For many women, deciding what to wear for work every morning can be a stressful and time-consuming experience. While men tend to wear variations of the same suit each day, women feel greater pressure to make multiple decisions for every outfit, wasting huge amounts of time dithering in front of the mirror. For many, making a decision of what to wear every morning to work can be a stressful and time-consuming experience. It is commonly said that looking good is good business.
People tend to pay more attention to their outfit, ranging from fabrics, colors, and style. But Jackie Brown, 49 from Kingston-upon Thames in Surrey, an editor at women’s magazine Good Housekeeping, got fed up of feeling frustrated every morning in deciding what best to wear to work. And like many women, Jackie found that even if she planned an outfit the night before, it wouldn’t always feel right in the morning, which could be because her hair felt wrong or the weather was different. In her words, “I’d generally try one thing on then have a couple of changes and invariably go back to the first thing, which is just a waste of time.”
As a way of putting an end to this problem, Jackie decided to wear the same outfit everyday, for a whole month. She invested in a couple of pairs of the same plain navy trousers and four white shirts, which she wore through out a month, more like a daily work uniform. Jackie says having a work uniform saved her 15 minutes of indecision every morning, reducing her getting dressed time from 20 down to five minutes. Jackie felt calmer, comfortable, confidant and more in control as a result of this experiment.
She felt free from having to go through stress on what to wear every morning to work, putting in as much sartorial time and effort that she feels was a waste of time. She admitted the experiment felt great the first couple of weeks but started to get a bit boring after then adding that it was also of financial benefit. But without the option to change her outfit, she had to derive other means to embellish her style experimenting with make-up; her hair, colorful jackets on the basic outfit while adorning her neck with accessories.
Though Jackie felt good with the experiment of wearing the same outfit for a month, not everyone would attempt such. In fact back home in Nigeria, the idea seems weird, if not impracticable. That is why Miss Anu a staff with one of the multinational companies in Lagos, would prefer to have 31 outfits to cover the days of a full month. She said, “firstly, if it is a suit, I wihave to wash it when it is dirty and you know sometimes it could take a couple of days for it to get dry depending on the weather.
Unless I duplicate and have about 31 pairs of same suit, one for each working day. At the same time, I wouldn’t want to be known as someone that wears same thing every day and that makes me predictable.” Wunmi, also a staff with one of the multinational companies in Lagos, said she couldn’t wear a particular outfit throughout a month. According to her, “My choice of outfit is surrounded by circumstances that range from season, mood and style.
Except in a case where someone doesn’t have enough but I do and so I can’t wear same outfit in four weeks. Sarah, a caterer, exclaimed, “Ah! If it is for a week, I can manage to change the way it appears by using accessories and any other thing I can to style up the basic wear but for a month, that’s impossible. But still there could be an exception, if I am working in a place where staff are given a particular uniform, let’s say black pants and blue shirt in such situations, I can but I would be careful not to put any stain on it to prevent me from washing the clothes repeatedly so I don’t destroy the fabric. But apart from this instance, it’s a firm No.” Ejiro, a computer engineer, said there was a time in his life when he had only two pairs of jeans trousers, three long sleeves and two T-shirts.
“I had to wear what I had within the period I wasn’t able to afford good clothes for myself. Now that I have some ‘small’ change, I can repeat outfits but that does not mean I would wear the same outfit for a month. Like on Mondays, I could wear the cloth that I wore to church on Sunday to work, sometimes I wear a jean four times in a week. I have some of my clothes that I have worn several times in a month but to wear the same clothe stretch in a month…I don’t think I can do it.”
Fisayo also an engineer, “as an engineer, I’m used to wearing my overall when working. But that is what is required of us to use while working. Wearing a particular outfit for a month won’t make me feel comfortable. If the costume looks good on me and I really love it, I can wear it several times in that month but not every day in a month.” For Facebook addicts like lovette, always looking forward to updating her profile pictures repeating clothes is not an option.
She said, “I’m a Facebook lover and I’m always online 24/7. I upload pictures of my ‘selfies’ everyday. It will be horrible for my friends on Facebook to see me on the same outfit for a whole month. I love fashion and I spend money on clothes. I love looking good at all time, it gives me this bold and gorgeous feel and I love to feel that way at all times. Wearing same outfit will just kill my self-esteem.” While men tend to wear variations of the same outfit daily, women feel more pressure to make multiple decisions bringing their creativity to bear with each outfit. Standing and dithering in front of the mirror, trying on different outfits and questioning every piece of accessory added or subtracted viz “Does this skirt suit this pant or that shirt?”
“Do these two color match?” “Which necklace will be perfect for this fabric?” “Or should I wear a pink earring instead of the red” “I think the purple shoe will be perfect compared to the red one.” More often than not, women are caught in such dilemmas that could get them frustrated and end up making a choice they may later either regret or feel comfortable and confident in. With fashion trends constantly evolving, women are getting head over heels putting in so much effort, time and money also, to appear elegant and fashionable. Women believe that an elegant look boosts their confidence. Investing in their wardrobe isn’t much of a big deal but a necessity.
On the other hand, men are known for their simplicity in many things including dressing, they don’t mind wearing a variation of the same pair of jeans and a shirt or suit every day. One notable thing about Jackie’s experiment was the fact that she was comfortable with putting on same outfit for a month. She felt good about herself. Peoples opinion about her clothes did not matter to her rather, she was excited with the fact that she had found a way to manage her fashion dilemma, which has helped her start her day on the right foot, thus becoming more organized and confident. The experiment may not be suitable to all but what is most important is to dress in a manner that makes you feel smart and comfortable in yourself.
-Joy Ofuonye samples the opinion of many on the streets of Lagos to find out if they could wear the same set of clothes everyday for one month