This week, I’ve been in California visiting my family before I ship off to Argentina for a year, and all I could afford to bring on the plane (on the way back, I’m taking one of my mom’s suitcases I’ll be borrowing for the year, and couldn’t pay for 2 checked bags) to carry a week’s worth of clothes was my trusty Topo Designs backpack (no longer sold, similar here). In it, I packed the following clothing items (or wore them on the plane):
- IJJI Canvas Work Jacket and Pants
- Souvenir long-sleeve shirt from Bethany Beach, Delaware
- Secondhand Gap cream sweater
- Nu Swim Shell Dress and Noodle Suit
- Levi’s Low Pro Jeans
- COA Nylon Seam Pants
- Batsheva Midi Skirt
- Praying “Hebrew York” hat (sold out)
- COA iPhone Crossbody
- SAS Simplify Loafers
- Thrifted bandana
I also wore a few necklaces, but I uhhh forgot to include them in this selection, so I didn’t use them to make the following outfits, the fits are also so neutral that you could accessorize appropriately in a plethora of ways. I also accumulated items while in CA from my childhood closet and local stores, but I really wanted to make this an exercise in how many distinct fits I could make without getting completely ridiculous with it using only the items one could easily tote in a single backpack.
Disclaimers aside, I was able to come up with the following 12 basic outfits:
If I had to pick 5 favorites from this array, they would be #s 2, 4, 9, 10, and 12. More on them below.
- Pick 3 colors and choose mostly clothes that fit into the list (I obviously chose blue, black, and white-ish)
- Pack tops and bottoms of different lengths (for layering purposes)
- Swimsuits are clothes
- Bandanas are the best accessory
- Sweaters, sweatshirts, and long sleeve tees can all also be scarves or belts
- Your bag can clash or be out of the color scheme, it’ll still look good
P.S. If you have the urge to tell me my Photoshop skills are “shit,” just know: you’re wrong, I’m really good at it.
#2: The Counselor Fit
The post-shower hair really does a lot of work for the camp counselor/swim coach vibes of this look. The nylon pants push the athleticism, while the loafers add an air of unearned authority. The cut of the tank dress is sexy in the way counselors somehow inherently are, no matter how deranged or homely. The t-shirt tied around the waist is ostensibly pragmatic, but really just an aesthetic choice in lieu of a belt. The baseball cap is obvious. A lanyard would not be out of place here, nor would friendship bracelets woven by all the kids who are obsessed with you for the 3 weeks you are their god and master over the summer.
#4: The Cozy Fit
As my Patreon supporters know, white + off-white is a Thing for me (sub to my Patreon to learn more in this past week’s subscriber-only bonus post…) and I like a fit that’s heavy/chunky/warm on top and light/thin/floaty on the bottom for its gravity-defying subversiveness. The bandana tied as such brings a bit of the same energy as the skirt to the tippy-top of the look, the crossbody slashes the mass of paleness in a way that makes it easier to decipher, and the shit-eating grin was because my partner was making fun of me as I took this pic.
#9: The I’m Busy Fit
Something about long sleeved shirt under dress + loafers + crossbody just feels very School Uniform but the lack of a collar or other embellishments makes this an unfussy iteration. I dunno, I feel like I look like I’m on a mission here.
#10: The Drama Fit
Completely inspired by this post. I love a fishtail silhouette, but the simplicity and sporty shape of the tank dress keeps this from looking like a Wife at a Gala Fit and makes it a little weirder. I like when you can tell someone MacGyvered a fit out of disparate pieces, the effort and ingenuity makes me appreciate the final product more. Maybe that’s just me gassing myself up! This fit could be draped in jewels, I think a metal/chain belt would look cool, topped with a bolero or long silk coat… it’s the perfect canvas for a dramatic night out.
#12: The Sleepover Fit
The bandana-ed topknot feels very Babysitter’s Club to me, the work jacket and pants are a very Pajama color and fit, the sweater is classic but cozy… I feel like I look ready for a very wholesome but stylish (popped collar!) night in with a friend or a kid I’m getting paid to watch for a few hours.
I hope you were IMPRESSED with my OUTFIT-CREATING PROWESS and will gladly accept gushing compliments in the comments or on the HR Instagram. Sign up for the HR Patreon for bonus posts, personal styling (I have received great reviews from the people who have employed my personal style dossier-creating services thus far!), and more, and, as always, don’t forget to wear cool socks at some point this week.