I used to get dressed up and go places. I thought about what I would wear depending on where I was going and who I was going to be with. If I was going to have a busy week, I’d plan out my outfits in advance so that I wouldn’t waste time dithering in front of my closet. Doing something with my hair other than just pulling it back, putting on a dress, nice shoes and adding a coordinating bag was a part of my daily routine that I really enjoyed. My best days often coincided with ones where I took the time to shop in my closet and put myself together in the morning. For me, there’s just something about feeling better when I’m dressed for success. Call me crazy, but my philosophy has always been I’d rather be overdressed than underdressed.
Alas, in the States, we are not currently living in a world where we’re getting up and going anyplace other than to the living room or backyard if we’re lucky enough to have one. (I know a number of states have opened up, but come … the numbers are telling us to stay at home to be safe and wear a mask when we go out) Anyhoo, I got an idea from an online friend who said she was thinking about doing a #closetchallenge. She said she was going to challenge herself to pick something new to wear everyday – not her comfy athleisure. No repeats. She joked and said, “All these clothes and no where to go but Insta stories.” She was totally right and got me to thinking … a Shop Your Closet Challenge could be fun. It would certainly get me out of of workout clothes and PJs for at least a week.
Quiet as it’s kept, I’m not quie as organized as I would like to be. And yes, I have A LOT of clothes. Like you, I have seasonal wardrobes. But, then I have vacation clothes – you know, Beach Vacation, Ski Vacation, European City Vacation, and so on. I’ve been threatening to get myself organized. Truly catalogue what I have and where it’s located (NYC, CT or storage). And then I remembered, I have an app that can help me keep track of things. It’s called Stylebook and if you follow the app’s directions and get your closet organized, it can truly make getting dressed easy peasy. And shopping one’s closet even easier!
The co-founder of the Stylebook app, Jess Atkins, happens to be a friend I met online via social media. Believe it or not, October 2019 was Stylebook’s 10th anniversary. I wanted to learn a little bit more about what prompted Jess to create the app; the backstory is below.
1. How did the idea come about?
So many reasons, but mostly because I adapted a few life experiences to solve my own problem of wanting to dress well on a budget. I always felt like I had a ton of clothes, but I didn’t like anything I had. It was because I just went shopping without a plan and I didn’t even know what I had at home.
2. You’re a co-founder, who did you partner with and why?
My husband Bill is the other half of our company! We’ve been friends since high school, started dating in college. We initially made Stylebook as a side project, although it was way more basic back then. It started to gain some traction so we began to to take it more seriously and decided to try to turn it into a real business. Bill is the reason we made an app in the first place! He always wanted to make his own software. We added more features, came up with a business plan, saved an emergency fund and were eventually able to quit our other jobs.
3. What in your background led you to creating the Stylebook app?
A lot went into the inspiration behind the app. My first job right out of college was in the art department at Lucky Magazine, and I also interned in the fashion closets at Vogue and Modern Bride Magazine. While in magazine publishing, I had to do a lot of manual clothing organization with paper and polaroids. I thought software could make it easier. I also saw that many stylish women actually do a lot of planning to cultivate their personal style. I saw editors planning outfits ahead of time with photos, creating inventory lists of what was in their shoe collection, etc. This was really eye-opening for me. These two experiences – plus my own need for wardrobe planning – sparked the idea!
4. What is your best closet organizing tip?
Don’t fight your habits! If you naturally gravitate towards jeans and a t-shirt everyday, don’t force yourself to wear sundresses just to fit in. Build on what you love and focus on better quality and fit. Stylebook tracks what you wear and automatically breaks down a list of your most and least worn items so you can get an accurate picture. Use this to purge items that you never wear and make you unhappy, but also use it to highlight unsung stars in your wardrobe. I always look at my most worn when I go shopping to make sure anything new fits in. The more you do this, the fewer clean outs you’ll have to do because everything will be part of a cohesive wardrobe.
Shop Your Closet Challenge
And now for the fun part! Jess and I have teamed up to co-host a Shop Your Closet challenge! Starting tomorrow, we’re challenging you to get up and get dressed in your “nice” clothes. Snap a photo of yourself, post it to your IG story and use the hashtag #epxstylebookapp for the next 5 days – Monday, July 20th – Friday, July 24th. We will pick 3 random winners based on who we find in the hashtag. The winners will each receive a Stylebook app download and a copy of Jess’ ebook The Whole Closet Method. See ya’ll in the stories!!
Stylishly yours, Kalyn
I’ve been a huge fan of the app since the first day I downloaded it, so I loved reading about how it was created. For me, Stylebook started off as something fun to play around with and invent fun outfits out of what already existed in my wardrobe, but it has truly helped me find my style, and for the first time ever I really appreciate quality over quantity. I cannot recommend it enough!