Monday, March 25, 2013

How I Plan My Outfits: GCOGH

I've mentioned several times that I use the website Go Chic Or Go Home to help me plan out my outfits.  Style is not something that comes all that easy to me and I feel like it takes a bit of planning on my part to come out looking the way I want to for the rest of the world.  Is that just me?  So when I read on Audrey's blog, Putting Me Together and saw that she uses Go Chic Or Go Home (from here on out referred to as GCOGH) to help her plan her outfits and more, I was all about it cause heaven knows I need all the help I can get.  It's free to sign up and you can actually earn rewards buy using it.  All you do is request an invitation and you're on your way.  And I just want to add in here again, that GCOGH is not sponsoring me or paying me or giving me any free stuff.  I am sharing it purely because I love it and I think others would too.

Home

Home:
In the home section, you have a wall sort of like on Facebook, where you get updates on what the people you follow are up to.  It posts when someone you are following comments to someone or when they create an outfit.  Under the Home tab, you have several options on the side that can take you to some new places.
Home Options
Under the Boards section, you can go to your personalized boards, kind of like Pinterest boards.  Comments allows you to see anything you have commented on or anything people have commented to you about.  My Uploaded Photos will take you to all of your clothing that you have uploaded or linked to.  More on that later.  Ensembles will take you to every outfit you've created.  I think the rest are pretty self-explanatory so let's move on.

Explore Tab

Explore:
Under the Explore tab, you again have lots of different options along the left hand side.  Here you can explore in a Pinterest like setting.  You can look at outfit inspiration from other members and from all over the Internet all in one place.  If you find an outfit you like, you can "repin" it to one of your boards or just scroll through the different sections for inspiration.  I tend to like this better than Pinterest, for the simple reason that most of the photos you'll find are real life outfits that people would wear, with less high fashion stuff that's neat but not feasible for every day life.

Upload:
This tab is pretty simple.  Here, you can upload photos either from the web or from your computer.  I took pictures (or found links on the Internet from websites) of all of the clothes that I own.  Then this is the place to upload them to your account so you can start the real fun - creating ensembles.  Remember earlier, when I said I would come back to the My Uploaded Photos option under the Home tab?  Well now's the time!  In this section, you can see every photo you've added.  You can click each individual photo to edit it.

My Uploaded Photos
Also, if you click a photo, it will show you every ensemble you have created using that piece.  The great thing about that is you can really get a good idea of how versatile a piece will be.  For example, I recently purchased this navy blue polka dot pencil skirt from Target.  But I wasn't sure if it would be versatile enough to be a key addition to my wardrobe.  So before I bought it, I uploaded the photo from the Target website and built outfits using it to try to get an idea of whether I thought the piece would be a good addition to my collection.

Polka Dot Skirt Ensembles
After some playing, I was able to create 12 different outfits, both casual and work appropriate styles and to me, if I can make 10-12 different outfits with a piece, then that's a good sign that it's a pretty versatile addition to my wardrobe.  The heat thing about GCOGH is that you don't have to buy the piece in order to see if it will work with your other clothes.  It's all there in your virtual closet, whether you actually own it or not.

Create:
Create Ensemble
And now we are coming back to the ensembles discussion.  The Create tab is where you can see all of the items in your closet, laid out flat.  You can drag and drop items into the box at the bottom to create your ensemble.  If you don't like a piece, you can just click to delete it from the outfit.  Then once you've created the outfit, if you wear it and find that maybe you like one belt instead of the another,  you can go back and edit the outfit later without having to recreate the whole thing.  I know I've done that on more than one occasion.  Or you can add notes to it like "tuck in shirt" or whatever you want to remember.

This is my absolutely favorite part of GCOGH.  I have always planned my outfits for the week on Saturday or Sunday.  I used to stand in my closet, staring at a sea of garments, trying to decide what to wear.  It was hard to see everything I had because it was all crammed in to a small space.  Now I plan my outfits on the couch and I know what I'm looking for when I got to the closet.  I pull out all of my skirts, pants, shirts, necklaces, belts and whatever else I need for the week.  I hang them in a row, hooking belts or necklaces onto the top of the hangers.  (I just pull whatever shoes I'm wearing that day out the night before.)   And I'm all ready to go!  I'd say about ninety percent of the time, I'm really excited about the outfits I've selected too.

Once you're finished and you've created and named your ensemble, you can now find it by clicking the Home tab and then Ensembles.

Ensemble
So that's pretty much it!  And now I kind of really like the outfit I just made while playing around to get the screen shots for you.  I think we have a winner!

The downside of GCOGH is that you have to photograph and upload all of your clothes.  I'm not even going to pretend that it's not a huge task but I do have some tips.  If it's something you've purchased recently, you can just go to the website and upload the photo from the website, which is faster than taking them yourself.  Or I know some people just tackle four or five pieces a day of things they are trying to get more use out of.  I pretty much just photographed everything in one weekend and now when I get something new, I either photograph it right away or upload the photo from the website.  To me, the reward is worth it when you have outfits that you are truly excited to wear.

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