App review: Stylebook

I know that I am not alone in having more than a few pieces of clothing in my closet I wear on repeat, and shamefully so, some really nice pieces I never wear. The reason behind this is that I mostly get dressed in quite a rush in the morning, and when I have some time to think about what I want to wear, I always go back to the old trusted combinations, simply because they I know they work well for any given situation.

If this sounds eerily familiar, fear not! Stylebook is here to solve all those wardrobe woes!

I really love this app, and this review should hopefully convince you to invest a few Rands in a truly great planning tool. Now, I know it is not a free app, but before you look at me like I am crazy, go ahead and see why I recommend paying for this app. After all, it does cost less than your average take-away dinner.

Here is a quick round-up of the app’s bits and bobs:

  • Cost: R59,99 on the South African App Store or $3,99 on the American App Store
  • App developers: Left Brain/ Right Brain LLC
  • Also available: Stylebook Men: Closet Organiser & Assistant
  • Rating: 4 and ½ stars from over 600 reviews

Features:

Stylebook is packed full of really great features and you can use as many (or as few) as you like to make this app truly useful to you.

Closet: The main feature is to keep a visual record of your wardrobe, categorised exactly the way you want. You can take your own photos to get your exact item, of search the web for something similar without needing to fuss too much about editing. The editing tool is fairly simple to use, and you can manually edit out the background or simply tap/ slide to adjust. This builds a clean visual of your clothing items that you can use to plan looks and keep track of your closet so you don’t end up with another black jacket that looks exactly like another one you already own. If you enter information on each piece you add, you can search your closet by brand, colour, fabric and many other characteristics.

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Looks: A feature I often use in the app is the look compiler. This is where you get to play around with the items in your closet to get a visual idea of how things will go together without having to play dress-up. I often use this feature to plan looks ahead of time so I don’t keep wearing the same outfit on repeat. This really helps me to make the most of my clothing and I have created many looks that I would never have thought of when standing in front of my closet.

Look compiler                                 fullsizerender_3.jpg

Packing: I love this feature and use it every time I travel. I create looks, and then refer back to the looks I created when I get dressed so I know that I am making the most of my packing space. It makes so much sense to create different options with a few key pieces when traveling, and the visual nature of this feature helps me to keep my bag small(er) and more organised than ever before.

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Style stats: This feature is not something I use very often, mostly because it can get really labour intensive, but if you are the kind of girl who likes to keep track of everything in life, you are going to love this feature. When adding items to your closet, you can add their cost and retailer details. In the stats feature, you can track the cost per wear for each item by noting each day’s outfit in the calendar in the app. You can track so many stats including what items you wear most often, items you never wear (which could really help when you want to donate items and make space for new amazing pieces), your colour stats and total closet value. This could get really tiring to track each day (for me personally) but I can see how this feature is a really great way to help you in making better choices when you purchase new clothing.

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Other features include a space for inspiration from websites and other apps, the calendar used to track your outfits, a shop and the style expert feature packed with advice, style guides and Q & A with experts.

Here are a few tips that I have found to be useful when getting into Stylebook:

  • Don’t go too specific when categorising items. I started out with about 15 different main categories with loads of sub-categories in each and it became way too complicated. Stick to a few (I have 5 categories) and delete what you don’t want to use. For me, there is no reason to sort my closet into seasons because I try to wear items right throughout the year (with a few exceptions, of course), but if that works for you, go for it.
  • Don’t worry too much about the editing of your items. I spent so much time getting the edges of each item perfect that I got fed up and overwhelmed. The item doesn’t have to be perfect for you to get what you are trying to remember with a look so don’t spend too much time on perfecting the item that you lose interest in the real reason for using the app, which is probably to make the most out of each item of clothing you own.
  • If you don’t have the time or space to photograph your items, do an image search on Google to find something similar and stick it into your wardrobe. I use this method more often than not because you get nice images that already have the item posed in a way that shows the shape and actual look of the item. If you create looks using this method, just don’t go stealing images off the web and claim them as your own to post on social media. For personal use and reference, you can use images as long as you don’t share them.
  • Hand your “closet” over to a friend who gets your style so they can lend a fresh perspective on combinations from your wardrobe. I used to do this with my cousin when we were teenagers and we would spend hours making up new outfits out of our closets. This way is much quicker but no less valuable.
  • Take some time to log your outfits each week. You don’t have to deadly accurate with this, but I found that it really gives you a grasp on how long each item lasts, and how good an investment each piece is. This helped me to realise which inexpensive items turned out to be more costly because I had to replace them often.

Which style or lifestyle apps do you enjoy? Leave your recommendations and I will take a look

 

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