It can be impossible to know if you’re dressed properly for the temperature, until you go outside and confirm that, yes, you were the only one silly enough to wear shorts in the unseasonably frigid breeze.
Cloth is a fashion app--a way to share your daily wardrobe over social media--but it’s their latest update that has our attention. They’ve added weather information to your catalog of clothing. So whenever you snap a shot of what you’re wearing, it will automatically be tagged with temperature metadata. In the future, all you have to do is click a “Hot” or “Chilly” icon, and you’ll see all of the clothing you have that can match the temperature. (And hopefully, something in that collection is actually clean.)
Those categories are an important component in keeping the experience simple: Cloth only tags your outfits with the categories Hot, Warm, Chilly, Freezing, Rain and Snow (rather than 45 degrees and sunny or 65 degrees and cloudy). These categories are automated and standardized, as Cloth pulls the temperature from Wunderground, meaning that 75 will always be warm; you can’t screw your system up by mislabeling. It’s a pretty neat idea translated into what the company calls “glanceable information”--a personalized approach to Swackett, if you’ve heard of that clothing forecast app--but it could go so much further than it does.
My own personal problems of dressing myself stem from humidity crossed with wind chill…it’s those in between temperatures and outfits that are so tough to coordinate, the (should-I-bring-a?) sweater weather that necessitate a clothing forecast where a weather forecast might not do. At the moment, Cloth only assesses the temperature itself, not all of these “feels like” conditions that are so vital to proper attire. Though as founder Seth Porges tells me, there’s no real limit to the information lurking in Wunderground’s API, promising that “if people want it, we’ll add a ‘Dust Storm’ category.”
Also somewhat oddly, the system doesn’t prevent you from reinforcing your own (potentially poor) outfit choices. If you wear a sweater when it’s “hot,” the sweater will be automatically tagged as hot-weather apparel. You can go back in later and retag your outfit with a different suitable temperature, manually, but maybe a “was your outfit too warm, cold or just right?” poll at the end of the day would idiot-proof the process. It would even be interesting to add regional tagging into the mix. So rather than going outside to see what people wore, you could go to Cloth’s feed and know what people are wearing around you from your phone alone. And you could know if they thought their choice was too warm, cold or just right, too.
If you’re interested in trying Cloth, the app is free, but the weather module is a $1 upgrade.