What do you think about when you pick out an outfit? Are you thinking about how good you will look or the functionality of the outfit within the context of the day or nothing at all, that clothing is a means to prevent nakedness?
If you are one of the former people, a person trying to look “cool” or at least good, assembling an outfit can sometimes seem like a slog — especially when you don’t have a means to, you know, swipe up a bunch of new clothes. I run into this probably all the fucking time and, when left without inspiration or options, one has to get creative and use a different logic to dress. What do I do? I think of fashion like a video game. And what does that mean? Gamifying getting dressed by unlocking new outfits.
We all have our “go to” outfits, things that we wear so often that others might comment that they’ve seen us wearing said outfit or clothing items before. This is great, yes, but also a tell that you have exhausted a resource: you need to change what you’re wearing. You have to get inventive. You need to unlock a new outfit, matching unlikely clothing items together to find something fun and new hidden in the open source of your closet.
I have been practicing this for years. Much like Cher in Clueless (but without the fancy computer program), I spend a lot of time getting dressed and mixing and matching to dress in a different way. I typically don’t “know” I’m doing it, in the act, but whenever I leave the house and am in the world and realize “Oh! I’ve not worn this combination of clothes before.,” something clicks. I shit you not, the Xbox achievement unlocked sound plays in my head as the outfit is catalogued for future use. This act is the mark that I beat some sort of strange fashion level in a strange fashion game of my own creating.
It’s simple enough too and, for those who care about clothing, this way of thinking about your outfits will come naturally. No, not every combination will work out well — but at least you tried. This can also be simple too: swap out your shoes or shorts or shorts or hat of an outfit that you always wear, a subtle means to make your look a little different. Consider gaming series Monster Factory as inspiration: pull and push yourself in various directions to try something new, to use your IRL sandbox to create a new castle.
It’s that easy, really, and the sort of activity one can do when you don’t have the money to get a new outfit or dump your wardrobe for something new. This is how I move through my personal fashion droughts: I turn dressing into a video game. It’s not an easy game, no, but the rewards can be quite cool.