I’ve been using this excellent app called Stylebook for the past couple of months… (wait… well since mid-January… so a month and a half roughly). StyleBook helps you digitally organize and manage your closet, as well as let you plan out outfits (or looks as the app describes them) and schedule them in your calendar. Complete time saver.
I purchased this app a while ago (it is like $4 I think). I can’t even remember when honestly- it is possible it was several years ago. I didn’t quite grasp the usefulness of it at that point- so I stopped using it and forgot about it. It was frustrating- I had purchased it in pursuit of a capsule wardrobe.
I’ve been super interested in the idea of a capsule wardrobe for quite a while now… but have had a hard time getting into it. I like clothes. I like shoes. I like shopping…. and it always felt so overwhelming to picture my wardrobe being smaller and still fulfilling all of my needs. You know what I mean?
Most of the time when I would see examples of a capsule wardrobe- the outfits leaned more minimal then my tastes go (no matter how much I want to be a uber minimal dresser… I just don’t like the way that style looks on me).
At the end of last year, I joined a wardrobe style guide program hosted by a blogger that has a style that meshes with mine. The program gave me a list of wardrobe items that I gathered up and a month’s worth of outfits that only used what was in that wardrobe for the month of January.
It was empowering and flexible and showed me how easy it is to work with fewer items in my closet. What I loved most though was not having to decide what to wear in the morning- it was already planned out for me. and. it. was. awesome.
It saved me so much time in the mornings.
As the program came to an end- I felt compelled to figure out how to plan out my outfits more… and that brought me back to Stylebook. This new found purpose of wanting to plan out my outfits for every morning plus the template from the wardrobe challenge inspired me to give the app another try.
It took a couple of days to get the app completely set up- but I got through that process. I entered all of the items in my closet and then laid out a bunch of looks (outfits) using only the items that I entered into my new digital closet. Once I had my looks put together, I then assigned an outfit to each day. I only planned out about two weeks in advance so that I could coordinate as best I could with the weather.
So let’s run through pros/cons list about the app and all its features.
Great things about StyleBook:
being able to add all my articles of clothing into the app
This made it easier to see all that I have and be able to see redundancies and unnecessary items. This made it easier to remove and donate all the extra items that are just cluttering my closet.
You can add items a couple of ways- taking a picture yourself or saving an image from the web to your phone. I tend to grab a picture of an item I purchased from the seller’s site- and then add it to the app that way. If I had a really hard time finding a good image of the item I was trying to add I would then take my own picture of it. The official seller’s pictures are just a little nicer of course.
You then sort the items into different categories that you get to define (pants, tops, accessories, etc) and then break down the different categories even further (tops- blouses, button downs, t-shirts, etc).
being able to put together ‘looks’
The app keeps track of all of the individual items of clothing and how often they are used in ‘looks’ which made it easier to see the items that I don’t like to select very often for my outfits and the ones that I picked all the time. This also helped me pare down my closet and remove the things that I don’t really love wearing.
Just like with the individual items in your closet- you can organize your looks into different categories. I have mine broken down into a lot of different categories such as – button up outfits, basic t-shirt outfits, lounge outfits, etc.
the outfit shuffle feature
This feature shuffles up items in your closet and recommends new looks for you. I thought this was an excellent way to get out of outfit slumps and consider different outfit combos.
If you like your outfits laid out in a nice visual manner (like I do), you have to go through all the outfit recommendations and re-lay them out. This isn’t a huge issue for how cool the feature is- just adds a little bit of time to use it.
item details tracker
You can track all sort of different details about the individual items in your closet- price, color, brand, fabric, season, and size. It’ll then tell you all sorts of things like- where you buy most of your clothing and what the items actual cost was based on how many times you wear it. I haven’t used this feature a ton- but the bit I have used it has been insightful and interesting.
the trip planner and packing plan
This feature is great to help you plan out what you wear on your trip. Seeing all the outfits laid out before you makes it easier to see how you can reduce how many pieces you pack and still have a great outfit for each day of your trip. Then it builds a packing list from the outfits you put together. Awesome.
being able to schedule ‘looks’ to specific days on a calendar
This is hands down the very best feature. It let me plan my outfits out in advance, so I’m not staring at my closet in the mornings trying to figure out what to wear… which saves me time in the morning rush.
I can add multiple outfits to each day so that I can pick the one that works best for that day. So far I use that by adding one cold weather outfit and one warm weather outfit (because the weather is just a bit too unpredictable right now). I can also look over the entire month and see if I’m repeating an item too much in one week or anything.
A few things that need improvement:
the sync function is lacking
This is the biggest issue. You can use this app on both your iPad and your iPhone- but they don’t automatically sync up at all. You have to send outfits back and forth between the two devices manually. It gets confusing trying to remember what you added since the last time you synced. Plus it won’t send over the schedule you laid out on your calendar- so you have to manually add everything back into the calendar (which is frustrating since that is my favorite part). It just adds a ton of extra time to keep the two devices synced.
I recommend mainly using this device on only one device until they figure out how to improve their sync feature.
only offering month view and day view
I really really wish that I could look at my calendar in week view. I like to glance over them side by side in month view to make sure I’m not repeating one item during a work week. The details of each outfit are getting awfully tiny when I’m looking at month view on my iPhone- but that is the only option to look at all the outfits side by side. A week view would just be an excellent little cherry on top of that calendar feature.
‘looks’ tool is a little clunky
This is a relatively small issue- but I think the tool to build out your ‘looks’ could work a little more intuitively. It is a little hard to describe- but the main issue it that there are a lot of menus and settings and steps to go through to lay out how the items look in your outfit nicely.
the app only appears to be available on iPhones (and iPads)
lastly, I think it is weird that they call outfits “looks”
Overall- I like the app.
In this situation- digital has won out over analog. I highly recommend this app if you are looking for a way to streamline your wardrobe and your outfits. It can be time-consuming at the beginning, and a little tricky to get the hang of- but overall has saved me a ton of time.
Just to be clear- I paid for StyleBook a while ago and was not asked or encouraged to review the app. These are purely my thoughts.