Students Say No to Styling Apps

Thomas Chou
Closet, Cloth and StyleBook — all outfit-planning apps — give styling tips digitally. Some apps even allow one to choose looks ahead of time and save them for future dates.

Cher Horowitz’s outfit machine from “Clueless” is enviable. With the touch of a button, outfit options appear on the screen, giving Cher a visual of what she looks like in it, until she finds the perfect outfit. While not everyone can afford to have a revolving machine and digital interface installed in their tiny NYU dorm room closets, new closet-organizing and outfit-planning apps might be the next best thing.

With the creation of apps like Closet, Cloth and StyleBook, closets can now be catalogued digitally. All three of these apps require the user to take pictures of the pieces in their closet and file them under the appropriate category, like jackets, dresses or shirts. Some of the apps even have calendar features, so users can put together looks ahead of time and assign them to future dates. These apps also come with a digital stylist feature, where the app puts together outfits in the user’s closet matched by color or whatever the user chooses to set the criteria as.

While these apps seem convenient, do people really want to take the time to take photos of all of the items in their closets just to plan ahead? Is there really any difference in planning outfits ahead of time mentally, rather than cataloguing them in an app? SPS freshman Isabelle Robinson doesn’t believe the apps are useful.

“It seems practical in design, but I don’t think I’d actually use them that often,” Robinson said. “I trust myself to be able to style myself everyday — I don’t really see the need for an app to do it for me.”

LS freshman Brenda Leal agreed. She said that app users would have to be the sort of very organized, disciplined people who don’t spontaneously experiment with their wardrobes.

“These apps seem like the apps I would download once to play around with, and then never use again,” Leal said. “I’m too lazy to actually plan my outfits out so far in advance, and remember to check the app everyday. What if something comes up, and I can’t wear the outfit I planned?”

While these apps might be interesting or intriguing to try out, they are unlikely to catch on. Planning outfits ahead of time takes self-discipline and self-restraint, and being able to stick to those outfit plans requires discipline and focus. It would be too easy to just give up, click away and ignore the fashion calendar. Although personal stylists are a tempting luxury, it doesn’t seem like these apps will truly be able to fulfill that role. People will just have to plan their outfits the old-fashioned way and wait for the next app to be developed.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 24 print edition.

Email Thomas Chou at [email protected]

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