In a caffeine-driven society, the average collegiate princess who is vying for her way to the top has a fairly consistent daily routine that revolves around casually throwing on the most comfortable attire for classes, and a properly tailored suit tucked into the corner of her closet for events that actually require business casual. The need for inspiration and more importantly, motivation, to dress in a nice blouse or fancy dress is limited when the majority of the day is spent jetting from one corner of campus to the other. Anyone who has a valid internet connection and a fascination with fashion will one day find themselves scrolling through a list of fashion bloggers who have graced the cyber world with photographic documentation of elegant and eccentric daily outfits. I have developed an increase in respect for these women and men who are committed enough to firstly wear stylish outfits on a daily basis, and secondly, to document them for the entire online community to view without fear of negative judgement.
The online fashion blog world has seen a growth in its community within recent years. Symposiums and conferences are continuing to expand to display the talents of the online blog community. In our very own back yard is the Texas Style Council Conference, which “fosters genuine connections” and encourages participants to be the “best versions of themselves. No matter how big or how small.” This past March, the council hosted a conference which featured Kendi Skeen of Kendi Everyday, the woman behind the 30 for 30 wardrobe remix, winner of the 2011 Austin American-Statesman Texas Social Media Award, and inspiration for my own 30 piece wardrobe challenge.
“She really inspires the everyday woman. Her blog isn’t called ‘Kendi Everyday’ because she takes her picture every day, it’s because the everyday woman can relate to her,” says Indiana Adams, creator and conference organizer of the Texas Style Council conference.
Skeen’s daily documentations provide not only every day style that has allowed her to be recognized through awards, but is also daily inspiration for me to shut up, look in my closet, and actually choose appropriate daily wear. It was because of her that I conjured up the courage to pursue the wardrobe remix challenge and even start a blog in the first place. The power of social media has increased within the recent years, and the manner that Skeen has used it to brand herself shows the potential success that can be achieved.
“Social media is the only way that I am able to reach my readers each day . . . I can instantly connect to readers at any time,” Skeen says.
In the same manner as those before me, I began this blog as an outlet to find my style, document my struggles in a major only few currently understand, and ultimately, make a brand for myself. I don’t blog in order to feed my ego, nor do I have any desire for it to be fed. It is simply another outlet of expression – an online public journal if you will. Although photographic evidence for my 30 for 3 adventure has been limited, I can guarantee you that I have learned a lot about the flexibility of my closet.
In the wise words of Skeen, “I’m just a girl, standing in front of her closet, asking ‘what to wear?'” And I did just that every morning during this 30 for 3 project, and every morning prior to it. The question of “what should I wear today?” is a common one faced by the general female (and some male) population on campus. On most days, I’ll take a deep breath and choose appropriate attire, while on other days, I’ll grab the nearest pair of running shorts and call it a day.
Thankfully, I did manage to document one example of a “good” outfit day. In the back of my head, I’m telling myself this is a fashionable outfit that can save me from the overly air-conditioned lecture halls, while still be bearable to wear while racing from one end of campus to the other. I could be on to something in the manner of the fashion blogger greats, or I could be completely wrong; I’d rather avoid the idea that it is the latter.
Contrary to popular belief, remixing does not have to revolve around expensive pieces of clothing. Although the brands I mention in the captions of my photos boast the usual “high-classs for a college student” name, I never paid full price for any of the pieces I wear. I am a strong believer in budgeting and the power of digging through the endless sea of sale racks in order to meet my budget.
So, how does one go about blogging about fashion or “fashion” or anything along the lines of outfit documentation? For one, don’t clump several outfits into one post like I initially planned. I have learned that a daily post keeps one much more motivated to remember to document the outfit and write a short paragraph about it. Secondly, there are about a million reasons to give up on the challenge, such as “I’m having a bad day and I just want to be comfortable” or “It’s midterm season and I could honestly care less about what I wear.” These are excuses that constantly crawled into my head in the past month, while attempting to balance school, interning at an engineering company, and this wardrobe remix project.
There were more times when I wanted to give up than I can’t count on my two hands, but it has been worth it. A simple “nice” outfit can make a day just a little better. Besides, you never know who you’re going to run into, even on campus, and who you could potentially impress with a not-so-typical outfit.
“If I have learned nothing else in college, I have learned that if you want to impress someone – be it a client, an employer, or just a friend – you have to first get the opportunity to impress them,” says Rustin Low, junior radio-television-film major and owner of RCLow.
Appearances can leave an impression on a person and knowing what’s in your closet to impress them can become a difficult task if there is not full knowledge about what is actually in one’s closet. The 30 for 3 wardrobe remix is a method to discover the potential of one’s closet and arrange outfits accordingly.