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.

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Day 27 Wardrobe Inspiration: Girly

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Get girly

Springtime is the perfect season for florals and other random girlyness.

Personally…

Not so much of a girly girl but once in a while I indulge. Especially in spring and summer a very sleek and polished style can look overdone.

How to….

Break it up with brogues or an oversized jacket for a laid back look.

Today I’m wearing…

A blue flower print dress from Oasis, brogues and a denim jacket.

Day 26 Wardrobe Inspiration: Color on one half

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Color on one half

A play on the color block, because it’s such a great look.

Personally…

I try to avoid dreary colors but if too much color scares you, just mix it in with black or white.

How to…

Wear color on the top or bottom half today. Team with black or white for a plain yet sophisticated look.

Today I’m wearing…

White jeans, white top and bright pink blazer. May the summer begin…

 

 

Day 25 Wardrobe Inspiration: Something you’ve never worn

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Something you’ve never worn

Release one of  your wardrobe undead from its grave.

Personally…

Hand on heart – how many items have you got that have never seen the light of day? I never owned stuff with the tags  on, but lately, these wardrobe zombies have been creeping up on me. Not so much wrong purchases, but certainly unnecessary ones, these items are often unworn because I simply haven’t gotten round to them yet. This is definitely a first world problem.

How to…

Try and remember what attracted you to the item in the first place, and how and when you thought you were going to wear it. Maybe you can find a different use for it. If it was a total waste of your money, are you still in time to return it? Can you give it to a friend or sell on ebay? There is no point for something you’ll never wear to take up valuable space in your wardrobe and make you feel bad about yourself everytime you have to look at it.

Today I’m wearing…

A dress from Warehouse I bought a few years back which wasn’t at all cheap and was intended to be worn over slim jeans. However, I bought a size ten (why I do not know) and it just looks all wrong. Recently I’ve tried it on as a mini dress, and with a pair of boots it actually works well!