For the whole month of February, I managed to keep a daily outfit diary. Each day, I would write down what I wore and add some additional notes that might influence my reasons for wearing certain clothes.
In my outfit diary I kept track of:
- WHAT: My outfit, including shoes but excluding underwear and outerwear (coats)
- ACCESSORIES: Everyday jewellery, statement pieces,…
- WEATHER: Temperature, predicted rainfall, wind,…
- WHERE: My main location and if I have a special events planned
- NOTES: Why I chose this particular outfit, what I liked/disliked about it, any thoughts on improving outfits etc.
To my surprise, I managed to keep notes each and every day. I thought I would find the task tedious but I really enjoyed writing down my thoughts on an outfit. It made me more aware of what I was choosing to wear and what my favourite clothing items were. I also started to focus on how I could improve an outfit or combine certain items.
The power of makeup
I’ve come to realize that makeup is an important part of my outfit decision making. Not in the sense that my whole look is ruined if my face isn’t done up. My makeup skills are not the greatest and I tend to go for a minimal or subtle look, as I’ve mentioned here before, most people won’t even know that I’m wearing makeup. But I guess you could say my makeup routine is a self-care action for me.
By spending some time doing my makeup, I signal to myself that I matter. That I matter enough to myself to spend some extra time in the morning coordinating my face look to my clothes. That I give myself permission to play around with eyeshadow colours or indulge in wearing a luxury lipstick.
I’ve even noticed that makeup can positively influence my opinion on certain clothing items. For example, I have an oxblood jumper that I love more now that I know that it works well with a certain red and gold eyeshadow combination.
It’s not illogical to consider that makeup and clothing influence each other but I did not expect that it would have such an impact on me personally.
The importance of sleep
On the negative side of the scale, fatigue has a negative impact on my wardrobe appreciation. Everytime I felt like I had nothing to wear, it was because I hadn’t slept well.
When I’m sleep deprived, I notice that I simply don’t want to bother putting together an outfit. I just want to be comfortable and if it were socially acceptable, I would go to work in my pajamas. Unfortunately, it’s not and in that case I will look for the most comfortable and unassuming clothes that I own. I would usually wear black or dark blue and not feel comfortable in brighter colours.
But most importantly, no matter what I pull out of my closet, it would never be satisfactory. My mood suffers if I’m sleep deprived and I’m only willing to spend the bare minimum on makeup and outfit decisions in this case. There are some who say that this is the exact moment to push yourself to wear something brighter to lighten your mood but I just can’t put myself through it.
I think I have enough comfortable and dark clothing options to get myself through a sleep deprived day. The only solution is to try and get those 7 – 8 hours of sleep.
The missing pieces
The primary reason to keep a notes section in my outfit diary, is to find out what was missing from my wardrobe. Something that came up quite often, is that I lack some layering pieces for wintertime.
When I’m expecting to be cold throughout the day (due to the weather or office aircon) I tend to layer up with cardigans. But I’ve come to realize that cardigans are one of the reasons I feel frumpy and like little gray mouse! For one, they cover up the lovely blouses or shirts I’m wearing. Does it matter if I’m wearing a lovely forest green blouse if I’m going to cover it up with a mousy cardigan anyway?
After some initial testing with some longsleeve t-shirts, I’ve added two extra longsleeve t-shirts from Uniqlo’s Heattech line. These are the perfect, thin yet warm, underlayers that solve the cardigan problem.
Note: since these heattech longsleeves are not meant to be worn on their own but as an underlayer piece, I’ve decided to remove them from my wardrobe dataset.
What I loved about keeping an outfit diary
By obligating myself to note down my outfits each day, I’ve become more mindful of what I wear or what I want to wear. I’ve put more effort into creating outfits and trying to find out why I would not wear certain pieces.
It has made my wardrobe more fun, for sure. And it made me look at all my wardrobe pieces in a different light. I would even challenge myself to come up with new combinations or to find ways to wear items that tend to stay in the back of the closet. In short: it’s pushed me to shop my stash.
Keeping an outfit diary is something I would definitely recommend if you’re stuck in a rut and don’t know how to fix your wardrobe.