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Giraffes, palm trees, flowers, oh my: how changing style affects you

Katie Gruninger, Web Editor

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I decided to try something that I normally wouldn’t do for a week to see how it would affect me. After much deliberation, I chose to change my style.

My normal clothing style includes a lot of neutral colors and a more street and edgy style. The clothes I wear on an everyday basis make me feel confident and comfortable.

I try to stay away from bright colors and prints. So when I began thinking about what type of clothing is most unlike me, Lilly Pulitzer came to mind. It’s not that I hate her clothing, it’s just that it’s the last thing I would ever want to wear.

Since I didn’t have any Lilly Pulitzer clothing or anything that resembled it in my closet, I had to ask for some help from my friends. My good friend Mabel Hathaway is a huge Lilly Pulitzer fan and agreed to give me enough clothes to wear for a full week of school. She lent me two skirts, two dresses, and two shirts to make outfits with for the week.

Monday began with a white v-neck shirt tucked into a Lilly Pulitzer skirt with a blue, yellow, green and pink flower pattern. Pulling on these clothes that morning brought on an unusual feeling. On a normal day, I would grab something much simpler out of my closet.   Despite feeling odd, my outfit received a lot of attention. I received multiple compliments like “Katie, you look really nice today” and “Katie, that outfit looks really cute on you.” It’s always nice to be complimented on how you look by other people, but when you’re wearing something you don’t like and you’re getting complimented on it the compliment doesn’t feel real. Although it felt nice to be complimented on the way I looked, the flattery didn’t really register with me. Knowing in my mind that I was only wearing these clothes for an experiment, made me not take the compliments very seriously.

I woke up dreading my outfit on Tuesday. Even though I received positive feedback from my friends and teachers on Monday, I didn’t feel like this outfit was going to be a success. The Lilly Pulitzer dress I borrowed was sleeveless and purple and hot pink, two colors I don’t wear often. The dress was very loose fitting and it felt like a nightgown to me. I ended up adding a jean jacket it to it because the back of the dress was open and that doesn’t always go over well at school. My tennis coach was the first person to compliment my outfit on Tuesday, although I think it was in a joking matter. She knew that I was only wearing these clothes as an experiment, so she knew it would be funny to joke me about what I was wearing. I didn’t care too much about people’s opinions because I knew in a few days I would be back to my normal style.

On Wednesday, I wore a green and white printed Lilly Pulitzer dress. The dress was very flowy and it had bell sleeves.  My mom, who is not a huge fan of Lilly Pulitzer either, gave me a compliment before I left the house. She said it looked cute on me and told me I looked like a kindergarten teacher. Although it wasn’t what a 17 year old wanted to hear, I didn’t mind wearing the dress. It wasn’t too bright and it had a lot of white in the print.  I felt that this dress was a little too fancy for everyday and I couldn’t imagine wearing something like that on a normal school day. Unfortunately, it was also not the most comfortable for a day at school.

A pink and green palm tree and flower skirt and a white v-neck shirt made up my outfit for Thursday. This day, by far, brought in the most compliments. This outfit was very similar to the outfit that I wore on Monday. This look was the simplest out of all the outfits I wore during the week. The skirt was a busy pattern and extremely bright, so I paired it with a white v-neck shirt. This outfit  made me feel pretty confident since so many of my friends told me how nice I looked in it.

Friday was the final day of my challenge, so I went with a casual Lilly Pulitzer look. I wore plain blue jeans and a v-neck t-shirt in Lilly Pulitzer’s lover’s coral print. This shirt was by far the brightest piece I wore all week. I felt like a child had colored with highlighters all over me. Although the shirt itself was very comfortable, the colors of it made me very uncomfortable. I did not like all the attention the brightness of the shirt drew to me. With all the different colors on the shirt it did very little justice for me. I mean who can pull of four different shades of highlighter?

Surprisingly, wearing these clothes made me feel perky, which is not how I would usually describe myself. I don’t even know how I would describe myself normally. I am definitely not a downer, but I am really laid back and tell it how it is. I like my dark clothes and the vibe they give off.  But in my Lilly Pulitzer clothes, I was bubbly. I found myself bouncing and skipping throughout the school. I laughed more and I had a positive aura around me. The bright colors in all the outfits made me feel cheerful and happy. Even my friends and teachers told me I seemed upbeat the entire week. I didn’t realize the effect the clothes were having on me at first, but I guess it’s hard not to feel jolly when wearing such bright colors.

My week was not too horrible despite the fact that I wore clothes that I always say I would “never” wear. I’m still pretty sure that I would still never purchase Lilly Pulitzer clothing because it is too expensive for clothing that is not my style. Even though I dislike the company’s clothing, I do like the planners they sell. I guess this means, I do find the patterns visually appealing…just not on my body. Moral of this experience: get out and there and try new things. They might be more fun than you expect.

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Giraffes, palm trees, flowers, oh my: how changing style affects you