Fashion Dare: I Wore Monochromatic Outfits Each Day for a Week to See If It'd Simplify My Life

Wearing the same color every day for a week was supposed to make getting dressed easier, but it actually was more challenging and opened my eyes to gaps in my wardrobe.
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Ayana Isis V. Briones
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Wearing the same color every day for a week was supposed to make getting dressed easier, but it actually was more challenging and opened my eyes to gaps in my wardrobe.

I apologize in advance for the lack of quality pictures. I’m not much of a selfie person. Aside from the blistering cold that resulted in my over 100-degree fever last Friday, I was terrified of the torrential downpour and puddles of dirty street water pooling throughout the week so I had to wait for the perfect day to shoot images.

Though the weather made me only want to wear rainboots, I had to stick to my plan of wearing shoes that matched my monochromatic outfits for xoJane. Inspired by how Taylor Swift and Zoë Saldana have pulled it off, I went for it. (Forget the haters, I just love Taylor and she definitely was a muse for this challenge.) Still, it's a different ball game when you don't have designer clothing at your disposal for that effortless, chic look. 

When I first pitched the idea, I thought this fashion experiment would be a breeze! I don’t know why the hell I thought that! Yes, I do love color and I have a lot to choose from in my closet. The problem is, I have a gorgeous eggplant top with no pants or skirt to match or I have similar prints in different colors. So here's how it went.

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Day 1: With Thanksgiving well behind us, I sadly dragged myself onto the bus back to New York. This meant I had to find something comfortable to wear. Of course, I barely had anything packed, and even though I could always borrow clothes from my mom, every look had to come from my own closet.

The denim jacket I got studying abroad from Stradivarius, one of my favorite stores in Spain, was the closest thing I had to a hoodie. I rummaged through my drawers and found an old pair of dark Abecrombie skinny jeans (or Babycrombie since it’s a size 14 from the kids section). I topped it off with a babydoll denim tank from H&M.

My classic denim-on-denim trend attempt was no Karlie Kloss on the cover of Lucky Magazine, but it got me through the strenuous bus ride. I was going for comfort, and I love how fitted, yet stretchy denim can be. Being comfortable can make or break a trip. 

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Day 2: I wear all white at least once a week, especially during the wintertime. It goes well with my naturally tan skin, and I love how happy it makes me feel. New York can be such a dark and dreary place when it’s cold, so I like to stand out from the sea of black trudging around the city.

I chose a sheer, chiffon long-sleeved top from Forever 21 (this is similar minus the lace) and a drop-waist, peplum skirt from H&M to pair different textures and silhouettes together. People started noticing the quilted pattern on my skirt and the flow of my top. With this look I found that one tone lets the eye focus less on color and more on the details of each piece. Before heading out, I wrapped myself in a faux-fur jacket from H&M to power through the cold.

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Day 3: I created a look from the bottom up this time, focusing on my favorite part of any outfit: shoes! I was finally able to make use of my burgundy Maddox rain booties from ShoeDazzle. I’m not sure if they’re actual rain boots, but they seem waterproof to me. It worked out because I had the perfect solid, burgundy bod-con dress and thigh-high tights from Urban Outfitters. Here they are in essence, but the ones I grabbed on sale were the last pair with a gorgeous floral print. I was happy with mixing of textures and the playfulness of the look.

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Day 4: With the rain continuing to bring me down, I switched things up and pretended as if spring had arrived! I pulled out blush on blush. The star of the outfit was my Elle Woods-style coat from H&M made from bouclé yarn. The rough, textured feel contrasted with the softness of the blush perfectly, and the sweater underneath has intricate detailing. A pair of basic pants pulled it all together. To elevate the sweetheart effect of this color, I pulled my hair back into a bow from American Apparel.

Day 5: Oversharing time! The AC unit in my apartment isn’t fully sealed and lets in freezing winds, causing me to have a temperature of over 100 degrees. I stubbornly ignored my scratchy throat and burning forehead. Still, never underestimate the power of a little makeup and a glass of orange juice. 

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I matched my sickly state by wearing all gray. These metallic high-waisted shorts and strappy heels featured in my first story for xoJane sassed it up. I swapped the heels with these gray slouchy boots from ShoeDazzle (My fifth pair in two months. I can’t stop) for my commute. Then I got my head out of the clouds and out the door. The boots are practical, but I didn’t just want to sport a plain look. 

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Day 6: Getting a little burnt out. This has been fun, but I’m dying to mix colors again. I woke up a new person after sleeping for 14 hours and drinking a jug of Tropicana. Thank goodness, because I had been looking forward to going to a friend's holiday party. 

I ditched green and went for an all-red party outfit. I found an old body-con skirt and a vintage embroidered crop top that added the right amount of pizzazz. My peacoat and bright red shoes accented the outfit. I don’t even remember when I bought these pieces, so sorry for the lack of links.

Day 7: Sunday is my day of rest, so I ended with something easy. All black. Typical New York. Before I dive into the outfit, everything is from H&M. Their clothes fit me perfectly.

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I bought this trench coat because of the pleather seams below the arms and on the chest. I paired it with velvet, floral-print skinny pants that are surprisingly super warm.

Wearing black is completely acceptable at work or pretty much anywhere in New York, but people always ask me if I had just come from a funeral whenever I’m at home in Virginia. It’s like I’m living in two different worlds.

A week may have been a bit too long for this experiment, but I learned a lot. Dressing monochromatically allowed me to organize my closet and see holes in the classic pieces I should own. For example, I realized I don’t have a red party dress and my black blazer needs to be replaced with an upgrade.

I was also able to appreciate the fabrics of my clothes. It gave me new perspective on the importance of matching textures. I challenge you to this fashion experiment! I’d love to see what you do with your closet.