A year of outfits

#ootd 2017: Origin story

In early January last year I began a little experiment. I would take daily photos of my work outfits and share them on Twitter using the hashtag #ootd (outfit of the day).


I was partly inspired by my workmate @kebabette‘s #gamcam tweets which document her rather glorious collection of hosiery and shoes. But it was, I think, largely down to an idle wondering that I had – with my well-stocked wardrobe, would it be possible for me to wear a different outfit every day? And without buying a lot of new things?

And once I’d wondered it, I sort of had to give it a try. I fully expected to run out of combinations within a few months… which, as it happens, was not the case at all.

I also enjoy the mental exercise of putting an outfit together. There is a certain amount of creativity to it. I enjoy the ability to convey a persona through clothing and the opportunity of making myself new every day. And let’s not forget, we’re often encouraged to regard feminine pursuits as not worthy of celebration. This was one way of me saying, yes, I enjoy clothes and I’m going to go ahead and own that, thanks.

But back to my “well-stocked” wardrobe. This is certainly true from a “bulk” point of view. I do own a lot of clothes, though many of these are not new. One of my winter skirts is at least ten years old and a lot of what’s in my wardrobe is pre-quake or thereabouts. Also, my clothing budget is, shall we say, meagre? Which is why the “not spending a lot of money” parameter was as necessary one.

The first rule of #ootd club (and the other two)

The “rules” I set for myself were:

  1. One outfit per working day (so not on annual leave or sick days)
  2. Each outfit to be novel (in some regard)
  3. No big fashion splurges

I pretty much stuck to these rules with a few exceptions. For instance, I didn’t post an #ootd shot when I was working from home because I was sick and pretty much wearing the same clothes two days in a row (though I did post a pic for the first day). One day in December I got home and realised I hadn’t done an #ootd picture but was feeling pretty tired and couldn’t be bothered with it so skipped that day.

As for variety, I think each outfit was unique, and I discovered that I actually have a really good memory for outfit combos that I’ve worn, but I can’t be 100% sure. Even reviewing every one for the purposes of this post… it became impossible to be sure if that skirt/cardigan combo looked familar because I’d already worn it with boots and tights, or if it maybe was the exact same outfit. I could trawl through all the image files again but it’s pretty time consuming. In reviewing there were only a couple of times when I thought I might have doubled up.

The not spending heaps of money on clothes stipulation was by far the easiest simply because I don’t have that money to spend. Even so, I worked my way around this by frequenting clothes swap events (specifically Christchurch events run by an organisation called Saikuru), buying secondhand (hello, “fill a bag for $10” specials at Habitat for Humanity), and actually fixing some items that had been languishing in my “to mend” pile with sagging hems or missing buttons. Towards the end of the year, I even broke out the sewing machine and made a skirt. And a few times (four) I wore something out of my fiance’s half (who am I kidding… third) of the wardrobe.

My year in #ootd

So, how did I do? And did I learn anything interesting?

Well, I found out that I do, in fact, have enough clothes to dress myself in a different outfit every day – 217 of them, to be precise.

But it wasn’t always easy. This exercise forced me to dig around in the back of my wardrobe and pull out some things I hadn’t been wearing and try to reinvent them. It forced me to try combinations I would never have probably bothered with before. And in doing so I identified some “dead wood”. Garments I clearly have no love for and which I can let go of. It also helped me identify my MVPs, the pieces that I love to wear over and over in different combinations. I feel like that’s all helpful info when I do actually have some money to spend on clothes.

But how about some graphs, yeah?

Bar graph of colours worn, 2017

When I “crunched the data” I was kind of surprised to find how heavily this graph was skewed towards black. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been. I have always had a lot of black in my wardrobe however I felt like #ootd really forced me to be more adventurous with my colour combinations. It turns out even though I’ve been wearing more bright colours I’ve often teamed them with black (or white/cream). I also thought red would feature more because it’s pretty much my favourite colour. Turns out it’s really not the one I wear the most (possibly because I try my best not to wear my province’s rugby colours).

In conclusion, I think I’d like to wear less black but we’ll see how that goes. I might be fighting against my own nature with that one.

pie chart of shoe types, 2017

No great surprises here – I love me the ballet flats. In fact, I noticed in the majority of my #ootd photos I’m wearing the same black or cream pair (both of which are nearing end of life now – at least I can justify spending money replacing them). Again, I had notions that I’d worn my sandals quite a lot during the summer but that turned out not to be true. Note: I’ve worn heels a lot but some of them are very low heels.

Bar graph of accessories, 2017

This was pretty interesting as I’m very big on brooches, badges and pins and expected those to be the “winner” of this graph. Nup, turns out I wear necklaces a lot more than I thought. And TIGHTS. I feel like I can go forth and buy more tights this winter secure in the knowledge that I’ll be wearing them every day. Another point of interest is that I have a whole bunch of interesting nailpolish colours but I’m not wearing them much. I need to do home manicures more and get more value out of those $25 OPI shades.

Noteworthies and Faves of the year

Outfits are not like children. You are allowed to have favourites, and boy do I!

I also found opportunities to dress to theme and have some fun. Eighteen Star Wars outfits and a couple of Doctor Who ensembles say YES!

In no particular order:


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