When it comes to racing fashion, you need to style an outfit from head to toe. Selecting all the various elements to create a balanced and cohesive look is tricky, especially if you may only own one or two (or even none) of the pieces when you start planning.

The last thing you want to do (and I’ve learnt this the hard way) is to spend $500 on a hat and dress, only to have them arrive in the post just days before your race event and discover that the overall look just doesn’t work.

As experienced as I may be, personally, I need to see the whole ensemble with my own eyes. I’m a terrible visualiser!

Earlier this year I discovered an app called PicCollage from my friend Melissa Barnes. She’s an avid user of the app and even used it to plan her Adelaide Cup winning outfit!

pic collage app

Image credit: Melissa Barnes

outfit closet planning app

Some of the many times I have used PicCollage

So in today’s post, I am going to teach you all my tips and tricks for using PicCollage to plan your next outfit.

I’ll start by briefly describing what it is, show you 5 different ways it can be applied, and we’ll finish up by getting you to participate in a step-by-step tutorial ;)

What is the PicCollage App?

PicCollage is a phone app that you can use to create a collage of various clothing items and accessories. It’s available in both the App Store and Google Play, so you’ll be able to use it whether you have an iPhone or Android.

You basically start with a blank canvas. Then bring in the photos you want to use, cut around the pictures using your finger and make a collage of your dress, millinery, shoes and accessories. The end product is an entire outfit before your very eyes! Hooray.

how to use a fashion closet planning app

The app is very intuitive making it easy to rearrange, resize, rotate and add effects.

There are other things you can do, such as adding text, stickers and backgrounds. Check out the following video if you’re into these features, although I find they are less relevant for outfit planning.

It’s super simple to use and best of all, it’s free to download! There is also a paid version ($2.99) which removes the PicCollage water mark from the bottom of the photos.

I’ll go into more details on the specifics of how to use the app, but first, let’s have a look at 5 use cases to give you a taste of how you might use the app.

5 Example Use Cases for the Fashion Enthusiast

1) See Your Complete Outfit Together

The most common use for the app is to visualise how your complete outfit will look when it is all pieced together. I’m not just talking about your dress and millinery, but also your shoes, clutch, earrings, belt and any other accessories.

Here’s a couple of examples of where I’ve done this in the past.

In the pic above, the dress’s waist band and sleeve hem originally had a green embroidery that didn’t match my navy hat. I had some navy lace fabric that I wanted to sew onto those areas so I used PicCollage to visualise how it would look.

styling design diy

2) Try Different Skirt and Top Combos

If you’d prefer to wear a skirt and top instead of a dress, use the app to try different skirt and top combinations, before making a purchase.

pink skirt yellow top

Maticevski skirt, Mossman top and Millinery by Mel Turban

You can also consider wearing a skirt over a dress, which can sometimes create a really interesting design.

fashion design app

Cameo Collection skirt, Alice McCall dress, Kim Wiebenga hat

3) Find the Right Millinery to Match your Outfit

Sometimes you’ll end up with an entire outfit, except for your millinery. What hat shape will suit? Which hat should you pick?

Take a photo of yourself in your outfit and then use PicCollage to ‘try on’ a number of different hats from the comfort of your home.

This is exactly what happened to me for Derby Day this year. The initial hat I had planned to wear with this outfit just wasn’t quite right when I tried it on, so I used PicCollage to ‘try on’ a number of other hats listed on Millinery Market.

millinery hat planning app

visualise different outfits

I ended up hiring this stunning Allport Millinery piece from Emma.

millinery market rent a hat

buy rent hat fascinator millinery headpiece

4) Side by Side Comparisons

Sometimes, you might be tossing up between a few different outfit combinations.

For example, when I was preparing for Stradbroke Day this year, I narrowed my outfit options down to a choice of two skirts, two tops and a few different hats.

Using PicCollage’s grid feature, I was able to easily place the options side-by-side for comparison.

create grid of outfit options

racing fashion style dresses

If you’d like other racing enthusiasts to help choose the best option, post your grid pic in the Field Fashion Community and ask “Left or right?” These types of posts are massively popular as women find it fun to play a part in another person’s masterpiece!

field fashion community post

5) Make Pretty Collages and Pics for Instagram

This use case isn’t for planning your outfit, but you can make a fun collage capturing the highlights of your race day. Use backgrounds, text and stickers to bring it to life.

stickers text background

Racing fashion businesses such as milliners, designers, stylists and store owners may also find this app useful for showing off latest designs or new stock.

collage for instagram fashion

Three Ninja Moves to Level Up your Outfit Planning Skills

After using the app quite a bit over the last 6 months, I’ve come up with the following three tricks to really improve my outfit planning. If you have some hacks of your own, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

1) Turn One Heel into a Pair of Heels

Online stores often only show you a picture of one heel on their product page. When you add this to your PicCollage, you look a little clumsy having two right shoes.

race dress planning

Glaze heel, Temperley London dress, Peacock Millinery percher

To fix this, hold down on the picture of the heel to bring up the menu and click ‘Copy’. Now you have two right heels. Hold down on one of the heels to bring up the menu again and click ‘Effects’, then ‘Orientation’ and then flip ‘Horizontal’. Now you have a left and a right heel.

flip image horizontal

2) Include your Face and Body in your Pics

While putting all your outfit pieces together can give you a good feel for how it will look, I find it’s even easier to visualise when I can see my own face, legs and arms in the picture.

You can also get a better feel for how the colours will work, as some colours work better with certain skin tones.