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App Review: “Closet” will organize your wardrobe, life

Closet app

Holiday parties are officially in full swing, and, for some, holiday attire is a necessity. So many are already rummaging through their wardrobes and panicking about how they’re going to remember what to wear to which party. But what if there was a way to avoid the last-minute panic that comes before going to an event, or even the morning ritual of trying to find something to wear for the day?

There are plenty of closet organizing apps in the App Store that promise to help you plan an outfit from your catalog of clothes hidden in your closet. But many focus on the fashion aspect of your outfits, trying to help you find something that’s fashion-forward more than it is trying to help you get your life in order. So “Closet – Clothing Organized” has attempted to fill that role. With features that let you photograph your entire wardrobe, build outfits, and save them into your Closet calendar, this app skips all of the fashion nonsense to help you pre-plan in an area of your life you may have been struggling with.

Closet app

Items

Without photos of separate pieces of your wardrobe, this app really can’t and doesn’t function. Start with the “Items” feature, where you can either add a preexisting photo of a piece or take one directly through the app. Before you begin, there are already categories within the Items section to help separate the different pieces, including Tops, Bottoms, Footwear, and Accessories. If you’d like to break these down even further (Cardigans, Vests, Socks, Scarves, Belts), you can add new categories within these preset ones or to add to them.

Items

Taking and adding photos of your garments is an easy, streamlined process that isn’t quite as time consuming as it sounds. Tap the category you want to add a garment to, tap the “+” button at the top right of the screen, then tap the camera icon at the bottom of the screen. You’ll be prompted to either take a new photo or select a preexisting one. When you choose to take a photo through the app, you are directed to camera mode where you take the photo, then asked you want to use that photo or retake it, then you can finally save it in your Items list. Unless you already happen to have a bunch of photos of your wardrobe in your camera roll, it seems like an unnecessary extra step to take all of your photos then upload them in the app. Skip a step and just take them within the app.

Rainboots

You can edit the name of the photo/item before you save it in your list, but it could be a nice addition to be prompted to name the item before saving it. However, when searching through your items, you search by looking at photos of your items instead of by name, so it’s not a completely necessary addition that should be made.

Closet

When sifting through the items you have saved in your categories, they show as thumbnail photos that you can tap to view larger. The really nice touch here is the options you have when opening the thumbnail to the larger version. You can view which outfits you have “assigned” this item to (more details on this in a minute), e-mail someone this photo (“Check out this new shirt I got!” or “Would this shirt go okay with these pants for the holiday party?”), and you can edit the category or name the item has.

Outfits

Here’s where the fun part comes in. Once you’ve added in all of the items you want, start building outfits. There are preset categories in the Outfits feature (Formal, Work, Casual) that you can add onto or create subcategories within.

Building outfits works much like adding items does. Choose a category to start with, then tap the “+” button. You’re prompted to either add items manually or put together an outfit using the item grid. It seems a bit confusing at first, but the item grid is really the best way to go. The item grid shows all of your categories of items, in row format, with all of your items shown in each row. Scroll to the left on each row/category to select an item to add into your outfit. For example, if you want to add a top to your outfit, scroll to the left in the “Tops” row until the top you want is highlighted in the main thumbnail. If you have other categories that you don’t want to include an item from in your outfit, just keep scrolling to the left until an “X” appears in the main thumbnail.

New outfit

To finish, you can edit the name of the outfit (“Holiday Work Party”) and tap the “Save” button.

Now that you’ve created an outfit, the items you’ve included in it will show as “assigned” to an outfit when you look at that garment in the Items feature. And, in my favorite feature of the app, you can assign the outfit you’ve built to a day in your Calendar feature.

Calendar

The idea of the Calendar feature is to help you stay organized with what outfits to wear when. Depending on your needs, this can work for just about anyone. If you’re constantly scavenging through your hamper to find something to wear in the morning when you’re already late for work, you could assign an outfit for each day of the week; all you’d have to do in the morning is look at your day in the calendar and find the selected pieces of your outfit. Furthermore, this could help when you’re doing laundry and have to narrow down what you can afford to wash (if your clothes pile up into mountains like mine do, when I have limited quarters to feed the machine). Or, if you’re using the app mostly to plan out outfits for special occasions, you can pre-plan outfits for specific days that require you to actually think a little fashionably when you normally don’t.

Calendar

Assign an outfit by selecting a day in the calendar and tapping the “+” button. You’re directed to the Outfits feature, where you can select your outfit for that day. Once you’ve added it to the calendar, your outfit shows below the calendar in small thumbnails of each item within the outfit. You can also click on that series of thumbnails to open up the items of the outfit into larger still images to flip through.

Other Features: Favorites/Stats/Packing Lists

Virtually everything in this app will be useful to whoever downloads it. One of the more useful, however, is the Packing Lists feature included in the Tools tab. With this, you can name a packing list and add either individual items or outfits to it. If you’re like me and packing for a trip is something you do when you wake up a few hours before your departure, this could be a seriously life-saving feature.

Packing list

The Favorites feature/tab in the app allows you to bookmark an outfit or item as a “Favorite” in your catalog. This probably doesn’t require an entire tab within the app (would be much more widely used if it were more like a starring option directly within an outfit), but it’s convenient to see all of your favorite items of outfits in one tab.

Also a feature that isn’t exactly necessary but could be convenient is the Stats feature. Contained in the Tools tab, here you can see how many outfits or items you’ve racked up in your “Closet.” At the moment, it’s just a tool that can guilt me into feeling as if I have too many clothes.

Recap & Conclusion

Price: $2.99 (*Hint: There’s a “Lite” version of “Closet” available for free; it’s the same as the paid version but with limits to how many items you can upload.)

Average iTunes review rating: 3/5

Our grade: A

Compared to other wardrobe management apps like “Pocket Closet,” this app isn’t quite as chic or reminiscent of the computerized closet in Clueless. However, that’s not the purpose of it. “Closet” is more geared toward those looking for some organization and pre-planning in their lives, perhaps more for those who aren’t so much concerned about their fashion choices as they are about planning ahead and making getting dressed as painless as possible. Well, mission: accomplished. “Closet” gets the job down of getting you and your wardrobe organized with its simple category and packing list features targeted at the busy worker who just needs to look put-together. No hassling with “pick me an outfit” or social networking features here. Just a streamlined approach to a not-so-simple task of getting dressed in the morning. Here’s hoping my pre-event ritual of trying on eight mismatched outfits before I find one I want goes a bit smoother, with some pre-planning and my iPhone app closet sidekick.

 

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