In the 2016 women’s bathroom line that stretches all the way from wherever you are to Newark airport’s pre-pre-pre-security line, you’re guaranteed to spot and find repeats of two very distinct outfits. There will be one behind you, one in front of you and then an alternating checkerboard pattern beyond that of women dressed alike.
You might be in one of these two outfits, too.
I know that as I write this, I certainly am. I am wearing both, actually, just in case.
This happens every season: a mass uniform of sorts is decided for a few very reasonable reasons:
1) Getting dressed is hard no matter who you are.
2) Stores sell a lot of the same stuff.
3) As a result, we tend to follow at least one trend, even if we put our own spin on it.
4) We see someone whose outfit we think is cute and copy it; we’re not the only ones, then someone possibly sees ours — and it’s a chain reaction.
That’s it. Don’t overthink it.
This summer, the two main contenders are exactly what you see in the illustration above.
On our left: the sexy romper and Lucky Charms-inspired lace-up sandals.
+The romper: a wise choice for anyone who tends to pack all pants but no tops or all shirts but no shorts. It’s an outfit done for you, and that’s really nice.
+The romper: Also excellent for she who believes in conserving weekend bag real estate.
+The romper: Light/airy/pretty/frilly. In other words: all the things you want your summer wardrobe to be.
+The sandals: Fun! Charms rule. These are like necklaces for your legs.
+The sandals: They’re conversation starters.
+The sandals: Excellent for Instagram, especially if you have nothing else to post. Just photograph your feet; does not get old.
+ The sandals: Confusing to the opposite sex; toys for cats.
– The romper: Can be actually be pretty sweaty depending on the material.
– The romper: It’s risky from a repetition standpoint, especially if caught on social media, because it is not a skirt that can be turned into a cape. It is a romper, and not much else can be done with it besides putting a t-shirt under it, and that defeats its “so easy” allure. Not that putting on a t-shirts is hard but you know what I mean.
– The romper: Full naked in the bathroom.
– The sandals: Impossible to put on, even more impossible to take off.
– The sandals: So many people have these now that the special spark you felt when you first found them may have worn off. Similar to the top in outfit two…
On Our Right: The off-the-shoulder top and denim cutoffs combo, with a choker.
+ OTS top: Universally flattering, sorry to sound like a women’s magazine.
+ OTS top: Shows off summer skin without the nipple-peeking risks of a romper.
+ OTS top: Creates the ideal neckline for a choker,
+ OTS top: There are so many good ones for sale right now that you can repeat the formula without repeating the actual outfit.
+ Choker: Very trendy.
+ Choker: Hides neck wrinkles if you have them.
+ Denim cutoffs: Easy stand-bys that you can re-wear and don’t have to wash.
– OTS top: You still like it but the spark is gone.
– OTS top: …You’re actually kind of sick of it but now you don’t know what else goes with these shorts.
– Choker: Cinderella.
– Choker: Someone you don’t like has definitely ruined them for you by now but you keep wearing yours because you did it first.
– Additional accessories: Shoes and belts feel like afterthoughts that revolve around convenience and venue. You miss putting together a whole concept but mostly can’t be bothered.
And with that, my friends, since summer is still going strong, the vote is still out: which summer look is the absolute winner of 2016? Which do you see more? Which has lasting power? Which will die in the late August heat? (Drama!) Meet you in the comments section — or the bar bathroom — in our matching outfits.
Illustration by Julie Houts; follow her on Instagram @jooleeloren.