I have so many articles of clothing that it’s not uncommon for me to find a top or skirt in my closet and wonder aloud, “What the hell is this?” At some point, I bought it. I probably even tried it on or spent some time considering it while it sat in my online cart, and yet I have no memory of it. It’s like a stylish gift past me gave to future me, which is nice but unhelpful for actual outfit planning, to say nothing of the storage nightmare I’ve created for myself.
A few months ago, I saw a TikTok from a woman who started a little catalog of her outfits in her notes app and I started doing it, too. Now it’s a “trend” that is getting coverage all over the place—but it’s really just a simple way to remember what you’ve got and how it looks on your body to make getting ready for an event easier.
How to create a simple wardrobe catalog
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This lacks of the sophistication of Cher Horowitz’s iconic outfit selecting software, but is a barebones version of the same thing. If you have an iPhone, the capabilities for doing it are already built in. Find a full-length photo of yourself in a full-length outfit you like and lightly hold down the screen right over your body. The iPhone will select the body it detects, outlining it, and when you release your finger, you’ll have two options: “Copy” or “Share.” Hit copy.
Open up your notes app and create a new one. Put in a few sub-categories. Mine are “formal,” “going out,” “casual,” “workout,” etc. Paste your copied full-body shot into the note in the corresponding category. Be warned that the first time you do this, the picture will be full-sized, but if you hold your finger down on it, you’ll get options that include “Small Images.” Press that and the picture will become tiny, so multiple photo outlines can fit on one row under a subcategory. Whenever you want to see it full-sized, just press the picture again to enlarge it.
You can go through your camera roll and pick out other outfits, but also get in the habit of taking mirror selfies any time you get a new article of clothing. Try to keep these selfies uniform, too, because you can crop the pictures to only show your upper and lower half. For instance, if you have a certain top and want to know what it might look like with a certain pair of jeans, crop your original photo down to just your torso before copying the image over to the notes. Now, you can stack possible combos on top of each other at the bottom of the note to see how they might look together.
You can use this note as a master list of favorite outfits, which is what I do. It comes in handy, say, when you’re shopping and see a pair of earrings that might go great with a specific dress, but you just aren’t sure about the color. Pull up the note, consult the picture, and buy the earrings (or, don’t!).
It also works great for travel or special occasions. Create a separate note for a vacation, a bachelorette weekend, or a multi-day conference. Add in the outfits you’d like to wear to make planning on-the-go easy.
Add in shoes, accessories, or whatever else you want. Now you have inspiration—and a reminder of what you actually own—at your fingertips.