Spoiler alert: this did not work.
If you follow my Instagram, you know that I impulsively bought a skirt on Poshmark last week (it was such a great price! I was sad that day!), and I decided to punish myself by wearing it for an entire week, my thinking being that if I could style the skirt 7 ways in 7 days, I would absolve myself of the guilt of buying it because it would prove itself to be a worthy member of my wardrobe.
My hypothesis was that if I wore the skirt every single day for seven days in a row, I would learn all kinds of great lessons about style and minimalism, and I would be happy that my PMS led me to such a perfect closet addition.
But my methods were flawed; my results were incomplete.
The conclusion? Maybe I just need to get dressed like a normal person sometimes.
I feel like its important to interject at this point that it is not the skirt’s fault that the experiment failed. Aside from being susceptible to guacamole stains – its ultimate undoing – it is a perfect skirt. It is comfortable, chic, and modest. It fits me like a glove, and it was produced by Eileen Fisher, a brand I trust to use sustainable materials and to treat its workers fairly. That I found it second-hand and managed to pick it up for just $12 is the cherry on top. I can wear it to take a meeting or to walk my dog, and I can wash it normally in the washing machine (crucial, because I am a laundry idiot and have ruined more clothes than I can count by refusing to abide by care instructions). I’ll say it again: it is a perfect skirt. I do not regret purchasing it, even if it was impulsive.
And yet, despite the apparent perfection of the skirt, I couldn’t make it work for seven days in a row. Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of my experiment’s unraveling:
Day 1: Sunday. The skirt was new, unworn, and full of potential. I wore it with a knotted t-shirt and bare feet to clean my house and to read a book on the deck. I made my husband take a hundred photos of me until I found one good enough to post to Instagram, where I came up with the brilliant idea to wear the skirt every single day for the rest of the week. So brilliant.
Day 2: Monday. I lint rolled the skirt and dressed it up for work with a white button down and my Nisolo mules. The button down is sort of billowy, and the whole thing together had definite notes of frump. I didn’t end up getting a photo I liked well enough to post (see above re: frump) and I decided to try again later (which I never got around to doing).
Day 3: Tuesday. Woke up with a searing migraine (thank you, menstruation) and had to call out of work. Hid in a dark room in my pajamas most of the day. Did not wear the skirt. Did not take outfit photos. Did not collect 200 Instagram likes.
Day 4: Wednesday. An interesting thing about migraines is that when you wake up without one after a full-blown 24-hour migraine episode, you feel incredible. I thought I could take on anything and I was ready to get back to my challenge. I wore my linen blazer and a silky black cami, and polished the whole thing off with a pair of linen pumps. I felt very professional. And then I spilled guacamole all over myself.
Day 5: Thursday. Forgot to wash the guacamole out of the skirt and had to choose a different outfit. Wore a black dress because that’s what I always wear when I have nothing to wear and I feel beaten down by life (did I mention the menstruation??).
Day 6: Friday – that’s today! At some point, I have to put this thing in the washing machine. I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt and my Everlane black silk button down. I really like the outfit I have on, so I’m not going to change if and when the skirt is clean later today.
Day 7: Saturday. Tomorrow. I might wear the skirt, but I’m not making any promises.
I do a lot of self-imposed challenges like these – the capsule wardrobe, the 10×10 challenge, my 30-day spreadsheet plan – and I rarely see them through to the end. It’s technically failure, but I never regret doing it. At the end of the day, I’m just trying stuff. I feel like that’s the motto of my life: I’m Just Trying Stuff! Whether or not The Stuff comes perfectly to fruition is beside the point. When I immerse myself in a project like this, I’m dressing more mindfully and thinking more carefully about my clothes, how much I really like each garment, how versatile my wardrobe is, and how it makes me feel. I’ve learned so much about what I do and don’t like, and I can more clearly identify what I need to buy when there are gaps to fill. I may not always be successful (actually, I rarely am), but I’m going to keep designing projects and approaching my existing wardrobe from different angles. Because it’s fun.
Wardrobe science forever.