LIFE

I Wore The Same Outfit To Work For A Week To See How People Would React

by Morgan Greenwald
Morgan is a writer on the branded content team who loves breakfast food almost as much as she loves dogs.

Though I’m not proud of it, I have to admit that I am a bit of a shopaholic. If there’s ever an Alice + Olivia or Zara sale — well, you’ll know where to find me.

Because I enjoy making note of other people’s outfits I like and items I need to add to my wardrobe, I tend to notice what others are wearing. Of course, I have always assumed that other people did the same.

Knowing how much what I wear on a daily basis means to me, an editor at LittleThings approached me with an interesting proposition: Would I wear the same outfit every day for a week and see if anyone actually noticed?

The pros of wearing the same thing day in and day out are obvious. I mean, what’s better than an excuse to avoid stressing over choosing a new outfit every day?

For me, however, this felt like a nightmare. Aside from being a shopaholic, I am also a clean freak, and just thinking about wearing the same outfit for a week made my skin crawl.

At the end of the day, my curiosity won out over my hesitation, and I decided to spend the week testing my coworkers and loved ones on their attention to detail — or lack thereof.

Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

According to Credit Donkey, the average adult spends $161 per month on clothing and services.

As someone who admittedly spends a majority of her paycheck on looking good, this experiment hit a little too close to home.

Does anyone besides me notice what I wear or the effort I put into my wardrobe choices?

Day 1

<u>Day 1</u>
Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

I’ve never worn the same outfit two days in a row in my life, let alone for an entire week.

I figured that the best course of action would be to choose an outfit that wouldn’t stand out. And since the temperature was set to fluctuate throughout the week, I wanted to choose something that could accommodate both the lows and the highs.

In the end, I opted to wear a mellow maroon sleeveless turtleneck with a grey sweater and black jeans. Both the colors and the styles of the articles of clothing were so plain and simple that people were bound to overlook them… or so I hoped.

Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

Since this was only my first day wearing the outfit, I didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, and it didn’t.

That being said, I did notice myself becoming hyperaware of situations that could get my outfit dirty, because the last thing I wanted was to have stains on my shirt or jeans all week.

But between the grimy subways and garbage-lined sidewalks, avoiding dirt in New York City is nearly impossible. By the end of day one, I already felt disgusting.

Day 2

<u>Day 2</u>
Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

On day two, I felt weird about putting the same outfit on, but the clothes were clean and not noticeably worn.

Throughout the day, I was nervous that people were giving my outfit odd glances, and I found myself second-guessing every look I got.

However, upon deeper reflection, I am fairly certain that those “looks” were in my head. Not a single person said anything about my repeat outfit the entire day.

Not. One. Person.

Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

After work, I went to a concert surrounded by a crowd of people I’ve never met. Because no one had seen me the day before, I didn’t have to worry about anyone noticing that I was wearing the same clothes.

Still, I couldn’t get rid of my internal monologue. I found that I was pretty upset I couldn’t wear a specially conceived outfit to the concert and instead was stuck wearing my same old uninvolved getup for my one night out.

Day 3

<u>Day 3</u>
Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

I tend to choose my outfits based on my mood and the temperature outside, so wearing the same outfit every day is not ideal. However, wearing the same clothes does has one benefit: It saves me a huge amount of time getting ready in the morning, and it let me sleep in for a few extra minutes. Hey, every minute counts!

By day three, I was running the worst scenarios through my head. What if HR pulled me aside to tell me that people were complaining about my lack of hygiene? What if my boss asked why I was wearing the same clothes again. Or worse, what if she didn’t ask and just assumed I was disgusting?

However, none of these scenarios happened. In fact, nothing happened. The day went on as it usually did, and not a single person commented on my attire.

Once again, the only person to notice my wardrobe repeat was, well, me.

Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

When I got home, I decided to throw my clothes in the laundry. Even though I had to wear the same clothes all week, there was nothing in the rules about washing them, so I was free to launder my all-too-familiar shirt, sweater, and jeans.

Day 4

<u>Day 4</u>
Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

Wearing freshly laundered clothes made me completely change my outlook on day four. Instead of feeling dirty, I felt like I was actually wearing a new outfit (since I sort of was, as far as cleanliness was concerned). Because of that, I went into the office with a positive outlook.

I mean, if I kept my head up and acted like everything was normal, then people were unlikely to notice the similarities between my outfits throughout the week, right?

Once again, the day went by without a single coworker noticing a thing. When I came home, even my boyfriend — who at this point had seen me on three separate occasions throughout the week — said nothing about my outfit!

Glad he’s paying attention to me!

Day 5

<u>Day 5</u>
Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

When day five arrived, I was happy to put the outfit on because I knew it was the last time I’d be wearing it for a long time.

As day five was the final day of the experiment, I decided to finally unveil my secret to my coworkers, and their responses were eye opening.

Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

When I told my coworkers what I was doing, every single one of them was completely taken aback and clueless — even my boss, who works with me all day!

I originally thought that people were just being nice in not saying anything, but it turns out that people truly just didn’t notice.

Final Thoughts

<u>Final Thoughts</u>
Morgan Greenwald for LittleThings

I learned a lot more from this experiment than I ever could have anticipated.

One big takeaway? People don’t pay that much attention to what you’re wearing. Seriously, if you want to wear the same jeans two days in a row, go for it. If I can get away with the same outfit for five days, then one garment certainly won’t hurt.

Remember, we care way more about how we look than other people do. I spent the entire week worrying about what people were thinking about me when, in reality, they weren’t thinking anything. The truth is, so much of my anxiety was coming from my own insecurities about my looks that I created false scenarios in my head. It’s a total waste of time and energy!

Last, but certainly not least, I spend way too much money on clothing. Why am I buying bags full of clothing every weekend when no one notices what I wear? I need to reprioritize.

Did the results of this experiment shock you? Make sure to SHARE them with friends on Facebook!

Photos: Heeral Chhibber and Janine Ngai for LittleThings