When I do a wardrobe clear out it usually happens on a Sunday. I dramatically pull everything out of every cupboard and spend the next four hours trying to crisis manage the mess, rather than using it as a chance to properly assess the gaps in my wardrobe. I decided to do this year’s spring clean a little differently. A while ago an influencer showed me a folder on her phone where she stored pictures of her outfits from every single day. These weren’t the glossy outfit pictures you see on your Instagram feeds, but quick snapshots purely designed to keep a record of her outfits.
In 2018 my two aims were to spend less on Pret sandwiches and to try to vary my outfits every day (I am a big repeat wearer), so I decided to try her method for a week. Taking a picture of myself every day might sound like a pointless vanity project or an attempt to launch a career as an influencer. However I made myself take a picture of my outfits in order to understand what I wear the most and feel comfortable in. When I got a Monzo card for the first time in my life, I knew exactly how much I was spending on toasties and black Americanos — as it breaks down what you spend each day, by category. My outfit photo diary actually, much to my surprise, did a very similar thing.
I am not a natural-born selfie taker, and so the first challenge was to actually make myself start doing it at all. I have pushed back the deadline for this story three times because I told myself I didn’t have the time to take a picture every day. I thought I’d have to wake up earlier (which would be another challenge altogether); be more on top of my laundry pile; wear more makeup and maybe even go shopping in preparation. Silly excuses for someone with a wardrobe with no space for anything extra.
Knowing I had to take a picture did subtly impact what I wore each day, as it made me think about wearing a different jacket from the day before, say, or adding a slight variation to one of my favourite outfits. It was a helpful push to make me more aware of my personal style and what I feel the most confident in. Looking over my daily outfits, I can clearly see what makes up my own ‘capsule wardrobe‘ — an oversized trench coat from Mango, a green floral wrap dress (which I wore twice that week), my black croc-effect Chelsea boots, a bucket bag and some small delicate shell earrings. You’ll see one of these five items in every picture from the week.
I started the week by sharing these outfit pictures on Instagram, however quickly realised that I was focusing more on finding the right angle or which funny GIF to post with the outfit on my story, which wasn’t the point. So for this to work I needed to do what the influencer did, and take candid snapshots of my outfits that were just for me to look at. This wasn’t about creating outfits that would generate the most likes or reaction from other people — it’s a trick that can help you to hone your own personal style.
It might sound narcissistic, but I am going to now always take these daily selfies. I found that by being slightly more aware of what you wear every day, you’re able to do a more meaningful audit of your wardrobe. While it’s much cooler to pretend you simply ‘throw outfits together’ and ‘never think about it’, having a phone filled with outfit ideas with the items you actually own is the most useful inspiration you could have.
Anyone ready to make this part of their morning routine too?
Opening image: Style du Monde