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Fashion

Style Swap…When You’re Tired of Repeating Outfits

We all know that feeling when you have clothes in your wardrobe, but you’re tired of the same outfit being worn. Outfit repeating, as they call it. Although some outfits are truly so amazing that they could be repeated however many times you wish, it’s never a bad idea to add a little zest to our everyday style. 

Perhaps you aren’t an outfit repeater, but there are certain pieces that you bought but never had the opportunity to style. Yes, I’m talking about that purple cardigan hanging in my wardrobe —  one of those clothing items that I would never think of pairing…

What if I sought the help of a friend (who had a different style from myself), sent her photos of my outfits and vice versa, and we’ll each try imitating the outfit (adding our own flair to it as we go)? I decided to share this idea with Her Campus at Nanyang Tech’s very own fashion critic, Nicole. Luckily for me, she was up for the challenge. The huge plus point? This style swap won’t burn our wallets.

Day 1

Gabrielle

Left: Nicole, Right: Gabrielle

A graphic tee and a pair of wide leg pants. I didn’t have the exact colours, but I had something similar. I never was that big a fan of graphic tees because I thought it was too ‘loud’. 99% of my tops were either solid coloured, or patterned. I managed to find this tee among the pile. 

I was comfortable with the wide legged pants; it was actually why I chose this outfit of Nicole’s to recreate on the first day, to ease into the challenge. This was the most relaxing outfit I had put on, perfect for a laid-back day (thanks Nicole!). I had no issues walking around in this outfit. Would I venture out into getting a couple more graphic tees? You bet.

 

Nicole

Left: Gabrielle, Right: Nicole

Okay firstly… how cute is this prep-inspired fit? This was definitely the one that caught my eye first among those she had sent. I shy away from color blocking like Gab did here (yellow on blue), because I have a short torso and doing so ‘cuts’ and highlights my odd proportions. 

I tend to go monochromatic for a more effortless yet put-together look, which is why I went for a blue striped shirt, a pair of Zara’s skinny jeans (don’t come for me I’m a Gen Z-er too), a navy school sweater, knee-high black boots and a pair of trendy, tortoiseshell sunglasses. Although the basic elements of the outfit were the same, I feel like we project different vibes! I left the top and bottom of my shirt unbuttoned for a different, more “Western” style, whereas Gab had hers buttoned in a very Muji fashion. Très chic.

Day 2

Gabrielle

Left: Nicole, Right: Gabrielle

Can we take a moment to appreciate Nicole’s mirror selfies? Always nailing it. 

This outfit was way out of my comfort zone. I mostly wore midi skirts (I went a little insane buying different colours of the satin skirts UNIQLO had previously). Needless to say, I borrowed a blue skirt from my sister’s wardrobe which looked almost similar to Nicole’s pretty houndstooth skirt (Nicole’s note: it’s from Pomelo if anyone’s interested!). 

Seeing the end result after I put the outfit on, it was not never something I would style on a daily basis. This preppy look was nevertheless comfortable, save for the fact that I was taking smaller strides. In all honesty, although this outfit has no faults (it’s both stylish and comfortable), I probably wouldn’t choose to wear it as an everyday look. Perhaps I may bring it back to life when attending birthday parties or afternoon tea when this pandemic ceases.

Nicole

Left: Gabrielle, Right: Nicole

Ah yes, Gen Z’s favourite wide-legged pants. This is honestly a combination that anyone can pull off! Gab’s outfit here is really simple and monochromatic, so I love the addition of the claw-clipped hair, which visually ‘lifts’ the entire look, keeping it from looking drab. It’s giving me Emma Chamberlain, so, basically the Kim Kardashian of our generation.

I decided to give this look a ‘safari’ spin, with a white tank, beige culottes, chunky gold jewellery, white sneakers and a white, lightweight button up as an overshirt after this. Definitely channelled Kendall here, except my shirt is $20 and not $1500 (I’m not even joking). As someone who has tried out this look, having your hair up and down does change up your overall vibe.

Day 3

Gabrielle

Left: Nicole, Right: Gabrielle

Looking at this outfit when Nicole sent in her spread, I was really excited because I had a top that is an exact copy of hers. This was most in tune with my daily style, although I have never worn this outfit combination before. 

Nicole’s all black outfit paired with her signature gold chain, small gold hoops, and a bracelet was dripping with sophistication. I, on the other hand, didn’t have the right accessories to emulate that flair. I switched the gold chain out for a scarf instead. The scarf did make me feel like an air stewardess. I also kept my hair up so that the scarf wouldn’t be hidden within my hair and make my neck area look too “heavy”.

Nicole

Left: Gabrielle, Right: Nicole

I think this was the most challenging one in my opinion: I don’t own anything like Gabrielle’s top and skirt so I had to big brain improvise. Unlike her, I never wear midi or maxi skirts, so right off the bat, my options were ultra limited. The only one I had to work with was a tiered, ruffled skirt with a ridiculous tropical print I found while thrifting. I did enjoy the challenge though!

To counter the… overwhelming amount of colour in my skirt, the top has to be simple, but not too basic or the skirt will overpower it. So, instead, I chose an equally feminine white broderie top (H&M) with strong shoulders to balance the skirt and a V-neck to match Gab’s. I kept the rest of my fit very simple and uneventful, with black ballet flats and small, gold hoops to even out the attention back upwards.

Final thoughts

We had loads of fun swapping and spicing up each other’s outfits the past few days. This style swap definitely gave us new ideas on how to pair different clothing items together. Here are our final thoughts:

Nicole:

I discovered my style when I was 17 and rarely deviated from it since then, but this is such a fun challenge to do with your friends! Although adopting Gab’s outfits for myself was interesting, I found myself being more invested in how she spiced up my go-to outfits and how different a familiar outfit looked on a different person.

Gabrielle:

I don’t think that I have a specific style that is uniquely mine. I think I’m still finding out what works for me and what doesn’t. Like what Nicole said, I too was looking forward to seeing what twist she would add to my outfits! But one thing’s certain: I probably wouldn’t venture into preppy styles.

Gabrielle Chua

Nanyang Tech '24

With a stash of Roald Dahl novels in her possession from childhood, Gabrielle seldom has a tight grip on reality. In her spare time, she enjoys printmaking and writing for her local animal shelter.
Nicole Ng

Nanyang Tech '24

Aspiring fashion writer with a crippling addiction to coffee, high fashion, and writing. When she isn't churning out essays or reading, she is browsing (e-)magazines for the newest fashion and home decor inspiration. Experienced in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle writing. Reach her at: [email protected]
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