For the last year I've used Pinterest like this - and it's saved me tons of time and money



For the last year, I've been using Pinterest nearly everyday. I don't use it to create boards (I currently have zero boards), but rather to look at my wardrobe differently. It may not be what Pinterest is intended for, but I think it's the most helpful piece of its platform.

It started in December 2014, when I was planning on going away for a weekend trip. I had just purchased a new pair of leopard skinny pants, but I had no idea what to wear with them. I was sure I'd have to return them because I decided "I didn't really have anything that would match."

In a desperate attempt to keep the pants hanging in my closet, I plugged a description into Pinterest's search bar, and the way I saw the platform began to change.

But before I explain, I'll give you the rundown of what I'm not doing on Pinterest.

When I sign into my account and look across the site, either at suggested boards or those belonging to my friends, I see a theme emerging.

And if you've ever spent any time on Pinterest, you're aware of the theme too: Most all of these people are visually planning for the future.

Whether it's a board called "{new house}" or "<<10.17.16>>" (denoting someone's upcoming wedding day, and yes, the board names are almost always stylized like that), my peers and our fellow Pinterest users are constantly using the site to curate a life they are just on the precipice of living.



There are, of course, elements of creating a Pinterest board that are wistful if not flat-out unrealistic - just pinning together a living room filled with expensive furniture and art can sometimes feel as satisfying as it would to shell out the cash to redecorate your apartment. Like walking by a bakery and trying a sample of a cookie rather than scarfing down a box of 24.

A friend of mine has lived in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City for ten years with no plans to leave, but admits she has a Pinterest board called "country home" filled with hundreds of photos of barns.

I am not planning for a "{{baby}}" or a "bridal.shower" - so how am I using Pinterest?

Simple. Each morning I pick one item of clothing I'd like to wear that day. Maybe it's a chambray shirt, or a pair of gray joggers. Or maybe it's a flannel button-up, or a pair of denim shorts.

I type that item's description into Pinterest and add the word "outfit."

And there it is, right in front of me! Pages and pages of outfit ideas based on one item of clothing, taking all of the guesswork out of trying to put together an entire look.



One of the most surprising things I've learned about using Pinterest in this way is that it doesn't make me feel like I need to go shopping all of the time. As most women can probably relate, it's hard to fight off the nagging feeling of "well I love this shirt I own but I have nothing to wear with it."

That little voice inside of my head began to fade once I started getting into the habit of doing daily outfit searches. Instead, I am often reminded I do have most staple clothing items already - dark denim jeans or a black dress.

Pinterest Outfits

Caroline Moss Pinterest

The outfit search pushes me to be more cognizant of all of the kinds of things I already own and all of the ways in which to wear them, and they work best if you're searching an item of clothing that could work with a lot of other wardrobe pieces.

Most of what I own is gray, black, white, or tan, with a bold item or two scattered within. For the most specific items in your closet (like a dress with a multicolor pattern), make your search terms as vague as possible and use the suggestions Pinterest comes up with as a jumping off point.



I don't save the outfit ideas to a board, and thankfully I'm rarely drawn to try (or buy) outfits that are unrealistic (like this one).

Rather, when it's 6 a.m. and I'm still stumbling around half-asleep, I let Pinterest do the work I'd normally do to try to find clothes in my closet that look good together. It is insanely simple and insanely useful.

Business Insider's Jillian D'Onfro reported in 2015 that Pinterest cofounder Evan Sharp adamantly maintains "Pinterest is not a social network." Rather, he told D'Onfro in an interview that Pinterest is a tool to plan for your future.

But future can mean anything - the next five years or the next five minutes - and it's up to you to decide what to plan for.

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