver. Unbelievable, because professionally I deal with some pretty scary numbers at times, yet I failed to conquer the contents of my own closet.

So, starting out I had high hopes for the stylebook, and I have to say I”m not disappointed. Stylebook is a tool to create better outfits, opens up new ways to use your existing clothing, and helps you shop smarter. I wouldn’t want to be without it, and I use it to create outfits and track wears nearly every day. I know this probably makes me a nerd, but certainly a very well dressed one.

Time out

Hello there. I know it’s been a while since my last post.

Last year in April, I decided to put the Style Column on hold for a bit for various reasons (see more on that on my About page). I was thinking about going back to my blog for a long time, but today, on the anniversary of my last post, it somehow feels like the right time.

Today is also a great day because I have a random day off work and I have prescribed myself, for once, a general time out for today. No work, of any variety! Nope, no cleaning the kitchen, no errants, nothing to be achieved. To be honest, this is really hard for me. I am a notorious fidgeter… I just can’t sit still and a day at home mostly results in cleaning up, tidying up, doing laundry… you get the picture. A day at home never looks like lying in a sunchair reading a book. So this morning, I was totally clueless as to what I would get up to, but I left the house, Ipad in bag to document my adventures. So here’s what happened this morning:

A walk on the beach
Having spent two nights in a seaside town recently, I remarked that it’s so nice to be by the sea. I noticed immediately that this was an absurd statement as we live right by a beautiful, unspoiled beach that we really don’t make enough use of.
So, down the steps I went near the old sports centre, across the promenade onto the sand and down to where the clear water touches the shore. I collected some shells for a craft project I intend to undertake and stuck my toes in the water. Still cold but getting there! Today definitely feels like the first day of summer.

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Freshly pressed juice
Yum. This little beachbar is for the trendy crowd but we do come here sometimes to have some views with our wine. As it’s too early for wine a freshly pressed juice will have to do. I’m on my own and I don’t feel awkward. Lovely.

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Market

Off to the market for some cheese. I’m too late so I missed the catch of the day, but some fresh goats cheese will be just fine for lunch. Serve with a juicy tomatoe and good olive oil. Bon Appetit.

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