I have been really busy with work projects lately (start of the semester in Germany). But one evening last week I had some time for myself and decided to put my winter wardrobe away to take out my spring clothes. I usually get really excited when I do this, since this means summer is almost there. Additionally, my spring clothes feel almost new from not having been worn for a couple of months. This time however, I felt overwhelmed and a little bored at the same time. Not exactly what I was hoping for. After some contemplation I decided to look at my wardrobe with fresh eyes. I would match each piece with everything that could potentially be worn with it and take a picture. This would give me an idea of outfits that work and maybe give me some new ideas for styling them.
Since this would be a massive undertaking I started with one pair of blue summer pants by Marc O’Polo. I thrifted them in basically new condition- they were still in stores when I bought them, but apparently the buyer realized very quickly that those pants would not work for her and brought them to the second hand shop (thank you!). I’ve bought them in 2016 but unfortunately only started tracking the cost-per-wear of everything I have shortly thereafter so I’m not sure how often I’ve actually worn them. I’d say around 35/40 times… The fabric is very lightweight (100% cotton) and the fit is quite flattering, high-waisted, slightly loose and slightly cropped. I started with these, because I thought that those pants are pretty easy to style and look nice with many of my tops and shoes. I think you might be mainly interested in what I learned from creating the slideshow. But first, some pictures!
- Always take a photo! Taking pictures of outfits might give you a different perspective of an outfit or the fit of an item. Somehow things look different in a mirror. My best explanation is that in a photo you are observing yourself with more distance than when you look at yourself in a mirror. According to Construal Level Theory distance makes you switch into a more abstract mindset. A more abstract mindset could mean you are focusing more on the general asthetics of an outfit, how it looks overall. When you look at yourself in a mirror, the more concrete construal level means that smaller details might stick out to you, but the overall look gets a little lost. If it’s important to you that other people think you are well-dressed, considering the „look“ of an outfit in a photo that’s not a mirror selfie could help (as other people view you with more distance).
- You can’t make something work that doesn’t work. I really wanted the gray Lanius shirt to work. I was so excited when I got this. Lanius is a sustainable, fair-trade brand and a loose gray longsleeve should work for everybody, right? However, I have never felt quite right wearing it. Still, I had decided that this would work for me and even considered buying the same shirt in a different color. I now feel so stupid admitting this. Looking at the pictures it’s obvious to me that the shirt doesn’t look right. In fact, it makes me look quite dumpy, no matter if it’s untucked and tucked. I also don’t like the way the fabric looks when I tuck the shirt – too wrinkly. A nore fitted longsleeve (like the red Marc O’Polo one) look much better on my body.
- Red is my favourite color (for clothes). I kind of knew this, but this experiment manifested it. I love an outfit whenever there is a pop of red.
- Shoes make the outfit. While the black Tamaris sneakers are not quite right with these pants they drove the point home that shoes really change the vibe of an outfit. When I look at the first three outfits I’m amazed at how different the same outfit looks with the dressier Weejuns and Marc O’Polo loafers vs the laid-back Tamaris sneakers. After tooking at the pictures I promised myself to consider shoes more carefully when getting dressed.
- Experimentation leads to versatility. Just trying out different things gave me so many ideas and made me realize that I haven’t been taking full advantage of my wardrobe. I tend to get into a rut where I wear the same outfits again and again. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but I know that I get bored if I don’t switch it up. Having this photo library on my phone will be a great reminder to get out of my comfort zone.
Have you ever documented your wardrobe like this? If yes, do you consider it a good use of your time?