The Five Days of Iris: What I Learned After I Stopped Wearing “Basic” Outfits

I hate the term ‘basic’. Wearing Uggs? You’re basic. Drinking Starbucks? Basic. Breathing? Soo basic. For millennials, it seems it is nearly impossible not to be considered basic at one point or another. To me, being basic means wearing the same outfit as everyone else, everyday: leggings, sweatshirts, flannels, dark colors, etc. After watching the Netflix documentary Iris (which is a must-see), I stared into my closet at all of the bright, fun clothes I never wear and became instantly inspired. I made it my mission to dress colorfully, confidently, and Iris-y for a school week. Here is my journey:


Day One: Black, White, and Fabulous All Over

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Considering the vast amount of black and white that I wear, I had a hard time giving it up the first day. So I thought, do I even have to? Iris does not shame those who wear black or white, as long as you wear it with style. Black and white can make a bold and fashion-forward statement, especially if you pair different patterns together and accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Don’t try to match your accessories either. Layer on the necklaces, earrings, bangles, bright shoes… Literally look like you robbed a Charming Charlie. More is more.


Day Two: Orange you Glad I Bought these Pants? (Because I Am)

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After all of the compliments I received from my Day One outfit, I had acquired the confidence to really tap into my inner Iris. Epic orange jeggings (ily, Gap), floral flats, a yellow button down, new Warby Parkers, teal/coral accessories, and my favorite Kate Spade tote, since Iris models for this beloved brand at the age of 94. Did I feel like a walking candy wrapper? A little bit. Did I love it? Absolutely. Remember: It doesn’t have to match, it has to go.


Day Three: Combating the Cold with Class, Sass, and Sperrys

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From November – March I go into fashion hibernation. I just want to wear leggings with sweaters every day, and most of the time I do. So when I woke up to 25 degree weather in April, I thought being Iris-y would pose a challenge. Nervous to pick out my outfit, I started by wanding my hair and putting on vibrant red lips to get pumped. As soon as I applied my favorite Tarte’s tarteist lip paint, I was inspired to match my outfit to my lips. Sometimes, you have to start backwards! I found the trick to looking hot in the cold is to layer, layer, layer. Cold weather gives you the opportunity to literally keep adding pieces until it’s hard to lift your arms (which I did). Instead of leggings, pair your big sweater with loose boyfriend jeans to look effortlessly chic.


Day Four: Complementary Colors = Endless Compliments

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Remember in your elementary school art class where you learned all about the color wheel and how opposite colors complement each other? Well, that sh*t really works. I must’ve received at least five compliments today about my bright and super comfy outfit (funky pants are life. Buy mine for $10 here). Plus, people were too busy staring at my neon shirt and patterned pants wondering how it looked good that they neglected to notice my rain-induced frizzy hair. Win.


Day Five: Denim + Denim + Denim = One Dope Outfit

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Who remembers Target’s Back-To-School commercial with Melissa McCarthy’s husband praising denim? Click here for a refresher.

I literally heard this song playing through my head on repeat the entire day… and it was wonderful. Today was about squashing the notion that denim on denim (or, in this case, denim³) cannot be done. Because not only is it totally doable, it is 100% bad-a**. Just layer different shades of denim and you’ll be what I like to call a jean-ius. Need a starting point? Buy Target’s Who What Wear top here. It’s a complete game-changer (and is softer than most of my PJs).


The Takeaway

What I thought would be a mere five days has turned into a lifestyle choice. Life is too short to wear the same thing everyday; step out of your comfort zone and experiment with colors, fabrics, and patterns. You don’t need to wear every color of the rainbow to embrace your inner Iris, even adding something simple like a statement necklace or bold eyeliner is an effortless way to look (and feel) unique and fabulous. Overall, it was harder than I anticipated to transition from wearing leggings and hoodies to Iris-approved outfits, but I learned that as long as you wear it with confidence, you’ll rock it. And if you don’t have that level of confidence quite yet, lipstick works too.


This article was originally posted here.


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