I’m just a girl, standing in front of her closet, asking, “what to wear?”

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.

Photo: Kendi Everyday, Kendi Skeen

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.

Banana Republic top, J.Crew belt and shorts, Ann Taylor Loft flats, Fossil watch. (Photo: Vi Tran)

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.

Weather, Wardrobe, Weary.

After 16 years of living in Texas, you would think I understood the concept of Texas weather. Texas is one of those states that can cause you to sweat buckets in the morning, and have chattering teeth in the evening. The saying goes, “if you don’t like the weather right now, wait a few hours.” There have been some instances where I have even felt like I have experienced all four seasons within one day. I have come to the conclusion that it is no longer safe to leave my apartment without first visiting weather.com for the hourly forecast.

Week 2 Outfits:

Banana Republic top & skirt, Ann Taylor Loft flats, Fossil watch (V.Tran)

Ralph Lauren shirt, Lilly Pulitzer skirt, JC Penny flats (V.Tran)

Banana Republic cardigan, TJ Maxx blouse, American Eagle jeans, JC Penny flats (V.Tran)

J.Crew top, Forever 21 skirt (V.Tran)

I’m not going to lie, documenting my outfits on a daily basis has become somewhat of a chore. Even worse, I’m having the hardest time trying to create stylish, yet work appropriate outfits. There have been countless times where I find myself standing in front of my closet wanting to create outfits with other items that aren’t in my 30 pieces. To find motivation to continue this three week journey, I have browsed through a list of fashion blogs that have done the 30 for 30 challenge.

Upon some research, I stumbled upon a post by I Heart This Blog, which gives the top three tips from someone who has done the challenge. It has come to my attention that every observance listed in the top three is accurate. It is definitely easier for me to create winter, or in Texas weather case “fall-ish” looks, than summery looks. I don’t exactly know about the having a 1-year-old part, but I would imagine it would be more difficult remix with a child. I guess my 1-year-old is my current internship, so remixing in my 5″ shorts is probably not the brightest idea for an engineering research company. With that in mind, here are the top three lessons I’ve learned so far in my first week of remixing.

1. Have a better variety of pieces to remix with: between Texas weather, schlepping 1.5 miles just to get to class, interning, and running around like a chicken with its head cut off, I have learned that versatility and comfort of clothing choices is incredibly important

2. Browsing through shopping sites is not a good idea during the remix process. The point of the remix is to gain self control from impulsively buying. Trust me, I almost purchased a Kate Spade purse the other night simply because it was an additional 30% off, even though I have a similar Coach swing bag

3. Sometimes, it’s okay to create an outfit similar to one you have already remixed. With the limited amount of pieces to remix, sometimes I find myself wearing basically the same outfit. For example, a blue Ralph Lauren button up with jeans and then a white Ralph Lauren button up with the same jeans. It’s okay to get lazy, just don’t do it too often.

Here’s to another week and hoping the remix odds will be ever in my favor.

Wear What One Owns.

At some point or another, we have all found ourselves standing in front of our closet wondering, “I have a closet full of clothes, but why don’t I have anything to wear?” I don’t know about you, but as a financially disabled college student, taking an adventure to the mall is not usually the answer to this dilemma. So, for the next three weeks, I am transforming my blog from a place to vent about my adventures as a public relations major in the engineering industry, to my journey to use the items in my closet to their full potential.

So what is this “30 for 3 remix” nonsense you ask? It simply means I will choose thirty items from my closet and form fifteen, hopefully stylish, outfits. Why fifteen outfits? There are five work/school days during the week, and this project is a three week long process, so a total of fifteen outfits. The point of this project is to embrace the versatility of the pieces in my closet. The best part of this project will be working with what I have, rather than browsing through countless racks at the mall or online sales for items I can barely afford. By knowing what I already own, I will become a better shopper and steer away from impulsive purchases. I discovered this idea through a blog I read on a daily basis, Kendi Everyday. Kendi is a blogger from McKinney, Texas – a suburb of Dallas – who chose thirty pieces in her wardrobe and remixed outfits for thirty days.

The first step of the process will be assessing what I currently have in my closet, and documenting contenders for the thirty pieces. I will then organize them into: tops, bottoms, shoes, and accessories. I will choose the pieces according to their versatility. Because I live in Texas, where weather can change from hot to cold within seconds, I will have pieces that can be layered.

2 cardigans, 4 skirts, 3 button-ups, 3 blouses, 1 dress, 1 blazer (V.Tran)

2 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of pants, 1 skirt, 4 pairs of shoes (V.Tran)

I’m not going to lie, it was fairly difficult choosing the pieces. I had to take into consideration if all these outfits were also office appropriate, considering I intern in the morning and I’m pretty sure my boss would not be keen on the idea of me waltzing around the sea of engineers in short shorts. On top of the pieces shown above, my last five pieces are accessories: a watch, earrings, a ring, and two headbands.

Day 1 – 3 Outfits:

Banana Republic blazer, Ralph Lauren button-up, American Eagle jeans, boots via Amazon (V.Tran)

blouse via TJ Maxx, J.Crew belt, American Eagle jeans, Fossil watch, Ann Taylor Loft flats (V.Tran)

Banana Republic cardigan, Ann Taylor Loft tank, J.Crew skirt, Ann Taylor Loft flats, classic pearls (V.Tran)

For those of you who read my blog often, this feature is an assignment for my “Writing for Public Relations” class and will last three weeks, with one post per week. I will update this post every Wednesday with my outfits up until that day.