My blog posting schedule (wait, what blog posting schedule?) has been nothing short of unpredictable for months now. I ‘write’ in my head all of the the time: when I’m doing dishes, in the shower, driving to the grocery store, pumping at work, nursing little man to sleep at night.
But the whole actually typing those thoughts and ideas into comprehendible sentences for publishing here on this blog? Yeah… you could say it has taken the back seat a time or two.
And even more than I’m writing blog posts in my head, I’m thoughtfully pondering my goals for this blog at large — it longs for some direction, some focus and I desperately want to give it the attention that it demands.
Perhaps these are aspirations I can tackle as we begin this new year — a perfect time for reflecting and creating new goals.
In the mean time, I wanted to share with you a couple style tools that you may find of use as you are creating some goals of your own (ones I hinted at forever ago).
1. THE STYLEBOOK APP
I purchased this app a long time ago — per recommendation of Caroline over on UnFancy — and it was probably an even longer time before I started using it, haha. But once I did, I sort of became addicted? No worries, I seem to have struck a balance. ;) But you know how people play games on their smartphones? That’s kind of how I was for a little while: creating outfit after outfit after outfit with pics of clothes I already owned that I’d saved into the app. It was eye opening. It was fun. It was keeping me creative. And still is.
One of the benefits that most tout about using the capsule wardrobe method is the ability to have clothing versatile enough to create an endless amount of looks. And while I’m an advocate of the notion that limitation sparks creativity, sometimes its just plain tough to get started.
1. Having a visual grid of your clothing items helps give you a great bird’s eye view of your wardrobe as a whole: making it easier to identify wholes, trends and its overall aesthetic quality.
Recent thoughts while surveying my closet in the Stylebook App: “Wow, I really own a LOT of denim, and cream and black. Maybe I should add more color? Or maybe more cream? Yes, more cream…” ;)
2. Pre-planning outfits and having them saved in an accessible visual format amplifies the no-fuss getting dressed quality that capsules create.
I usually either create new looks from Pinterest outfit inspirations that I translate with my own clothes, or of items I’ve already paired together and that worked well. Sometimes I even throw something together inspired by something I saw a fellow mama wear at the grocery store ;)
3. Planning packing lists alleviates over packing (ahem, me. yes. that’d be me right here) and under packing at the same time.
I tried this out for the first time ever when I went on our California trip back in November. It was a huge success. Especially because I could plan on my phone a little bit here and a little bit there (in the bathroom (TMI?), while pumping, night time nursings, etc.) in the week or two leading up to when actually need to pack. The physical packing part took no time at all then which was awesome because, have I mentioned I have a two year old and a 9 month old? :)
4. Collecting data about how you actually wear your clothes is both insanely nerdy but also downright useful.
So I completely spaced on getting a screen shot of my stats section, but knowing your most worn, least worn, lowest price per wear and highest price per wear items is really useful albeit insane (haha). If you identify characteristics about each of those items: what you love, what you don’t love, what works, what doesn’t work — then you can use these characteristics to hopefully make better purchases in the future. “I like the color of this sweater and the hemline, but the material attracts a lot of lint and I’m forever lint rolling myself.” “I don’t like this neckline as much as I would have a v neck, but I also don’t want any Janet Jackson moments with my 9 month old forever pulling my shirt down.”
And you might even surprise yourself, which is always kind of fun.
2. CAPSULES BY CLADWELL
The other tool I wanted to share with you is a newly launched capsules tool called, well, Capsules. Cladwell, the company that created it, reached out to me waaaay back in March of this year, shortly after Thurs was born, and we chatted a bit about the essence of the capsule trend and how they might better equip people with tools useful for practicing one. They then asked me to try out their tool and give them my honest feedback. I did, and now I want to share with you.
The Capsules tool, accessible via desktop or mobile, starts out by giving you a detailed breakdown of the steps you will take to complete your first capsule:
1. Closet cleanout
2. Self discovery
3. Your lifestyle
4. Edit and shop your capsule
Each step includes an even more detailed step by step breakdown and a video tutorial that accompanies it. To me the first step, closet cleanout, was very similar to any closet clean out process you’d Google: Be visual. Be thorough. Be honest. Start to identify characteristics of the clothes you actually wear and love.
The ‘self discovery step’ was an interesting addition to the process. It recommends making certain inspiration boards on Pinterest to help you identify your aesthetic style. I didn’t see how this tied into the tool at all (like how the tool utilized the pins on your boards), but I found it to be a very meaningful step in your own journey of finding and owning your style. I’ve used my Pinterest boards this way for over a year and half now and I find it keeps me focused and is a great way to reinvigorate my closet along the way.
Perhaps most important when pursuing any wardrobe is accounting and accommodating for ‘your lifestyle.’ This section of the tool surveys your current wardrobe needs. Are you at an office job? Do you work from home? How many boogers a day do you wipe? How much variety do you want in your ‘social life’ pieces? ;) I liked this section because it focused on reality and not on paring down to an impressive sounding number for minimalism’s sake. And as hinted at before, it helps identify what types of atmospheres your dressing for, but also what kind of variety you want to see in each of those spheres.
Once you make your way through all of that, the tool actually spits out a template of what your wardrobe could look like. This many tees, this many blouses, this many cardigans, this many sweaters, this many jeans, this many trousers, this many vests, this many over coats, etc., etc.
I’m not gonna lie, when I first saw my results my first thoughts were, “Um. No.” I went back and tweaked my variety factors in the life style section to perhaps more honest and less ideal answers and liked my results better. My number hovered right around that 75 number. Maybe it was closer than I thought? I never actually compared it to my current wardrobe clothing type breakdown but I don’t think it ended up being terribly off.
My take away? As the tool currently sits I see it being a great starting place for someone who has absolutely no idea where to begin.
When I decided to try out a capsule wardrobe I too felt overwhelmed with where to begin, but I also felt enough drive to just start winging it. I’ve admittedly made some costly mistakes along the way, but they were mine and I learned from them.
I can, however, fathom someone maybe wanting an *inkling* of a direction, a blueprint of sorts to start off with — in that case this tool may be for you. I would just keep in mind that no tool will ever be able to give you the answer. And that this process is exactly that: a process, that you and you alone will have to work through for yourself.
For those of you that have a few capsules under your belt, I’m not sure this is the tool for you — unless of course you kind of want to completely scrap what you’ve got. Again, as the tool stands now, I see this as more of a just getting started tool and not so much for fine tuning. That I’m afraid is up to our trial and error ;)
If you have a minute, watch this video they created about why they’re trying to [beat] fast fashion. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s a message you’ll be on board with. :)
And if you end up trying out either of the tools I’ve mentioned here, I of course want to know what you think! Leave your thoughts in the comments.
(EDIT: removed link to ‘Shop My Current Capsule page because I no longer exists. You can now view my current closet via the ‘Current Closet’ tab in the main navigation.)
*This post in not sponsored. Cladwell allowed me to demo their tool that would otherwise be a nominal subscription fee. I have not received compensation in any form from Stylebook or Cladwell for this post. All words and opinions are my own.