Everyone has a different style, and one of the ways you express that is through your outfit. So how would you feel if you had to wear something completely different from what you are used to? Would that change the way you act? I always wondered how it would be if I dressed the way people around me do. Therefore, over the course of six days, I let my friends choose the way I looked, and that included everything; from shoes to outfit to makeup and accessories, anything they could possibly think of. The one condition? It had to be with pieces I owned, so that we could really see if style depends more on the individual pieces you buy or the way you put them together.
DAY 1 - VINTAGE VIBES
For the first day, Amy (aka best roomie) was the one to dress me. She wanted something “vintage,” and mission accomplished! The outfit is very me, to be honest. However, even though I am the biggest fan of t-shirts, I don’t own any plain ones. Thus, I had to borrow this one from her. I really liked the vibe of this outfit and it is a good change from my regular leggings – because I rarely wear anything else. Also, All Stars are shoes that I barely wear anywhere other than the gym, so it was interesting to see them in a more put-together look.
For makeup, she told me to do my normal routine, which is basically just brows. I decided to do something similar to her daily look and focus on lashes, so mascara game on. The hairdo was probably the most unexpected part: a blue scrunchie (to match the jacket) in a high half-ponytail. It kind of gave me a childish look; I probably would have removed the scrunchie altogether or done a low half-pony instead. For accessories, I wore silver heart hoops (and the scrunchie, ofc).
Amy knows my style pretty well as this is a very me look. No big surprises on day one, I felt super comfortable and loved it.
DAY 2 - DAYTIME FASHIONISTA
Here we started to go out of my comfort zone. In a previous piece here in Life & Style I talked about style in winter and included layering, but it is a trend that honestly I didn’t see myself wearing. But Giovana, aka the editor of this section and one of the most consistently stylish people in this university, really likes the trend.
“I really like wearing bright colours in winter, because I feel like everyone leans towards solid and bland colors. The neutral colors, added to the freezing and often cloudy weather end up sucking everyone’s energy. And I feel like fashion should come from the inside, you shouldn’t wear ‘boring’ colors just because it’s not warm and flowery outside.”
Also, I NEVER wear these pants. I bought them from Nasty Gal as part of a set (it has a matching band top) to wear on my 17th birthday and have honestly not worn them since, just because it is very vibrant and I find it hard to put together an outfit with them.
The boots I love and wear all the time, but usually paired with a leather jacket and black pants, because they are extra by themselves.
Overall, I ended up liking this. I will say I wouldn’t wear the pants and the layered shirt together, just because I feel like there was too much going on. However, putting on some makeup and dressing differently does do something to the way you feel, it is almost like a “shot of life.”
DAY 3 - BAD GIRL MEETS EMO
Lucas (also check his super cool article on tattoos in Northwestern http://www.northbynorthwestern.com/under-the-needle-northwesterns-inked/) is one of my best friends at NU, but he’s ALWAYS complaining about my outfits. My daily look is usually leggings, a T-shirt, and a jacket (probably leather), and Lucas says it’s too basic. So I was really looking forward to his pick, because it would be a way to really see what he considers to be a stylish outfit. He chose these joggers/jeans that have a lot of pockets, with a baby pink shirt layered over a white long-sleeve, with a black windbreaker, Doc Martens' and his signature piece, a scarf. Overall, I basically looked like a female version of him.
He picked pieces I love and, honestly, I really liked the look. However I would not have paired the scarf with the pants or the windbreaker, simply because I think it goes better with a more put together look (like the one I wore the following day). Besides that, I might adopt this look for chiller days or whenever I don’t want to wear leggings. As much as I hate to admit it because I know he’s gonna bug me with this later in life, he has good taste.
Now, let’s talk about the makeup. He chose a very bold colour, and it took me a long time of blending to get it this pale and smooth. Added to that: wing liner, mascara, foundation, blush and brows. Needless to say it took me forever to put this one together, and I wanted to kill Lucas for choosing a somewhat elaborate look considering I had a 9am up north (and I live in Willard).
I did feel like I was wearing too much makeup, and definitely this routine is longer than I have the willpower to do every morning. It was bold for a school day, I felt uncomfortable at first and got some questioning as to why I had so much on. But I also got some compliments, and after a while I felt good with the way I looked and will absolutely experiment with colorful makeup more often. Lesson of the day: sometimes it’s good to be bold, you might surprise yourself and discover things you like that you had never thought of trying.
DAY 4 - PREPPY CHIC
“I knew that I wanted to make you kinda preppy, but with a twist. I also wanted to mix patterns and do something for you that you never did before. That’s why I put a (tweed) mini skirt over a (plaid) dress. For warmth, I added the blouse and the tights. It is something I would absolutely wear.” Amina is a first-year bio major by day and costume designer by night. Whether it is with her fancy sweaters or velvet dresses, she is always very put together, so I knew this outfit would be very different from anything I rock on a daily basis.
The makeup was classic, chique, with a nice dewy skin. And bonus points: really easy to do, and under 10 minutes. The hairstyle was really cute, and I will definitely use it on normal days. But it was so cold that the hair clips broke (RIP).
One thing though: everytime I had to go to the bathroom it was a struggle because of the multitude of layers. Also, I gave up on going to the gym this day because I didn’t want to change out and back into this outfit. Hence, why I love leggings.
I thought this look was very bold, and although I don’t see myself wearing it everyday, I do feel like it is an interesting outfit for weekends or just more inspired days. The overall fit really made me step out of my comfort zone, and I actually liked it (and was so happy when a lady who works in Elder said it was extremely cute). It showed me that it’s always time to try a new style, and being more put together for a day might even give you a confidence boost.
DAY 5 - BUSINESS CASUAL AND COSY WALK INTO A BAR
Aaron is the type of person who plays 10 different sports (shout out to crew) and is always in sports gear. Honestly, his day-to-day style is the most similar to my own. But he chose something very different from what I expected, because “I don’t want my outfit to be the worst one.” It was sweet that he put so much effort into it, and we spent 40 minutes trying on stuff and then going over makeup on Instagram. I really appreciated the effort! :)
“I chose this outfit because it's simple. First of all, I have no fashion sense whatsoever,o kudos to Georgia for picking me (perhaps that was the goal). When she first asked me, I knew she had an amazing looking black leather jacket, so I tried to keep it simple with just two colors, black and yellow. The Uggs paired well with the yellow shirt, so that's what we went with. Simplicity is key!!! (Especially when you're someone like me who has no fashion sense).”
To be honest, the outfit turned out really well. Again, I love leather jackets so that by itself was already a win. The Uggs and the shirt don’t go that well together, but at least I was warm.
The makeup was a brown eye with a very thin liner and some lip tint, that “straight-out-of-bed-but-not-really” kind of look.
DAY 6 - BOYISH COMFORT
Barbara has her style very set in stone : it’s boyish comfortable, with some twists. She and Giovana (from day 2) did a style swap that you can find here http://www.northbynorthwestern.com/style-swap/, so I was already expecting something completely different from what I’d been wearing all week, which I feel like ended up being very put together and often times even fancy. I NEEDED something warm and comfortable for the weekend, especially considering the temperature drop.
So this was a great call: the same joggers from day 3, with Old Skool Vans, a loose neutral tee, a beige beanie and a white hoodie. This honestly is my finals’ week look, and the only reason I don’t wear it everyday is because I feel too sleepy in it, as it’s so comfortable. Also, I feel more like myself in leggings and overall a less “baggy” outfit. Very comfortable, very approved.
According to her: “I wanted to choose something that portrayed my personality, so I chose something I would personally wear, without putting too much thought into it. Also, I think I have a style that’s very different from yours (and from our friends) so it’s interesting to see you in my shoes.” And I feel like this entire week was a lot of that “being in other people’s shoes,'' as each outfit captured the essence of the person who chose it somehow, and it was almost as if I were them for a day. It really makes you think, “how would someone feel in your shoes, what would your style make them feel like?”
Oof, what a week. Over 7 hours total to get ready each morning. A bag full of laundry. 6 very different outfits, combinations I had never thought of. Some looks on the street. A smile on the face.
It was a very intense week, and I spent at least half an hour more each day getting ready than usual, even though my outfits were already picked out. And might I add that it is kind of terrifying taking pictures of yourself knowing they will be posted in an online publication. Insecurities kick in hard.
It was a very interesting learning experience. I was able to understand more about my style, and explore new ways to wear things I already own. To be honest, these are not outfits I am going to wear in my daily life, even though I ended up liking them a lot. Why? Because the style I had developed in my 18 years of living is not only the one that I feel the most comfortable in, but also the one that better expresses who I am.
Does that mean you can’t ever change your style? Definitely not. This week showed me that trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone can be exciting, even giving you the inspiration to do something different. Being bold in your look in the sense of wearing something you’re not used to may give you the confidence to try a new extracurricular, talk to that person you have a slight crush on, or even walk on the street with a different look on your face.
I don’t think we rightfully credit how much the way we dress or look says about ourselves. It is the first thing people will acknowledge about you. Hence, it is your first opportunity to express yourself.
I recommend this experience to anyone who is feeling uninspired,”stuck”, or just tired of always wearing the same clothes. It is a “breath of fresh air” for your closet, almost as though you'd bought new pieces. It is also a great thing if you are still seeking your own style, because you can test out different things and mix and match them to your liking.