I started using the Stylebook app during my freshman year of college to keep my clothes organized and put together outfits inspired by Pinterest without having to take several items out of my tiny dorm closet and messing up my room. While my closet has changed over time, I’m still using the Stylebook app every day to try out different clothing combinations and learn more about fashion in a way that works for me. Here is how I use the Stylebook app with low vision, and my favorite tips for setting up a Stylebook closet.
How Stylebook works
Stylebook is an iOS/iPadOS app that allows users to create their own digital closet by adding pictures of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and shoes to their device. Users can then arrange the items into outfits, create packing lists, document outfits on a calendar, add clothing notes, and use a variety of other tools to get insight about their closet and explore different outfit ideas. Stylebook is available for a one-time purchase of $4.99 on the App Store and does not require an account or internet connection, however users can back up closet data to iCloud to avoid losing access to items or transfer Stylebook data to another device with Bluetooth.
- Stylebook on the App Store (apple.com)
- Stylebook Men on the App Store (apple.com)
- How I Back Up Mobile Devices
Using Stylebook with assistive technology
As of publishing time, the Stylebook app is not accessible with VoiceOver, but does support the Speak Text option for reading text labels out loud and works well with Zoom. After about a month of using Stylebook, I memorized the layout of the application and rely on clothing images and color to identify items/lists, and don’t necessarily read the text labels on items.
Setting up the Stylebook app
Admittedly, the Stylebook app takes a few hours to set up for the first time, since users will have to upload pictures of their clothing and organize items by category/sub-category. There are infinite customization options for how to organize clothing- I go into more detail on how I organized categories in the next section. Stylebook recommends that users start with their most-worn clothing items and add more items over time.
Organizing items by category
Stylebook has a few default categories and sub-categories for organizing clothing, which I have edited over the years to match my lifestyle and real-life closet organization. Users can create a category by selecting the “Edit” button on the Closet homepage and then selecting “+ Folder” to add a new category, or by tapping on a category and selecting “Add a Subcategory.”
My current categories/sub-categories include:
- Accessories: Necklaces, Earrings, Scarves
- Tops: Short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, Long sleeve, Sweaters, Sleeveless, Sleeveless-Casual
- Dresses: Sleeveless, Sleeveless- Work/events, Short sleeve, Short sleeve- Work/events, 3/4 sleeve, Long sleeve, Formal
- Layers: Cardigans, Jackets/Blazers, Dress Cardigans, Vests
- Bottoms: Jeans, Skirts, Pants
- Shoes: Boots, Casual, Flats
Adding items to the Stylebook closet
Stylebook has multiple options for importing images of clothing, including:
- Taking photos with the camera
- Choosing images from gallery
- Copy/pasting from clipboard
- Import from web/copying photos from a link
Images can be imported by opening a sub-category within the closet and selecting the plus icon. Once a user imports an image, they are taken to an editor that provides options for setting a transparent background and erasing other visual details so the item is in focused. Options for removing items include an automatic background eraser, a manual eraser tool that can be adjusted with a slider, and a tap-to-erase tool that can also be adjusted with a slider and makes a given color area transparent.
Since I have low vision and have trouble taking photos, one of the “hacks” that I used to make the Stylebook clothing import process faster was to look up items on the ThredUp website from my favorite brands and copy/paste the images for items I already owned or similar looking items into my Stylebook closet. ThredUp items are photographed against a white background and on a mannequin that can easily be made transparent/erased, which works well for creating Polyvore-style outfit collages.
Another option is to copy/paste store product listings for online items, which is what I do for shoes and jewelry- my favorite stores use minimalistic white backgrounds for product listings, which makes it easy for me to import items into Stylebook.
Users can rearrange items in their closet by tapping the “Select” button at the bottom of a sub-category and tapping on an item, then holding it down and dragging it across the screen. Once users are done rearranging items, they can tap the “Done” button.
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Clothing details can be accessed by tapping on a clothing item in the closet and selecting the notepad icon at the bottom of the screen. From there, users can edit or view details about their clothing items and add care instructions or other tags such as color, fabric, size, season, brand, and status (i.e available, laundry basket, etc). Users can also view how many times they have worn an item as documented on their Stylebook calendar, as well as view outfits where the clothing item has been used.
Creating an outfit/Look
One of the most fun parts of using Stylebook is the ability to create outfits or Looks by combining two or more items from the closet and arranging them to create an outfit. Looks can also be organized into categories for weather, occasion, clothing style, or other custom labels set by the user. Users can create a category by selecting the “Edit” button on the Looks page and then selecting “+ Category” to add a new category
Users can create a Look by selecting the “Add to Look” option when viewing an item in their closet, or by going to the Looks section and selecting the “+” icon in the top right corner. Another option for creating Looks is the Outfit Shuffle function that is next to the “+” icon, which allows users to select items from various categories in their closet and randomly generate outfit combinations.
When creating a Look, users can rearrange different clothing items and use gestures such as pinch-to-zoom to resize clothing, or double tap on clothing items for more options such as manual resize, send to back, or view clothing details. Once a user saves a Look, they have the option to view outfit details, move the Look to a different folder, clone/duplicate the Look and create a new outfit, add the Look to their calendar, delete the Look, or share it in a third party application.
Using the calendar feature and packing list
One of the fun parts of the Stylebook app is that users can document what they wore on a given day with the calendar feature. Users can add outfits to the calendar either by opening the Calendar section of the app and tapping on the day they want to add an outfit to, or by selecting an item from the Closet or Look sections and pressing the calendar icon at the bottom of the screen.
Another helpful feature available within Stylebook is the Packing List, which allows users to add outfits or clothing items to a list and create a checklist of items to pack- items that are used an outfit are automatically added to the packing list. This was really helpful when I was packing for a tech internship and needed to find items that I could wear in multiple ways.
Other features available within the Stylebook app
Stylebook has several dozen features available for users, though some of the others that I use less frequently include:
- Inspiration- save images from the camera roll, copy/paste from clipboard, or import from websites that can serve as inspiration for future outfits
- Shop- use the Clipper tool to save items from popular store websites and put together outfits based on existing closet items
- Stylebook image catalog- great for users that are still building their Stylebook closets and want some sample images to experiment with
- Outfit notes/tags- these can be used in keyword searches later with the Stylebook search function
More tips on how I use the Stylebook app with low vision
- Planning outfits in Stylebook is a relaxing activity for me, and I often plan outfits a few days in advance so that I am not overwhelmed with having to make decisions in the morning
- Users with low vision may find it easier to see clothing in Stylebook compared to their closets because it is easier to see details of items in photos/with consistent lighting
- Stylebook has two apps that provide identical functionality, one is marketed as Stylebook and the other as Stylebook for Men. The only difference between the two apps is their icon.
- I use Stylebook on my iPad as I love the larger screen size, though it’s worth noting the app can only be used in portrait/vertical orientation