I Wore The Same Outfit, Hair, And Makeup For A Week & Here's What Happened
Until recently, if someone told me I would wear the same clothes, hair, and makeup for an entire week, I would have laughed in their face. And then quickly apologized for being so rude. As someone with an interest in fashion and expressing myself through my style, I couldn't have imagined anything worse than looking exactly the same for seven days straight. I believed that the more colorful and quirky my outfits were, the more my personality would shine through. Like anyone, I'd occasionally sport a monochrome outfit, but the ensemble would be comprised of statement pieces such as a biker jacket paired with a pleather skirt and riding boots. Then I discovered minimalism and my attitude towards fashion changed.
I stumbled across vlogger Jenny Mustard, a self-confessed minimalist. Mustard's wardrobe is monochrome and seriously chic; she is often seen wearing the same garments in multiple videos. My understanding of fashion changed: In a few weeks, I went from thinking it was normal to buy a new outfit for every single upcoming event, but now I feel that I don't really need all of the clothes hanging in my wardrobe, let alone any additional items. So I wanted to see if I could lead a more minimalist lifestyle by wearing the same ensemble for a week. Here's what happened.
Deciding On My Ensemble
This was the tricky part. Trying to decide what to wear on a daily basis, during spring in England, was a task in itself. Trying to decide on an outfit that could weather all of spring's mood swings, seemed nigh on impossible. Not only did my outfit need to be able to survive the elements, it also needed to be suitable for a variety of occasions. I wasn't sure what the rest of the week had in store for me, but I needed to be sartorially prepared for whatever life threw at me. After much deliberation I decided on the following: A pale pink sleeveless blouse with a strappy tee underneath, a faux leather black skater skirt, a pair of leggings, my favorite black Ethics and Antics hoodie, and a pair of ankle length black wellington boots. I felt this look would enable me to keep warm or cool as I needed, while keeping my feet dry if it rained.
My hair was an easier choice. I despise having my thick, long locks in my face so I normally wear a quiff. I decided that to future-proof myself, I would wear my hair in a high bun with a quiff. I thought this style would have me covered for casual day-to-day activities and anything out of the ordinary that may pop up.
Finally, I decided to go for a natural makeup look which I thought would look great worn every day, or to a special event. I chose: My normal foundation, blush, brown eyeliner which I would also use for my brows, a light gold eyeshadow, and mascara.
I decided not to go for a lipstick because I thought it best to err on the side of caution. I was ready for the week's events!
On the first day of my challenge, I felt super confident and ready for anything! As it was the weekend, I was meeting my friend for a lovely, cliff-top stroll. The weather was wonderful, but as someone who grew up by the coast, I knew I would need a coat on the blustery cliffs. So I thought that whenever the time came for me to wear a coat during my experiment, I would always wear this red one. I was feeling fresh and happy with my wardrobe choices – particularly my little wellies, that were possibly the best pair of shoes I could have picked for a muddy walk. I felt wonderful.
On the second day, I was working from home. Normally, when I'm spending a whole day working from home – and my partner is the only person to lay eyes on me – I wear my comfiest pants, no makeup, and whatever hairstyle I feel like. However, I enjoyed doing my hair and putting my makeup on, and I felt semi-professional in my embellished blouse. It felt like going back in time to when I had a "normal" job, when I would always make sure my hair and makeup was on point. Wearing this ensemble helped me to get into a more professional frame of mind and I really liked it.
I popped out for a spot of shopping on Day 3. Although I'd like to think of myself as a rather clean person, I was starting to feel ever so slightly gross. My leggings had lost their just-washed elasticity and I had spilled a little dribble of food on one of my legs. Aside from this, I was surprised at how fresh I felt for wearing the same clothes three days running. Of course I had changed my underwear and socks in the mean time. I was consciously using aerosol deodorant instead of roll-on deodorant, because I didn't want my armpits to get sticky and create a strange, chemical/sweat hybrid smell on my hoodie. Aside from these small qualms, I was still enjoying the process.
On the fourth day I was not feeling so fresh anymore. I was still sporting the mystery food on my leg and every time I ate, I felt crumbs were being magnetically attracted to my torso. My strappy top – which was closest to my armpits – felt vile against my skin, like it had absorbed my sweat like a sponge. My hairstyle was also starting to wear on me a little, because when I'd been wearing it a few hours, it tended to make my head ache just enough to feel uncomfortable. Although I'd enjoyed wearing makeup every day so far, it was starting to seem more like a chore now. At the end of the day I gleefully threw all my clothes in the washing machine.
By this point, I honestly thought that I couldn't bear to put this outfit on again; in particular the blouse, which seemed slightly restrictive after wearing it for so many consecutive days. However, having had a slight respite from it (when I had to wait for it to dry) I was looking on the positive side that my experiment was over halfway through and my clothes were lovely and clean again. My hoodie was still wonderfully comfortable and my skirt wasn't so bad, due to its loose skater shape that meant I could move around quite freely. I'd gotten used to doing my hair and makeup and it seemed like a part of my day-to-day routine.
Day 6 was super busy. I began with a flying trip to the doctors, followed by a visit to my dad's, and I fit both of these in around work. I had a realization that unlike some of my more avant-garde experiments, this one was actually pretty subtle to the outside world. Nobody else, aside from people I specifically told, knew that I had been wearing the same clothes, hair, and makeup for almost an entire week. There was something quite liberating about this; I felt that this was my little secret and I was reveling in it.
On the final day of my experiment, I was itching to take off my shirt and skirt and wear something more comfortable. My hoodie and leggings had served me well and I was so glad I had chosen to wear them. I went to visit my friends on this final day, in a nearby village. Coincidentally, I had seen one of my friends on the first day of my experiment, so it was funny to see her again on the final day. My other friend said I looked nice which was a really great thing to hear, especially as I was beginning to feel less fresh again. At the end of the day, I couldn't wait to get into my pajamas and wear an outfit that was totally loose, take my hair out of its tight bun, and remove my makeup. I was so excited at the prospect of wearing a different outfit, hairstyle, and no makeup on the day after my experiment.
Even though I was excited to wear a different ensemble after the experiment was over, there were actually a few things I enjoyed about wearing the same outfit, hair, and makeup everyday for a week. One thing I loved was not having to think about what to wear each morning: It made my life simpler and easier. I don't usually wear makeup every day, so although it was a little tricky to find the extra time for application, I actually liked how polished it made me feel. I was really pleased with the overall outfit, hair, and makeup that I chose, because I felt they were suitable for many occasions.
However, I didn't like how my clothes (particularly my blouse) felt after wearing them for a few consecutive days. It may have been a placebo effect, but I felt like my shirt collar was chafing my neck, as it was being pulled down by the heavy embellishments. And after a while of wearing my quiff and bun, my head began to ache and I would yearn to wear a different style for some respite. I also found putting makeup on every day was a chore – I was doing it because I had to rather than because I wanted to.
Conclusively, I discovered that I can lead a more minimal lifestyle and it wasn't too difficult to wear the same clothes, hair, and makeup for a week. This experiment has made me realize that instead of regularly buying cheap, new clothes, it's best to occasionally invest in more expensive, quality pieces that you adore. Nobody had a clue that I'd worn the same ensemble for a week – so I now feel I don't need all the clothes I currently have. My aim is to shop more wisely, try to support more ethical brands and indie companies, and declutter my closet. Because, as this experiment has proven, you can easily get by for a week in just one ensemble.
Images: Phoebe Waller