If you’ve read some of my posts, you know that I love to gather data as a way to quantify actions. (See post about how many steps the Inca Trail really takes or the payoff return when investing in reusables.)
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Lately, I’ve been obsessing over the Cladwell app to log my outfits. So I am not a fashionista, far from it, but I like nice stuff and have come a long way from a walk-in closet full of clothes I never wore. Earlier this year, I took on project333 for the first time and found a lot of peace with dwindling my wardrobe to only 33 items. Now I’m not as exact with 33 as I could be, but I know it’s going well when:
I can put things back in the closet without needing to push clothes around.
I can actually close my closet.
My mother compliments my outfit choices.
My bank account is happy to not be spending (and wasting) a lot of money on fast fashion.
All of my clothes fit me well.
There are not a lot of unused clothes being dumped on chairs in my bedroom.
I can walk into the mall without needing to buy that cute shirt on sale.
I can pack for an international trip within a few hours notice.
I can pack for a long weekend with just a duffel bag.
I can be ready in a manner of minutes.
For my fall capsule wardrobe, I’ve made it a point to enter all of my pieces on to Cladwell and am consciously logging all of my outfits to see how much of it I really wear. We did have a lot of weather fluctuations so have found my summer and fall wardrobe crossing over which was fine because most my clothes span multiple seasons.
A bit more about Cladwell for the uninitiated. Cladwell offers an app that allows you to basically enter your entire closet into the application. You can choose to create capsules for a season, a trip, for work vs. play. Currently, I have one for Fall, Summer and Active. Each day, Cladwell will provide 3 outfit recommendations based on the weather. You can choose to find other combinations or modify what’s been presented and select your own outfit. Each day is also the opportunity to log your outfits. As you log each item, Cladwell's unique algorithm adjusts over time to present you tailored outfit options. *Note that this is not just for women, men can use this app too. I may or may not be trying to convince my husband to do the same so that he doesn't end up buying the same kind of shirt over and over again.
For me Cladwell provides a few benefits:
The ability to present different outfit combinations that you may not have thought of thus extending your wardrobe and expanding your style.
The ability to see what you already have. Because you have to log everything in your closet, you start noticing duplicate items or very similar looking items which raises a red flag that you probably don’t need to purchase that third similar looking item.
The ability to see which of the clothes you actually wear. Yes, because you are logging daily outfits, you now actually see what you are using which informs what to purchase next time or informs favorites to invest in.
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For this post, I am going in-depth on Benefit #3. Why? Because I talk a lot about minimalism and how we really only use 20% of what we have, I wanted some proof that this was true and what better way than to actually see real data. Cladwell aims to simplify our morning and who doesn't want that? We don't realize that each item we own takes time and effort to maintain.
I started my Fall capsule wardrobe in October so I still have many days to collect data, but I thought I would start with a few of the things Cladwell is tracking for me now. Right now, despite all of the beautiful and stylish Fall outfits being marketed, I find that I have what I need to wear. I'll have a follow-up at the end of December to look at the final numbers so stay tuned.
First up, a denim jacket that I found in my parents attic. It must have belonged to one of my sister's or my mom's, but it was in perfect condition so why buy new when you can use something pre-owned. This is already becoming a staple in my wardrobe for this fall season. It's light so it was easy to have on especially during the milder days.
If we look at the stats, we can see I've worn it 6 times already and it shows me the last worn date. Pretty nice right. It also shows up the possible outfit combinations it goes in which now means I have no excuse when I complain I have nothing to wear.
Casual Slip On Sneakers
The second item I want to look at is my everyday sneakers. Already worn 11 times. Had I been tracking my summer wear, we would have seen this sneaker almost every day. So easy to put on and take off and it has already paid for itself. I've owned these for over 2 years. While they are getting ragged, I love them so much and they go with everything that I will probably consider getting a very similar pair. After all, the proof in the numbers says I wear these a lot.
Black Knit Sweater
I bought this Theory sweater on ThredUp using my credit. It was a great deal for me so I've been waiting for it to cool down so that I can finally wear it, but alas, Fall is still pretty mild so I am waiting patiently. It's a very cute sweater and made of natural fabric to it's very soft and doesn't itch at all.
Sorry that this post is open ended, but you get the idea. Consider tracking your current wardrobe and see what items you really wear for the month and beyond. Doing so will inform your future buying decisions which may be good as the holidays approach. Additionally, save yourself a few minutes a day and let an app put your outfits together, after all, we already rely on recommendations algorithms from Netflix and Amazon to show us our next binge worthy show, why not do this and solve those "I have nothing to wear" mornings . If you have used, I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you are interested, sign-up. It's around $3.34 a month if you choose the yearly plan. That's the price of an espresso in NYC. Super inexpensive and will save you time, money and stress. Proof is in the numbers so try it out and and look at the data.
Update October 2018: Cladwell is free for a limited time. It is only available for iOS though so hopefully they get that updated sooner rather than later as I think they are missing a key piece of the market.