I Let My Girlfriend Choose My Outfits for a Week

I’ve never been able to stick to one style. If I see an item well-styled in an Instagram photo or magazine spread, I'll usually be persuaded to buy a similar item. I don’t even know how I’d describe my personal sense of style at this point. Sometimes I go for the classic preppy look, but other times I’m all about the boho look. I also find myself gravitating toward a more trendy, modern look. None of these work together as a coherent style. As a result, my closet is a weird collection of circle skirts, thrifted finds, classics, and more denim than one person could ever need. 

I’ve been trying to throw away items in my closet that don’t spark joy, a la Marie Kondo, but I realized I have no idea what actually sparks joy in my closet. Obviously I need basics like a t-shirt, even if I’m not excited about those items. 

Plus, throwing items out means having to buy more items, and I’m cheap as they come. I won’t buy a new item of clothing unless I have at least five people backing me. I feel a strange guilt about spending money on my wardrobe, even though dropping money on an iced coffee is a no-brainer. 

One time over winter break, my girlfriend and I decided to go on a date at the mall where we chose each other’s outfits in different stores. I’ve always loved BuzzFeed shows like LadyLike, where they frequently choose outfits for their coworkers in a similar fashion rut to myself. 

Although I proved to be somewhat horrible at choosing outfits for my girlfriend during our date, she chose outfits that I actually loved, and made my disjointed tastes work together to express my style in a way that I hadn’t been able to do in a while. 

I started to think about the articles I’d seen on Her Campus where one of the writer’s boyfriends chooses her outfits for a week. I wondered how my girlfriend would do choosing outfits out of my closet, and whether it would inspire me to be more creative with the pieces I already owned. 

So one Sunday, I let her have complete control of my closet. It was hard not to intervene with criticism on the outfits she chose, but I’m not mad at the (most) of the choices she made. 

Day 1 

For this outfit, my girlfriend went simple, with my Drexel Her Campus t-shirt, a yellow cardigan, jeans, and my Sperry sneakers. 

This day I was freezing. It was around 30 degrees, and I had to venture into the city for a doctor’s appointment. I’m 5’9, and most of my jeans don’t cover my ankles. While these are my longest jeans, I was still cold without my usual boots and long socks to cover my ankles. 

Still, I’m not mad at this outfit, and it reminded me that this yellow cardigan even existed. 

Day 2

Today my girlfriend chose double denim with a red striped shirt. 

I usually open at a coffee shop a few times a week, so I had to wake up bright and early at 4 A.M. to pack this outfit to change into after work. This was actually one of the easiest to pack, because I could wear the red-striped shirt under my uniform shirt. I did forget the denim jacket though, and I had to run back to my dorm to get it before my classes. 

These jeans are pretty much a no-go for winter because they’re ankle jeans, and I was cold in the jeans from the day before even though they weren't ankle jeans. I tried to fix this problem by wearing long socks and my Docs, which go up higher on my ankle. I was actually warmer than I was on the other days with the layers! 

I think I would wear this outfit again with other shoes once it’s warmer, or with different jeans. I’ve always been a fan of double denim, so I’m glad someone else supports the look. 

Day 3

The outfit for today was definitely business casual: a thermal shirt with lace detail on the arms, a floral pencil skirt, tights, and boots. I was, again, freezing in the 20 degree weather. I hardly ever wear skirts in the winter because I’m such a baby. I actually cheated a little by putting on a chunky cardigan while I stuck around the coffee shop to do work. 

I thought I’d hate this outfit because in my mind this skirt was SPRING ONLY, but I realized that I can make it work for the winter. 

I felt the most confident in this look because I was a little more dressed up than usual. It was easier to be productive when I felt like I was dressed for work. Maybe I should start dressing business casual more often? 

Day 4

This was the worst outfit of them all: a cream sweater, burgundy capris, and my boots. My girlfriend told me later that she assumed these pants were longer, but as I’ve said before, any cropped pants are capris on me. Plus, whenever I moved, the capris bunched up like britches, making me look like I was an extra in a production of Newsies. In my gray wool jacket and the boots, I looked like I was confused. These pants would look better with a pair of flats, but I knew my feet would freeze in the weather. 

Maybe I should invest in longer burgundy pants?

Day 5 

I take back what I said about the last outfit being bad. Today my girlfriend chose an oversized floral sweater I got at Buffalo Exchange freshman year, and a pair of cropped pastel pink sweatpants. This wouldn’t be so bad if I was lounging around all day; I think I’ve actually worn this outfit on my own accord when I was having a sick day or lazy day.

I couldn’t just lounge around on this day though, even though it was snowing, because it was nearing the end of the quarter. I decided to sit in a coffee shop and catch up on some reading, but I felt like everyone was staring at me. I also had the same problem with the cropped pants, and I realized that MAYBE I should be pickier when buying pants so that I don’t have this problem. Seriously. Why do women’s clothing companies think all women are 5’4?

The conclusion?

I had a lot of fun this week wearing something that someone else picked out for me (even though I learned that I need to invest in pants that cover my ankles). I realized that I have some classic pieces in my closet that work together, and have a better idea of what clothing makes me feel good. It might also be a good idea to start planning my outfits at night so that I don’t feel rushed at 4 A.M, and end up staying in my work uniform all day. 

In the future I want to try wearing more patterns, because I liked the way that the skirt made me feel. I also want to try layering more like with the denim jacket. When I go shopping again, I think I'll also try to incorporate more colors into my wardrobe, like the first outfit. I usually wear gray, black, or pink, but the yellow was a nice change. Especially as we go further into spring, a little color could do me some good. 

It was also interesting to see what my girlfriend thought I’d look good in. Her own personal style is definitely preppy, so it made sense that most of her choices were also preppy or classic. Overall I think she did a good job (coldness aside) and now I’m curious how other people in my life would dress me.