I Tried To Dress Like Garbage On Purpose And This Is What Happened

I turned my own closet against me.

Taylor Miller / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

I’m Joanna, and this is how I dress on an average day.

I usually try, at least a little, to look good. But I wear a lot of black, and lately I've felt like I’m in kind of a style rut. My go-to look lately is often a one-size-fits-all sweatshirt (And no pants. JK, I pair it with leggings). But when I’m not wearing that, I’m trying. Sometimes I put on an outfit and think, “No, this doesn’t work,” and I change. That’s effort. That’s work. Getting dressed feels like work, and I wish it didn’t.

When I was in high school, I would pop a Britney Spears album into my hefty CD alarm clock and gleefully plan out my outfits for the week, dancing on my bed when my bright pink Gap sweater and Abercrombie jeans combination worked particularly well. That joy is gone.

In an attempt to bring it back, I decided to take my personal standard of what is acceptable to wear in public and light it on fire. What if I tried to dress as poorly as possible? I wondered how people would react and how I would feel if, instead of playing it safe each day, I tried to mash together a fashion nightmare. Would I be mocked? Would I feel shame? Would anyone even notice?

First I researched fashion « don'ts » and tried to incorporate them into my outfit every day. And if I felt like I had an item of clothing that I couldn't really « pull off » and felt nervous wearing, I made sure to wear it.

Also, just a note: « I'm going to dress badly on purpose; I might incorporate some of your clothes » is, as it turns out, a rude thing to say to your boyfriend. Oh well!

Instagram: @jbornz

The Don'ts
* Hat I'm not sure I can « pull off »
* Pajamas outside the house
* Wrinkled top
* Socks with sandals
* Junky old Birkenstocks

Most people had no idea I was trying to dress poorly, or that I was dressing differently at all. This really hurt my feelings because I was wearing socks with sandals to the office. Though, I will say, I get now why people wear socks with sandals. It feels amazing.

I got a lot of compliments on this outfit, mostly for the doughnut pajamas my mom bought me from Target. One person said I looked « interesting, » which is the kind of veiled slam I was expecting.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed


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