Ah, fashion week. Between running to shows all over the island of Manhattan (and sometimes Brooklyn!), meeting deadlines and getting no sleep, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is what to wear. And yet, thanks to the rise of street style photography, putting together the right succession of outfits has become one of the biggest sources of stress during fashion week.
So when Lauren jokingly suggested wearing the same thing every single day of fashion week, I jumped on the chance. "Actually, that sounds great," I said. "I'll write a story about it and everything."
Cut to the day before fashion week starts. I select an easy, loose Uniqlo silk button-down paired with destroyed Genetic Denim skinny jeans and my Play Comme des Garçons Converse sneakers. I've worn this combo before for a photoshoot in the office because it feels both put together and comfortable, which is exactly the vibe I'm going for during the chaos of fashion week.
What follows is a day by day account of wearing this same outfit every day. And before you ask: Yes, I showered. I'm not a heathen.
Day 1, Wednesday, September 3: Okay, I cheat. Since today technically isn't the official start of fashion week, and I have a fancy luncheon to attend honoring Carolina Herrera, I wear the outfit pictured in my headshot: A simple black Banana Republic dress with flats and red lipstick. At the end of our interview, Herrera tells me that I look "beautiful and so fresh." I am already reconsidering this whole "wearing the same outfit" thing.
Day 2, Thursday, September 4: This is the first day I wear my outfit, and honestly, I am feeling pretty smug as I hit the tents. Thanks to my sneakers, I'm able to zip with ease around the street style photographers -- whom, it goes without saying, couldn't be less interested in me -- and the loiterers. My jeans and loose shirt are wonderfully comfortable and I feel sort of superior to all the people who are super dressed up. This, I think to myself, is the secret to getting fashion week right.
Day 3, Friday, September 5: Friday is the only day during which I feel the way I thought I would -- that is to say, relieved that I don't have to come up with something to wear. It's nice to just head out for work without worrying if I look cool or if the new outfit I'm trying "works" for fashion week. The one downside is that it's pretty hot. I eye my skirts and dresses longingly before tugging on my skinny jeans.
Day 4, Saturday, September 6: Holy HELL it is humid today. Do you know what doesn't breathe, like, at all? Silk, that's what. Or skinny jeans, for that matter. I flash about half of Lincoln Center by attempting to fan myself with my own shirt, but considering I'm waiting for the Hervé Leger show to start and most of the women there have their boobs out in bandage dresses, no one really notices.
Day 5, Sunday, September 7: I am so bored with this outfit. I have already tried changing it up by wearing different lipstick colors and even doing a fanciful braid thing with my hair but I succumb to the boredom and just leave the house looking plain. I attend a fancy after-party at a hip downtown rooftop bar later that night and, feeling too self conscious in my plain outfit, book it home after less than an hour and two (fine, three) cocktails.
Day 6, Monday, September 8: Like Frodo on the way to Mordor, this outfit is my One Ring and I must carry it to the end. Like Frodo on the cliffs of Mount Doom, the only thing carrying me forward while sitting in the audience at Carolina Herrera hating my outfit is the memory of Ms. Herrera complimenting me the Wednesday prior. Eliza, for the record, is my Samwise Gamgee, and this is the second Lord of the Rings reference I have made this week.
Day 7, Tuesday, September 9: I think up about a dozen different excuses I could give for not wearing this outfit. I think about spilling something on it. I briefly consider burning it in a trash can fire. I am a little bit angry with myself for volunteering to do this story, and can't even be bothered to be upset when I actually spill something -- that awful bottled coffee they give out at the tents -- down the front of my shirt.
Day 8, Wednesday, September 10: I am fairly certain at this point I have gone through all the stages of grief wearing this same outfit: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and now, acceptance. This is what I wear now, this button-down and jeans combo, this is who I've become. It's like being a superhero, if my superpower was wearing the same stupid outfit every day. I'm okay with this. No really, I am.
Also, presented without comment, what happens when you try to take photos of me on day eight of NYFW:
Day 9, Thursday, September 11: No, nope, I lied. I can't bring myself to put this outfit on another day. I don't have any shows to go to so I convince myself that this is fine and not at all cheating. And I feel So. Much. Better. I may never wear all those items together again. It's worth noting, though, that the skinny jeans retained their shape all week -- no stretching or bagging! -- which is truly impressive all things considered.
So just how many people noticed? Exactly one: My friend Jenn. "You've been wearing that shirt kind of a lot in your Snapchats, no?" she asked when I met up with her for drinks over the weekend. Other than that, no one noticed. My co-workers didn't even notice when I stopped wearing it on Thursday. I'm sure it helped that I'm no street style staple, so it's not like anyone was looking out for what I was wearing.
It's also worth noting that, despite attending over 30 events, I ran into very few of the same people more than once -- which I think just goes to show you the calendar is too packed. I also think maybe I could have picked a slightly more feminine or styled outfit, which might have made me feel more comfortable or less out of place.
Regardless of whether anyone else noticed, though, I felt terrible after just a few days. It turns out that I try new outfits during fashion week and get dressed up because I actually enjoy it. Knowing that no one pays any attention will take the pressure off in future seasons, and I'll be able to have fun with it -- just the way fashion should be.