How a lot of work (& a little money) got me a new work wardrobe

Stylebook website

Stylebook is a free app to mange your wardrobe

Near the end of Summer I was faced with the prospect of going back into an office full-time and quietly panicked about not having anything to wear. I still had many of my clothes from my last office job but it had been so long since I had worn them I wasn’t sure what kind of shape they were in.

That anxiety was what made me jump when I came across Stylebook.

Pretty much anyone with an interest in fashion and a Pinterest account knows about Polyvore, that website that lets you put photos of clothing and accessories together to create a collage of an outfit. Stylebook is a free app that lets you do that with your own clothes.

I immediately saw the possibilities in having an inventory of my wardrobe to see what I might need to get and a place to record good combinations.

Work, Work, Work all the time


A Polyvore Lookbook

So this is where the ton of work came in. Before you can play with the electronic closet, first you have to put your clothes in it. I started by trying on everything I owned, putting the discards in a pile and making notes on things that needed to be done. I then set up a makeshift photo studio with a bright white tablecloth I scrounged up and took photos of all my clothes and accessories. Broken up into days when I had time and sunlight, it took a couple of months all told.

Mixed in with the photo-shoots was processing. The app has a built-in editor that will let you take the background out of a photo but it’s pretty primitive and there’s no way to adjust colors. Even making sure I had as much natural light as possible, almost all my photos needed color adjustment to be true to life. There are a lot of photo editors out there, Gimp is free and has a ton of tutorials.

After all that it was pretty easy to get the photos into the app. I used iMessage to send the finished images to my iPad, then copied them into the Stylebook app. If you have a pc, you can just email them to yourself. Just tap and hold on the photo and select copy from the menu that pops up. Then switch to the Stylebook app, tap “+ Item” in the bottom left-hand corner, “Add Clothing”, and “Paste”.

It comes pre-populated with categories but you can edit them and add your own. Once an item is in you can also add metadata like color, manufacturer, fabric and there’s a text box for random notes.

Doing all this told me what I had and gave me an idea of what I need to get next (I buy my own Christmas presents so that’s pretty much figured out). It also gave me a to do list to make some stuff I wasn’t wearing better for me.

A Little More Work and Some Money

The camisole straps that had been shortened with safety pins for years got sewn down. So did the belt on the dress that never stayed in place. I have a pair of really cute shoes that I never wore because they weren’t comfortable. I found a really strange way of stretching them on Pinterest. It worked so I have basically a new pair of shoes for free.

Next were a pair of skirts I never wore because they were too long. I took them to be altered and have a pair of new skirts for about $20 each, including a black pencil skirt which fills one of the holes in my wardrobe. I also have a problem with lack of color so I found a couple of inexpensive statement necklaces.

And Time to Play

Inspiration ScreenshotThere’s a great feature called “Packing List” where you can add outfits and create a visual list of everything you need to take to wear them.

There’s another feature called “Inspiration” where you can save images with categories like “Blogs,” “Runway,” and “Lookbooks”. I created a new one called “Selfies” I’ve been trying on outfits to see if they worked together and taking pictures so I remember. You can add a photo from “Inspiration” into an outfit like the Polyvore shot above. It helps me to be able to see how the clothes look on me.

It was a lot of work to get my real closet duplicated into a virtual one but it’s really paid off already. I did a couple of more marathon sessions where I tried every work top on with every cardigan and blazer. I created outfits in Stylebook with the ones that worked so I’ve got plenty of outfit ideas for Fall and Winter. I’ll have to go shopping in the Spring for more office-appropriate warm weather clothes but I’m good for now.

October 14, 2014

Plus Size Stores

Just putting out a list of places to look when I need to shop for clothes



September 10, 2014

dear fatty logo

As a result of all of this musing about satiety, I have made a few changes in my way of eating that I think have helped. I try to eat a lot more vegetables, as 1) the physical feeling of fullness does contribute to satiety and vegetables provide that without adding many calories, and 2) fiber helps to slow down digestion, as I said above. I’ve also incorporated lean protein and whole grains (which have protein and fiber present instead of only the pure carbohydrate portion) for similar reasons. This is how I’ve been losing weight without the pain of having to go on “a diet”; I still get to eat a lot of food, but since my blood sugar is far more regular now, I don’t feel the constant need to be eating. I physically feel full after meals without having eaten more than I will burn off in a day.

via Are Our Bodies Really Built for Satiety? | Dear Fatty.

This makes so much sense to me. It’s hard for me to do because there always a ton of sweets in the house but I keep trying.

Retro Rack: The eShakti Dresses Arrive, Gail’s Report!

eShakti is an online store where you can customize your order for just $8 with your measurements and (depending on the garment) your preferences for length, sleeves and neckline.

Besides being one of my favorite writers, Gail Carriger is a devoted fashionista and knowledgeable sewer with her own wardrobe challenges so I was happy when she said she’d placed and order and anxious to see her review.

A custom-sized dress from eShakti

I’m going to cut out all the suspense right away, and tell you my feeling instantly. I know, bad storytelling.

I am THRILLED!!!!!!

See the full review (good and bad) at Retro Rack: The eShakti Dresses Arrive, Gail’s Report!.

July 8, 2014

So stoked about the Hobby Lobby ruling today. Officially going to incorporate myself so I can get a religious exemption for my student loans debt they violate my deeply held religious conviction that all debts are supposed to be forgiven every seven years, as per the book of Deuteronomy.

via Seanan’s Tumblr | recoveringhipster: So stoked about the Hobby….

Mexican Rice Burritos

Needed to make something to take to work for lunch and this is what I came up with from the fridge/pantry.

  1. Cook 1lb ground beef with rough diced onion, bell pepper, salt, pepper, Cumin, Parsley, Red Pepper.
  2. Drain and empty into a bowl.
  3. Cook 4 cups Minute Rice (what I had) with 2 cups water, 2 cups tomato sauce and seasoning.
  4. Mix the meat and veggies in with the rice.

At this point you can do several things: eat as is; layer the meat and rice in a glass dish with cheese and corn chips to bake for a casserole; roll in a tortilla with cheese and refried beans for a burrito.

I did the last as the handiest way to eat on the go.

June 13, 2014

Mark Bittman: Crisp Pan-Fried Potatoes (Home Fries) | Shine Food – Yahoo Shine

June 13, 2014

when referring to people, use “glitch” instead of “bitch”. call them glitches. say theyre being glitchy. not only do you get to avoid using a misogynistic slur, you can also imply that their negativity is an anomaly in the web grid of your life and thus needs to be patched

via the meerkat’s window – cool cyberpunk tip – cool cyberpunk tip.

It’s not a bad idea to measure a room before you go out and buy a bunch of new furniture. And if you’ve got an iPhone, that becomes less of an ordeal because you can trade your tape measure for this slick app called RoomScan. It automatically generates floorplans by simply tapping your phone on every wall.

via Just Tap Your Phone On Every Wall and This App Will Draw a Floorplan.