Every morning, Kaitlyn Foley stares at her closet for at least 20 minutes. As the web director of Blush Magazine, the Fashion Institute of Technology’s student-run publication, Foley said she’s “not a planner” when it comes to selecting her outfit for the day — but she still pays attention to detail. 

Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Foley.

Foley said that while her work clothes are mainly black, her everyday style is more colorful. She likes to match colors with the current season. 

“I usually would stick to neutrals and gray tones in the winter just because that’s what winter feels like to me,” she said. “In the summer, I wear a lot of brighter colors and in the fall I wear a lot of browns.” 

Like Foley, many young adults are attentive to their everyday clothing choices. Even so, selecting clothes for a daily routine remains a puzzling topic. 

I know from personal experience that, although a fun process, developing a regular style is not easy. Sometimes I’ll imagine the outfit, but, when I try it on, it doesn’t seem to be that pretty, or different, or aesthetic, or whatever word I had in my head when I thought it up. And, because I’m not fashion knowledgeable, it is hard to distinguish whether I’m just being picky or that outfit really isn’t that good.

Knowing that a lot of people have this difficulty, fashion influencers decided to share what they wear through social media, usually with tags such as “#lookfortheday.” But you don’t need to be a professional influencer to do it. 

Photo courtesy of Katie Hill.

Katie Hill, now a sophomore magazine journalism major at Syracuse University, created an Instagram page back in eighth grade to post mirror selfies of her daily looks. She still posts her outfit nearly every day.

Hill explained that her process of creating an outfit starts by checking the weather before she goes to sleep. Then she will choose a piece of clothing and craft the next day’s look around that one piece. When pairing and matching items from her wardrobe, she draws inspiration from other social media pages.

“Sometimes I’ll see an outfit on Pinterest and try to recreate that outfit using my own clothes,” she said. 

Beyond aesthetics, giving your daily outfits attention can have a positive impact. 

Ariana Dimitrakis, a fashion writer, said that what you wear should make you more confident. She is the author of “Female Empowered Fashion,” co-founder of FIT magazine, and creator of the “Here and Haute” blog

“Dressing up makes it easier to go out and be more motivated to do things,” she explained. “It brightens your day to get dressed up. ” 

Photo courtesy of Ariana Dimitrakis.

I understand her point. I feel  much more motivated to go to my classes when I’m wearing a nice piece like my yellow vest, my beige boots or my maroon cashmere sweater. It gives my daily commitments a sense of fanciness and importance because I prepared myself for them — I made an effort to look good for them. 

Dimitrakis said that she doesn’t have a style. What she wears one day can be completely different from what she wears the next. 

In my experience, what I wear depends on a variety of factors, including how I’m feeling, who I’m seeing and what I’m doing on that day. That’s why I don’t like to tie my everyday wearing to a particular style. 

And it is also important to understand that styles are volatile, meaning that your style will be subject to changes (sometimes huge) depending on your state of mind . Fashion model Jared Hoke said that his style changed several times as he grew up. He said part of this change came from what he learned about fashion through books, YouTube videos, friends and social media. However, he emphasized something you shouldn’t forget: fashion is all about your identity. 

“Fashion is the only art that we all indulge on [a] daily basis,” Hoke said. 

Photo courtesy of Jared Hoke.

He also argued that you can be taught everything about what is fashionable and what is not, but the clothes you wear should reflect what you think looks good on you, therefore, reflecting your uniqueness. 

I agree with him, and I have something to add on it: if you don’t show how special you are, how are others supposed to value you? Regardless of what I wear, I always try to add some element to my look I think will enhance my personality and make people notice me. For example, recently my anthropology professor laughed at a joke that was written on my shirt and asked me where I got it from. The next class, he called me by a nickname among a class of 200 students. But it’s important to say that, like Hoke, these are details I started paying attention to with time. 

Akili Dzwill, fashion editor for Blush Magazine, has watched her fashion sense evolve as well. When she was a junior in high school, she says she wore leggings and sweatshirts all the time. Now as a junior in college, she not only pays more attention to what she is wearing, but also shops more consciously. 

Photo courtesy of Akili Dzwill

“Now, if I have an event, I would buy a piece I can work with and put together in different ways so I don’t need to go out and buy something every single time there’s an event,” Dzwill said.

This is something that I practice too. When I buy a piece, I buy it thinking of holding onto it for several years. I still have my first winter jacket, which was bought when I was 14. In the past eight years, I only had to buy one other and lived perfectly fine with that. Many people worry so much about buying sustainably produced clothes that they forget to consider the merit of just buying less. It is important to understand where our clothes come from and how they were made, but it’s also important to shop with quantity consciousness. 

Dzwill also said that every process is different, and that fashion can be an amazing tool for self-expression. 

Foley agreed — when she started college, she was self-conscious because she thought her way of dressing was ordinary. However, time taught her that each person’s style is unique. 

“I think that with getting older, I realized that I got more comfortable with myself,” Foley said.

When I was in my early teens, I asked my parents if they thought I was stylish. At the time, not even I knew why I was asking that. However, I realize today that it is because I want people to see me as someone who dresses well, or at least someone who tries to. It makes my day when my friends compliment a piece I’m wearing. 

Jeans and sweatshirts don’t work for me every day. I care about colors, textures, brands, moods and concepts. And, because I care about all of that, it was disappointing that I was unable to craft outfits for myself. 

It’s inspiring and enlightening to see that there are people on this same journey who are helping others on their paths to, as Hoke said, indulge in art on a daily basis.

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