I started gravitating toward girly clothes and hobbies – I spent four years regularly playing the flute, the daintiest of instruments – when I became self-aware of my body. I didn’t feel pretty, but I thought tulle and ribbon and glitter could transform me. Although my perception of my looks has since shifted, that aesthetic remains. Now a reporter, the dress code in my office is business casual; my uniform consists of a skirt and blouse with pointy-toed shoes. For this experiment, I took full-body selfies in the reflective exterior of the New York Racquetball Club across the street from my office. Tracking what I wore actually made me want to mix clothes I haven’t worn together yet; I tend to wear the same outfits and not get as much use out of some garments as others. Here’s what I wore this week:
Monday: Ruffled purple blouse with polka dots from BCBG, lavender skirt from Club Monaco, nude heels from Michael Kors, backpack from Henri Bendel, sunglasses from Ray-Ban
I never wore this outfit together, but the only two purple garments in my closet really spoke to me. I received a lot of compliments and was happy to wear a top I bought in high school and sparingly wear. It’s a great outfit for transitioning from attending meetings and writing stories to meeting my friend for happy hour. This skirt, in particular, was a great buy; the color is lovely but it works as a great neutral. I typically pair it with sparkly shoes and a trench coat, so this was a more pared-down look.
Tuesday: Pink gingham sundress from Reformation, suede flats from Margaux, sunglasses from Ray-Ban
This dress was definitely a splurge, but I love the little details of it. I plan on wearing it as much as possible to lower the cost per wear; for example, the dress cost, with New York City taxes, about $200. If I wore it 10 times, the cost per wear is $20. You might buy a dress on sale for $80 and wear it once, which would be a worse deal than a $200 dress you wear 10 times.
Wednesday: Bodysuit from Gap, embroidered floral top from Forever 21, fringe skirt from BB Dakota, embroidered leather jacket from BLANKNYC, boots from Donald J. Pliner, burgundy bag from Coach, sunglasses from Tory Burch
I was very excited to wear this outfit. I only wore the skirt and top once each and wasn’t in love with either look; paired together, I received a lot of compliments on my outfit. It was a high-maintenance look but it was fun, and it also made me feel Very New York. Even when you have on a good outfit, New Yorkers are typically so well dressed that you feel like a schlub. My confidence levels remained high, even though it was New York Fashion Week and everyone around me looked great.
Thursday: Black cold shoulder dress from Club Monaco, black heels from Michael Kors, burgundy bag from Coach, sunglasses from Tory Burch
I went to a conference and wanted to wear this dress that I also splurged on. It’s a little dressy for something as drab as a workplace conference, but it encapsulated my vibe. The thing I love about New York City is that there is no such thing as an “appropriate look.” Everyone wears what they want to wear, whenever. Also, my go-to look is head-to-toe black.
Friday: Long-sleeve tan top from my sister (designer unknown), blue suede skirt from Ann Taylor LOFT, choker, suede flats from Margaux, backpack from Henri Bendel, sunglasses from Ray-Ban
Definitely my most low-key look this week, this outfit is as close to my uniform as possible: long-sleeve shirt tucked into a skirt with pointy-toed shoes. The Margaux flats are the most comfortable shoes I own, and that Henri Bendel convertible backpack fits everything inside. Both were excellent investments. I like to kick off my shoes and tuck my feet behind me as I write, and this outfit has pretty good movement.