A new trend has taken over the fashion industry. With all the data we’re collecting on a daily basis – from screen time to step count – more and more people are digitally keeping track of their wardrobe. A practice which serves multiple purposes but that is primarily aimed at calculating the cost-per-wear of each and every item in your wardrobe. And although it might not have been invented with your average traveller in mind, it could well be the best way to pack effectively for your next business trip or holiday.
Essentially, people are making a digital inventory of their wardrobe, listing each and every item in it with its price and the number of times they’re wearing that item. Ultimately, by doing so, you can easily calculate the cost-per-wear of that item and figure out whether or not it was worth spending your money on. By figuring out the cost-per-wear of an item, you can find out that clothes that were initially pretty expensive turn out to be quite cheap in the end and the other way around.
Many apps are now specialising in the matter. Whering seems to be the best-known wardrobe tracking app and has seen a 34% year-on-year increase in uploads from users, but other apps, such as Cladwell work in a similar way. First, you take pictures of all your clothes and accessories, which are then automatically categorised – for example, pants, tops and shoes. Once all your items are uploaded, you can start creating outfits in a very moodboard-style way or you can ask the app to create an outfit for you, which you can adapt if want.
Ideally, every day you upload the outfit you’ve worn (or you can plan ahead with the calendar function) and by doing so, little by little, you’ll get the analytics of your wardrobe, such as which items you wear the most, which the least, colours you prefer or particular outfits you tend to repeat. After a while, it becomes clear which items you might no longer need, which you have to replace or which categories you prefer and could therefore prioritise in any future purchases.
Moreover, it’s a way to rediscover the things you already own. By doing so, you’ll hopefully be less tempted to go shopping for new clothes that might end up unworn at the back of your closet like so many others. And of course, if there’s anything you’re getting rid of, please don’t just throw it away: by reselling or donating, you’re giving them a chance at a new life.
Other than being a great app for organisation freaks and a way of trying to be more aware of your fashion consumption, apps such as Whering or Cladwell are great for frequent travellers. If you want to pack within ten minutes, all you need to do is have a look at your most-worn outfits, make a few adjustments if needed due to packing space, and you’re done. By looking at the outfits you’ll probably also be able to tell if those were meant as office outfits or rather off-time garments, information that’s pretty handy for your packing as well. In other words: how to never over-pack again while still having all the options you need when you’re away from home.