The one where I let an app dress me for a week

I've written before about the eternal struggle of getting ready in the morning. When I worked in advertising, I felt the need to put a little effort into my look since I was occasionally client-facing. Now that I'm tucked away in a cubicle in startup world, my look has further evolved into more of what I like to think of as "effortless." Effortless in the sense that, I put on jeans and a tee and that's as much effort as you're going to get.

Enter: Cladwell. I got an email from their founder announcing their new "outfits" app and loved the concept - each day, the app serves up three outfit combinations based on the weather and what you've tagged as part of your closet.

Unlike other closet curation apps like StyleBook (which I have used for years and also not used for years), you don't have to take pictures of your clothing to add it to your closet, Instead, Cladwell has curated 100s of articles of clothing and shoes to represent what's in your closet. They're not all going to be an exact match, but when "patterned blouse" pops up in my suggestions, I just choose from the 3 blouses I have that match that description. My "tie front blouse" is actually short sleeved. I know what it means. I use each piece as a suggestion, not a bible.

So I decided to do an experiment and let the app dress me for a week. I'll detail what I learned at the bottom, but here's what Cladwell served up for seven days of outfits:

Monday: Sunny, H 81‎°  L 50‎° 

app-1-monday.jpg

Today's outfit just took note of the high, which was looking to be a rather warm afternoon. However, my office tends to be pretty cold and it was breezy this morning, so I threw on a jacket over the suggested outfit of the day. See? I'm already improvising.

Top, Elizabeth & Clark // Pants, Old Navy // Shoes, Zara (similar)

Tuesday: Sunny, H 85‎°  L 65‎° 

I didn't really need a jacket today, but I liked the idea of this outfit and thought it looked cute. The bomber was actually useful during office hours, but I shed it for the evening when we went to a baseball game.

Jacket, StitchFix (similar) // Tee, Loft // Jeans, Express // Shoes, Adidas

Wednesday: H 72‎°  L 62‎° with Surprise Rain

Maybe the forecast said rain and I wasn't listening while getting ready, but today's shoes were not prepared for torrential downpour! I was fine most of the day (which I'm guessing the app was betting on), but the rain rolled in at 5 pm just in time for me to take off my taupe suede and walk barefoot to the car. No cute photos today, but the shoes were saved.

Shirt, H&M // Jeans, Banana Republic // Shoes, Steve Madden 

Thursday: Rainy, H 68‎° L 60‎° 

More pigtails for a cloudy, rainy, gross day. I actually worked from home this day, so I just snapped a quick pic before heading to the radio station to record. 

Sweater, Forever 21 (love this thing, on sale for $10!) // Jeans, JustFab // Flats, Gucci

Friday: Sunny, H 89‎°  L 80‎° 

Thanks to the humidity to the days before, Friday was steeeeamy. I stepped it up when deciding between my three outfits and went with a skirt. I had an event later that evening I changed into a dress for, so these shoes were able to do double duty.

Tee, H&M // Skirt, JustFab // Wedges, Forever 21 (similar)

Saturday: Sunny, H 80‎°  L 68‎° 

Another gorgeous weekend in the books. This is one of my favorite dresses to just throw on and go, so I almost ALWAYS wear it when the app suggests. Didn't really need the jacket during the day, but it got cooler and windy when we were patio'ing and it turned out to be a great thing to have.

Dress, Calson // Jacket, Gap // Wedges, JustFab

Sunday, Partly Sunny, H 84‎°  L 70‎° 

Definitely starting to feel more summery in the Natural State now that June is almost here, so I let it flow a bit for the weekend in a camisole, ripped jeans and wedges while we ran our typical downtown errands. 

Top, Loft // Jeans, JustFab // Wedges, Gianni Bini (similar)

So how did it go?

This was both a fun and interesting challenge. Since Cladwell is new, they definitely have a few things to work on - some of which they've already made changes to since I started working on this post. One of the main requests on their iOS App reviews is definitely more items - they've already added at least 100 more since releasing, and have a special form you can fill out to ask for specific items. I've got a request in for overalls.

They've also added the option to "refresh" an outfit directly from the suggestion each day, so if you like the general idea of an outfit but not a particular piece, you'll get new suggestions. You can also reset your three options for the day completely, or choose a particular item from your closet and see outfits with just that piece. Another pro I forgot to mention in the list? You can log these outfits and see stats on how often you wear what's in your closet. Of course, this doesn't really help if you're not wearing that exact combination for the day.

One big con for me is that their algorithm is still learning, so sometimes it'll suggest shorts mid-week when I'm supposed to be at the office, or a shift dress and heels on a Saturday. I hope to see them continue to tweak, and then offer further specialization to outfits as well. I think it would be a SUPER powerful app if you could customize it to your own needs - say, business casual outfits only for M-Th or only showing outfits with flats. If they develop a honed filtering system that helps you get the most out of your closet, and not just the outfit suggestions, this will be a home run.

The app is $4.99 / month currently, with a three day trial so you can give it a shot. It's definitely aimed at those who want to do the whole "capsule wardrobe made easy" thing, but taking the thinking part out of getting ready in the morning may be worth it in the long run! Let me know what you think if you try the app - this is a non-sponsored post, so I'd love to hear honest reviews from those of you who have tried and how you're making it work (or not) with your lifestyle.

UPDATE: I got this comment from Cladwell on some upcoming features and the exact item thing and thought I would share: Just so you know, now you CAN choose a specific item that you want to wear. Click that item in your closet, hit "show outfits" and then on each outfit it curates, there are three dots in the bottom right corner of each outfit. Click that, and hit "log this outfit" (So, more control that way). Yay! 
Also, we here you on some of your other cons! We are creating a new update where you can "categorize" your closet so that you can have different wardrobes for work vs. weekend. 
You'll also be able to edit outfits in the new update, so stay tuned!! That way, if you don't like the outfits you get or maybe want to swap out different shoes, you have more control. 

A Day in the Life of a (Part-Time) Style Blogger

I'd love the luxury of sitting at home trying on pretty clothes all day, having a photographer follow me around, and taking photos of all of my quinoa bowls. The reality is, I'm often scarfing down Subway while I sit in a radio studio to record my daily show during my lunch break from my 9-5 advertising gig. One hand is checking my emails on my phone, the other one is applying a fresh coat of lipgloss. It's a glamorous life, I tell you. But I'm a have your cake and eat it too kind of girl, so I secretly don't mind the hustle and bustle.

Because I'm always on the go, I've really been enjoying my Intel Tablet from Acer for blogging. I thought I might show you guys what all I use it for in a typical day.

I wake up most mornings with a to-do list longer than I am tall, so on those days I need a little extra help! I usually spend the first few minutes when I wake up browsing for ideas or looking at some of my old outfits for inspiration. It speeds up my closet time significantly!

When I'm feeling brave, I try and copy some eye makeup from a YouTube guru. The easiest way is to just watch on my tablet and try to emulate. I like to search for the exact shadow palettes I have - it makes it easier to follow along! This is the SmashBox Full Exposure palette, btw, and it's awesome.

Crap, I'm late. Again. I throw my tablet into whatever purse I'm carrying for the day (because it fits in ALL of them!) and run out the door, caffeine in hand.

After going through my morning work emails, I have a quick break to see how my blog post performed the day before. Google Analytics has a handy app for that very purpose, so I put together some reports and get an idea of what's working for my blog.

I decided to go out with friends instead of editing photos last night, so I have to do it between meetings. Ugh, there are a lot. Why did I make a weird face in half of them? I settle on 2-3 decent ones and pretend the rest don't exist. I upload my favorites to Dropbox and use the Adobe Photoshop app to adjust the exposure, color temp, and size. Then back to Dropbox it goes, so I can access it from my phone, tablet or any computer.

Before I head out to lunch, I insert my the photos into my content manager (I use SquareSpace) and try to think of something clever to say. I got nothing, so I talk about what I ate and the weather instead. Where's my Pulitzer?

Time to run through Sonic and grab a Diet DP. Oooh, I bet my Instagram followers are wondering what shoes I'm wearing today (not). I snap a quick selfie shot of my shoes (do we like #selfeet or #shoefie? It doesn't matter, I love them both).

Mid-afternoon, I've turned in my projects for the day and wander upstairs to the office kitchen to get a snack. Now's as good a time as any to post my blog link for the day to social media, so I lounge for a minute and post my links through the Facebook & Twitter apps. Oooh, 2 Retweets. I deserve another snack.

It's my friend Amy's birthday and we're all meeting up for dinner, but I'm early and don't want to go home and come back. So I grab a seat at the bar and read through some blogs on the Feedly app with a marg and some chips. I probably look like a nerd, but don't care. This is my favorite part of my day so far.

In bed by 10pm? This is an ambitious thought. Turns out, we're headed to Fayetteville for the weekend and I need a cute red dress for tailgating. I hop on the Asos app to see what I can find, and then use the Polyvore app to put together a plan for what goes in my weekender. At some point, the melatonin I took kicks in and I allow myself to fall asleep dreaming up new outfit ideas.

Truth is, this little Acer tablet has been with me everywhere since I got it! I know I keep talking about how convenient the size is, but it makes it so easy to do everything I need on the go, especially when I'm juggling a full day in addition to trying to blog. The bright, gorgeous screen for looking through blog pics and the quick processor are just a bonus. What are some of your blogging on-the-go secrets?

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Tech Chic :: Intel Tablet

I'm a gadget junkie. Laptop, desktop, tablet, mobile, wearable...if it has an internet connection and a plug, I'm in! Intel sent me this adorable Acer Iconia Tab 8 last month and I've been playing around with it ever since. It's portable, fast, and has a GORGEOUS screen. So I wanted to show you guys how I use my Intel tablet in every day life - work, play, and blog.

For Reading

Its small size and super crisp screen make this tablet perfect for kicking back and relaxing. I've been reading #GIRLBOSS lately on the Amazon Kindle app and can't put it down!

For the Perfect Shot

I love browsing Instagram on this tablet. For you tech geeks, the screen is a gorgeou 1920x1200 full HD resolution so it makes everything look great, and the 5mp back camera is perfect for snapping pics on the go. The front camera is 2mp, so it's a selfie machine.

For Rocking Out

I work in a bustling ad agency, so the office can get pretty noisy. Since I'm in a cube, I like to pop on some headphones when I'm writing to help me concentrate. I've really enjoyed having my tablet at work to listen to Spotify while I work.

For Whipping Something Up

I've also been using my tablet in the kitchen. I throw it in my purse for the trip to the store so I can check my list, then it's my little helper at dinner while I'm following my recipes. We've been using eMeals for two years now, and I couldn't live without it, so I was stoked to find out they had an app for Android.

For Everywhere

My favorite feature of the Acer tab - yes, it's powerful. Yes, it's pretty. Yes, it's fun to use. But it's ultra portability is what won me over. It's tiny enough to fit in even my smallest bag! I've been taking it with me almost everywhere and using my phone to tether it to wifi. It's been great for looking up info in meetings, asking friends for advice on a purchase over a glass of wine, or browsing Twitter while I wait for my dinner date. Basically, any time I want a larger screen than a phone.

I'm planning another post about how to blog with an Intel tablet later this month! Any gadget geeks out there that have questions about the Acer tab?

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.