Flinging open my closet doors reveals an army of clothes, diligently waiting like good little soldiers, stacked tightly side-by-side in my tiny reach-in closet, waiting for me to choose. Except, the seemingly endless supply of tops and bottoms means that many of those pieces will be waiting, and waiting, and waiting for their turn. That’s because a once-over of my closet usually leaves me feeling overwhelmed by the variety, causing me to continuously wear the same things, or spend too much time working really hard at putting together a “special” outfit.
With a solid 100 articles of clothing in my closet, and at least 20 pairs of shoes, I’m what you might call the “perfect candidate” for adopting a capsule wardrobe using the Cladwell app.
Whether you’re baffled with the challenges of wardrobe decision-making, overcome with closet clutter, trying to cut down on needless spending, or just looking for a way to create a more conscious collection of clothes, then a capsule wardrobe is the way to go. And if the thought of decluttering your closet by paring down the selection to a scant 30 to 40 or so pieces scares you, you’re not alone. The anxiety that accompanies taking the capsule wardrobe plunge is completely natural, but with Cladwell you’re actually able to track what you wear the most, so you don’t accidentally banish treasured pieces.
A personal fashion crisis, coupled with his affinity for the Mint.com financial app, served as Blake Smith’s inspiration for creating Cladwell. The hedge fund analyst turned entertainment recruiter turned minimalist fashion expert arrived at his destination somewhat serendipitously after spending a lot of time traveling for his former career. The demanding schedule, coupled with hotel hopping and the pressure to look his best when meeting with Hollywood clients, meant his travel wardrobe needed to be tip-top. That’s when he remembered the ease of the Mint.com app and longed for a comparable personal stylist app that took the decision making and guesswork out of the fashion conundrum equation.
Similar to the Cladwell app, Smith’s approach to being interviewed is rhetorical in style, often using his words to make a statement, as opposed to funneling information in a meaningless way. Straight and to the point, when asked what it is about a capsule wardrobe that he likes so much, Smith responded, “What is it about overconsumption that our world likes so much?” Believing it’s important to search within when it comes to assembling a capsule wardrobe, he went on to point out that the ideas “How do I live? And how do I dress for how I live?” are two very important self-reflection questions required to be successful when transforming one’s closet.
Smith believes Cladwell is ideal for the young professional whose “appearance matters in their work life, as well as in their social life,” pointing out that “the average woman spends 15 minutes deciding what to wear.” For a busy working person, whether the demands come from school, family, or professional avenues, spending that kind of time on just choosing an outfit (I know I can easily go beyond that), is totally wasteful. With Cladwell, the time and frustration (oh, hello bazillions of hangers and clothes now strewn all over my bed) can be drastically reduced.
To those who are shopping and fast-fashion addicted, there’s hope for you yet! You see, even Smith knows there’s a way to appeal to serial shoppers, and that’s with novelty. By posing the question, “Hey, have you ever thought about wearing that item in a different way?” Cladwell is capable of competing with the “sense of novelty,” as Smith puts it, by offering daily inspiration for its users.
After signing up and subscribing for a nominal (totally worth it) fee, sifting through the app’s clothing selection, and choosing the items that look similar to those you already own, Cladwell sends you push notifications every morning with outfit suggestions based on what you have in your closet, what you’ve already worn, and the local weather. As for wearing the same thing many different ways, it’s as simple as selecting the item from the menu, like a t-shirt or blazer, and a variety of exhaustive styling options will be at your fingertips.
These aren’t just random ideas thrown together, either. Cladwell’s team of stylists work behind the scenes to create realistic and fashion-forward options for maintaining a capsule wardrobe. Additionally, when you are ready to shop, the app helps you make responsible purchases, by allowing you to test what you might purchase against what you already own.
Currently, the app is only available for iOS users, but when asked about the possibility of an android compatible app, Smith replied, “I’m not supposed to make promises on this, but it is one of the next things on our roadmap, so I would expect that in the coming year we will have android live, as well.”
Well, Blake, I’m holding you to it, because I’m more than ready to cut back on clutter and take the guesswork out of what to wear. Until then, my closet and I will be patiently waiting.
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