One of the “problems” capsule converts face is boredom: you are wearing the same 30 items for three months and there seem to be only so many combinations to try, or you end up reverting to your old standbys. So, when I was conceptualizing this capsule I knew I wanted to try the whole letting someone else dress me, a la Buzzfeed experiment ft. Nina.
I decided to follow similar rules. I gave my pal Cat free range in my spring capsule closet with only style prompts as guidance. She sent me the slate for the week, including hair and makeup styling suggestions. The only other person who knew I was not choosing my own outfits was B.
Meet Cat @frootyn !
Cat’s Pre-Capsule Takeover thoughts:
My reaction when Kala asked if I’d help pick the outfits for a week was kind of diabolical. “The perfect crime!” I thought. “If something doesn’t look right, I can skulk away without repercussion or embarrassment on my part!”
I’m not a risk-taker generally, and when it comes to dressing I like simple things. Jewel-tone colours, stripes, walkable oxford shoes: these are my fashion staples. I’ll make a beeline to things in stores so similar to ones I already own it’s like I’m a robot programmed to build a nest of stripey t-shirts for my nautical overlords.
So when I armed myself with Kala’s style prompts and the reference photos of the spring/summer capsule she’d put together, I was overwhelmed. She’s got colours I never wear, patterns other than stripes (they make those?), frills and cuts and pieces completely out of my wheelhouse.
Plus, I’d spent my lifetime learning how to dress a specific type of body. I’m a bit on the short side of average and built like a slim Celtic lass who puberty forgot. Gender presentation-wise, I aim to broker a truce of adorable gamine, classy modern dame, and nondescript “leave me alone, fellow Engineering students” tomboy. What do the outfits I envision do when you have a different bra size to consider? How do colours work with blonde hair? What about dressing with a disability?
Reader, I winged it. (Wung it?)
M O N D A Y
Cat’s Thoughts on Outfit 1: I started the week off playing it safe. While Kala styled it slightly differently than I would (aka. wore makeup and jewelry), the overall effect was still simple and pretty: Kala the popular girl in a romcom about high school.
My Thoughts on Outfit 1: This is totally an outfit I would (and have!) put together for myself. Unfortunately, it was a rainy, gross day so it was harder to get my hair to dry (I braided it post-swim) so that it would create nice waves. When I think of Cat, I often think of cardigans — so I could feel her inspiration in this look. I wore this outfit to a dissertation writing date and was trying to gauge whether or not my writing buddy could tell that I didn’t choose my outfit. Her only comment was that I was fairly dressed up for a writing date (haha!). I was going to keep the experiment a secret from B, but I caved and told him — he simply noted that I often dress this way (get ready for days 2-5!).
In terms of styling, Cat’s only direction were “wavy hair and glowing makeup” so, I simply did my usual glowing 7-min face (tutorial here!). I also threw on my Beck & Boosh druzy necklace to keep the romantic look going. I think most importantly, I went without a bold lipstick in favour of my Burtt’s Bees tinted balm in “Red Dahlia.” I felt very comfortable in this look!
Makeup and styling:
Cat’s Thoughts on Outfit 2: The plot thickens. The eyeliner embiggens. I asked Kala to do a cat eyeliner and chignon almost entirely because I’m incapable of doing them properly myself: vicarious living ahoy! I *love* how it turned out: Kala the charming local vintner. The dress print is gorgeous, the styling elegant, and the colour scheme girlier than I’d try myself. Also, is there a non-creepy way to say Kala’s skin looks really nice in this one?
My Thoughts on Outfit 2: I *loved* this outfit! I had never done a chignon before and enjoyed watching tutorials to psych myself up! I also used my hair straightener with some sleeking product (feeling very Hermione at the Yule Ball). I had been waiting to wear this Modcloth dress and was so excited to do it was part of this collaboration with Cat (she helped me window shop for it and encouraged me to purchase it:) ). I really loved the way this look came together. I asked B what he thought and, much like Harry and Ron, he was mostly taken aback by my depouffed hair and the soft, romantic styling.
Aside from the chignon, Cat wanted big, exaggerated cat eyeliner and I was more than happy to comply. Because I wanted my perfect eye liner to be the focus, I went with Kat von D’s “Magick” as a neutral lip colour (check out this duo of Magick and Tattoo liner). I also wanted the sparkly lip colour (which is lost in the pictures — I will do a tutorial soon!) to pick up the blingy silver and pink necklace I choose to accent the dress.
Cat’s Thoughts on Outfit 3: This look scared me. I suggested pairing the top and the shorts based on shared yellowness but power-clashing is fashion skill far beyond my ken. In other words, I would never try this myself. Even telling Kala that was my choice for the day made me feel awful, like I was telling her to close her eyes and pick two things at random and suffer through the day based on that result. And yet, this is one of my favourites for the week. (Possibly because it’s a stripey shirt). I love how the yellow combines with Kala’s hair colour to look bright and summery, and I’m agog at how long her legs look with those shorts. Gams for days! It’s interesting to see this outfit, too, because I know it would skew gamine on me, but it comes across more as Kala the Southern boating school preppy girl here.
My Thoughts on Outfit 3: Cat warned me that she wasn’t sure about this look when she gave me her selections, but I was totally game. I love yellow! I love patterns! I love pattern mixing! What’s not to love? When I was getting dressed, I was excited — I realized that it has been ages since I’ve worn a tee and shorts together. I felt a little under dressed (turns out I like having a structured element), so I grabbed my navy RW&Co blazer just for the photos, to see if it changed the styling.
I added very little by way of styling. My hair was still straightened from the previous day’s chignon, and I went with “Magick” again for my lips. I felt fabulously preppy, like Serena from Gossip Girl (ya know, if she was short and curvy). B thought this look was super outside of my wheel house and while I have to agree, I couldn’t stop looking at the IG tri-partite photo and thinking, “Holy crap! My legs look so long!” This was also the best received look that Cat chose on Instagram! 🙂
Cat’s Thoughts on Outfit 4: Not too hard to see what my inspiration was for this one: Kala the riveter! I picked the blue Oxford shirt to bring a more masculine touch into the week, having chosen staunchly girly things for a couple days and then a risky-feeling Wednesday. This shirt is more like comfort food to me. But I also know that Kala knows makeup and hair tricks enough to bring some interesting style to the look, and I was not disappointed. The hair reminds me of Victory Rolls but is more practical and fun! (cough tutorial? cough)
My Thoughts on Outfit 4: I was very excited for this look. I love, love, love 40s fashion and styling (even though I don’t often do it) and enjoyed rocking this look! I wasn’t sure if I should tuck or untuck my shirt (tucking it seemed to emphasize my hips), so I alternated throughout the day. This is probably the look that received the most comments in the real world. I had a number of errands to run for my up-coming conference and it seemed everywhere I went people commented: on my bright red lipstick, on the bandanna, my almost- victory roll hairstyle (I will definitely do a tutorial!), and my shorts. A lot of these comments came from either older ladies (blood work was on the to-do list) or young, hipster-styled folk.
Obviously, Cat wanted a Rosie the Riveter look, so I went with bright red lipstick — Kat von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in “Outlaw” — and more eyeliner. I don’t often wear my hair up without braids so this was a fun look for me! B told me at the end of the week that this was one of his top two favourite looks and an aesthetic he thinks I could and should start leaning into.
F R I D A Y
Cat’s Thoughts on Outfit 5: MEIN GOTT: Kala Addams. This look best represents the interesting alchemy of this week’s challenge. My suggestions + Kala’s interpretations and execution = the outfits for this week are different from what either of us would normally do. When I suggested the shirt and jeans, I’d envisioned a more relaxing, casual day for the end of the week after putting extra effort into the previous days. I’d told her to go with bold lipstick, but had no idea she’d pick black. I’m so, so glad she did 🙂
My Thoughts on Outfit 5: Everywhere I went, people referenced Wednesday Addams when talking about my look. I actually did this look on Sunday before the week officially started because I forgot that I was flying out on Friday AM bright and early. I was so excited. I had a night of trivia and board games slated with some friends and was excited to see what people thought of this look. B loved it and dubbed it “Rural Wednesday Addams”.
When I bought this lipstick a month ago he told me I could rock it because I’m so pale. So when Cat said “bold lipstick” I realized I wanted to debut this awesome Kat von D black lipstick called “Slayer”. I went with braids because they are easy and added fun details. My friend Alice couldn’t stop saying how much she liked this look, so I divulged that Cat was in charge for the week. By far, this was the most fun look to wear!
Cat’s Final Thoughts: This was so fun! Many of the things I had been worried about weren’t problems when Kala followed through on the ideas. My favourite look was definitely the Wednesday Addams plaid above, and I also really liked how the yellow on yellow pattern clashing turned out. And even though it was only a week, I feel like I learned a lot. The biggest takeaway? How much doing your hair and makeup can change an outfit. I’d love to try doing the reverse, where Kala picks outfits for me, or teaches me how to do a hairstyle, or does my makeup. Or…well, Kala essentially becomes my personal stylist. In the interim, I just might be combing local stores to find some black lipstick.
My Final Thoughts: I had such a blast wearing the looks Cat picked! I was so excited every morning to get dressed up 🙂 It totally shook me out of my rut and gave me some new ideas (simple styling? YES! chignons? YES! shorts with tee shirts? YES! 40s styling? YES! plaid with black lipstick? YES! YES! YES!). My favourite looks were pattern clashing prep and rural Wednesday Addams. I can’t wait to return the favour and do some styling for her! I am also excited to collaborate more with Cat and others — guys, group work can be fun!
What was your favorite look?