Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stylebook, Polyvore + Closet Shopping

Let's talk about closets, shall we?
Last year, I went  on a massive binge and pared our closets WAY down. I used it as a money making tool, and you can read that post HERE. I also spoke about organizing my closet HERE. As a typical American woman, I have a ridiculous amount of clothes. Even after selling over 400 items during my closet sale last fall, there were still around 20 boxes marked "clothing" for the move. I've found that I often forget about some incredible pieces I have, or accidentally by multiples of the same thing (how many LBD's does a girl need??) because I forget they exist.
When I wrote about POLYVORE before, it was in the spirit of shopping my own closet and cutting down on spending while maximizing what I already down. Well, this week I discovered that Stylebook does it a million times better, and since it's on your phone- you'll always know exactly what you have in your closet when you head out to the mall.
What is Stylebook? It's app that allows you to import your entire closet, categorize it, create (and save) outfits, store inspiration and so much more. It keeps track of how often you wear things and when it was last worn (so that you can more effectively get rid of things you never use!). It also has a packing  feature which is awesome for wanderlusters everywhere.
This is NOT a sponsored post- I just liked the app and wanted to share it with you. I also thought this could be helpful for people who download it, you can know what to expect and also learn from  my mistakes. I love the idea of shopping our own closets! Now when I pin something to pinterest, I can see what I have and create the same look without buying anything... or very little. 
Let's take a look!
These three screen shots from my phone represent the app's opening page and then the closet section. Your items are broken down by categories- which come programmed in but you can change around, rename or delete. The "inspiration" section is basically like a pinterest board, and I've been slowly adding looks from my "look book" boards on pinterest to it. The "looks" section is made entirely from YOUR closet! You can categorize looks by event, season, whatever you want. The finished project is basically the same idea as Polyvore or a magazine spread.
Importing your closet is obviously a big part of the app and the most time-consuming and frustrating aspect. Some things were a million times easier to import than others. You can see the original picture I took at left and then how it imported into the app. The gray areas around the clothing become empty (white) space and this shirt imported *perfectly*.
There are two ways to add clothes to your closet. One is to use the "shopping" feature and search for them, then simply add. This is the easiest and if you've bought anything recently- I'd recommend importing it that way. You can also do that with basics, such as leggings or skinny jeans.
The second is through taking a picture of the item and then importing. Once it is imported, you can use the auto option to adjust and remove the background. If some of the background remains, you can then select the manual option and continue removing the background until it is a solid color.
If you (1) choose a plain background (white or black work best) for the item.  (2) choose an item with a strong contrast (such as this vibrant red tank above) and (3) crop the picture down before importing it, you will have fantastic results.
Not everything imported as easily as this shirt, though. Anything with a print or patterned (even my tweed blazer) can be difficult. For all items pictured below, I used a wrinkled white sheet laid on the ground OR a black table top (accessories). If I had white butcher block paper, that would have been PERFECT as the wrinkles in the sheet made a mess for me often. Perhaps the backside of (or a solid colored) gift wrap would work as well.
For this blazer, the white tag bled into the white sheet, so it was removed during import. I chose not to worry about it, but it's something to look out for during staging (when you're laying out the item). I think this one was a little overexposed which blurred out the wrinkles in the sheet and contributed to an easy import.
This was one of my messier pieces, you can see the wrinkles in the sheet created shadows that showed up for the import. So, instead of just having an auto edit, I had to use the manual edit. Think Microsoft Paint. You get an eraser tool  (which you can make bigger or smaller) and can rub out all the excess so that you're left only with negative space.
 For the most part, I found shoes the easiest thing to import- these heels were flawlessly added.
However, as usual- items with a lighter color were harder to import. In the middle picture you can see how they looked using auto-import, before I had to manually erase the excess.
Accessories were also a little harder- the bracelet (DIY HERE) had lots of black leftover from the table top around the links and in between. It was the same for anything with a small chain link as well. The watch imported perfectly!
I even tried importing Odette for fun (she's in the "headbands" category in case you're interested). The top left is the original photograph, bottom left is auto-import and right is after using the manual eraser tool. It took less than 45 seconds to clean her up and erase the feather she had just lost.
After you import your items, they are categorized. I haven't been able to import my entire closet yet, but these are screen shots of "all accessories" and "heels" with what I have done so far so that you can see how everything looks once imported. I love that you can choose to see all of a certain category at once (such as tops) or just see the items within a subcategory (like blouses, sweaters, etc.). You really do get a better idea of what is in your closet and can automatically start making connections.
Another great feature is the search option.  After you import clothing, you can tap on the item to add notes, such as color, fabric, season,  brand, etc. Then, you can search your entire closet using those tags! So great.
The app also promises to be a permanent personal stylist. I was really interested to see how they pulled that one off, and I disagree. They do provide awesome tools, which are updated, and will help you make the most of your closet- but I don't see that as being the same as a personal stylist.
The cost is a little hefty at $3.99, but it was worth every penny. It's an easy-to-use app that will cut down on spending and (in the long run) make outfit planning and maximization a lot easier.
I hope you're staying warm! In Michigan we are getting pounded with snow, but that's nothing new :) All the best, and as always, thanks for reading!

3 comments:

  1. This app looks great! It takes me an hour to find something to wear for church, since I don't remember what I wore last week, and I don't have much to work with. This could help me get there before the first hymn!

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    Replies
    1. Kelsey, I used to write down everything I wore (every day!) middle school- high school in a notebook for the same reason! :)

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  2. If you know...
    StylebookApp: If you import to the app on your iPhone, will it sync to your iPad as well ?

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