have had to do quite a bit of unintended shopping in the last few months. Due to a size change, I’ve had to clear out a huge amount of clothing that just no longer worked for me, and I also had to replace a lot of key and basic pieces. I have always been a more “buy what you like, especially if it’s on sale” type of shopper, and over the years I have amassed an eclectic wardrobe that I really enjoy. OK— to be fair there were way too many black dresses, but other than that I had outfits for pretty much any occasion and a solid foundation of basics. Cue my confusion and irritation when those basic pieces I relied on no longer fit correctly, and couldn’t be belted, tucked or otherwise willed into shape. Nothing for it, I needed to shop.
However, I was having a concurrent personal style shift, where the clothing I was used to wearing (lots of black and flowy things, goth accents, skater dresses and quirky pieces) no longer suited the more classic and minimalist aesthetic I was craving. I was looking for a more minimalist and (gasp) grown up style.
I knew I needed to invest in new things, but I didn’t want to waste money on garments that I couldn’t build a decent capsule wardrobe from – I didn’t want one-off fashion pieces, I wanted the leggings, t-shirts, jeans, basic skirts, classic white button downs and black dress pants that anyone needs to have a workable modern wardrobe. Very happily around that time I ran into the wardrobing app/website Finery.
How it Works
I’ve seen Finery described several times as Cher’s wardrobe from Clueless brought to life, and it’s almost that. You sign up for an account at their website (finery.com) and then (!) allow the app permission to access your email. (I KNOW!) It scans your email account looking for notifications from certain e-tailers that you’ve made purchases, and automagically adds them to your Finery account. What? I know! When you next log in you have a notification and can add/accept or reject any of the items they found.
That alone is amazing and worth the price (free) of entry. Most other wardrobe apps make you upload your own photos, and it’s tedious as all heck. If the items are a few years old you can’t find the original vendor images, and any photos you take with your cell phone are going to make your item look like unwearable garbage. (Trust me, I am a professional photographer and without a dedicated photo setup the cutest thing you own will look like an old sack.)
You can, of course, also add items manually with your own garbage pics or images you find online. The system did really well for me because I keep most of my old order emails, so I got a good headstart in adding items.
Once your items are added you check to make sure that they’re tagged appropriately, and then (theoretically) when you click on them they will offer style options gleaned from other people’s Instagrams, in which they’re wearing similar looks.
There’s also a feature called “Local Style” that purports to show you fashion inspo based on what others in your city are wearing. This must really depend on how well the app is adopted in your local area, or the amount of fashionistas per capita, because when I clicked that link for St. Louis, it showed me women wearing pink dresses in Brighton (UK), Charleston and San Diego. Also it refers to what people are wearing “today” and at least one of the posts was from March 30. So.
- Items added by technological wizardry
- Don’t have to take your own photos
- Can upload your own photos if you want to
- Great overview of your wardrobe, which helps you hone your style*
- The service is amazing, if you have a trouble ticket they get back to you within a day and fix your issue
*From using this service I really got a strong sense of what I love right now, and how I dress right now. Which, you would think I would know that already, but seriously seeing all your favorite pieces all together really helps. Like, I am clean cream/white/black and denim most of the time. I like stripes, but not as much as I used to, and I love polka dots. These are the pieces I love and that appeal to me aesthetically. Now when I see something that I am interested in buying, I imagine it as part of my Finery feed, and it if it would stick out like a sore thumb I don’t buy it. That saves me lots of cash, because so many one-off quirky things are great to look at, but don’t have a place in my closet.
- iOS only, no Android. – This is a big negative, because us Android users have to use only the desktop version, and that blows. No updating on the go, no checking from your phone. Boo.
- No ability to drag and drop to reorder items in your main feed. I would like to be able to group items or reorder them, but they are always stuck in the order you added them.
- Can’t assemble a Polyvore-style outfit using the app. That would sure be handy to put all the pieces you want to wear in a day next to each other
- Recommendations are off. Seriously off. The local recomendations for sure, but in addition pretty much 90%+ of my recommendations come from plus sized style bloggers. While I appreciate the inclusion, I don’t ONLY take fashion inspiration from other plus sized women, most of the style grams I follow are not plus sized. There is no setting or option to turn this off, and I am assuming most straight sized women are not getting so many plus sized looks in their feeds.
- The service is good, but you do have to ask for help too often. The app went through on its own and deleted all my clothing from one store. Why? It’s a mystery. They could restore those items, but not explain why that happened. This also left me with several “dead” items in my wardrobe that I had to ask them to delete manually (they did, promptly)
Finery is amazing. I love it. It’s saved me money by helping me identify what I need and know what I am looking for if there’s a sale (seriously, ASOS has a 20% off sale this weekend and I am only buying one new pair of leggings, because currently there aren’t any holes in my wardrobe. Now that’s magic.) It’s helped me refine my own personal style and tastes, and helped me let go of items that were sitting unworn in my closet. Now that I look at my wardrobe in total I could see WHY they were unworn, they were cute but not my style. Let someone else love them. I think if you’re an iOS user you should definitely check it out, and if you’re an Android user you should consider it, but know it is glitchy.
So what do you think, will you give Finery a try? Is there another virtual wardrobe or style software that you love? Share in the comments!