bad outfit days

Just like every woman has a bad hair day now and then, usually coinciding with an event for which she’s extra focused on needing it to look good, like for a date, we also have bad outfit days.

Bad outfit days usually reveal themselves within minutes of their wearer being far enough away from home that it’s too late to rectify matters. Sometimes bad outfit days don’t make themselves apparent until after the outfit has seen several days of wear (not consecutively, of course). And under the worst case scenario, the bad outfit isn’t uncovered until many years later as the wearer combs through photographic evidence of days past. In the last case, these bad outfits aren’t just a representations of a long-gone trend or victims of the passage of time. You know deep inside they were as horrible then as they are now.

I had such an outfit that plagued too many days of my life two summers ago. I was experimenting with the mixing of patterns. You know, stripes with florals, florals with dots, dots with stripes. (J. Crew used to make it look effortless, though I’d describe their current combinations as erring on the side of the ridiculous.) Anyway, I had this olive green and ivory striped long-sleeved shirt.  And I thought it would be super cute to wear with it a short-sleeved floral cardigan with predominant tones of olive, orange, pink and purple. I threw a multi-strand pearl necklace over the whole thing, paired it with jeans and waited for compliments that did not come.

Me: DC isn’t ready for this coolness.

I seriously thought my ensemble was awesome, so I wore the combination again. And again. And again. Then one day, I looked in the mirror and realized, “this is just awful.” (Or rather, that’s the sanitized version of what I said to myself.)

The point I’m trying to make is that bad outfit days happen to everyone. Maybe they happen to those who experiment and envelop push more than they happen to others. Or maybe because (for me personally) the pressure is high to always have on a great outfit, I’m more sensitive to the bad ones when they occur. Whatever the case, I typically advise to go with what your gut says when you stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself, “does this work?”

You just have to recognize that sometimes your gut is going to be wrong.


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