An Entire Month of Mirror Selfies and I Still Don’t Know What to Wear
08.30.17

Dressing myself is one part clothes, one part mood, one part alchemy, and I’ve never been more sure of that than after documenting what I wore every day for the month of August. The below photos and moods, captured via mirror and caption respectively, paint a picture of — not to be dramatic but — emotional disarray. There’s no telling when getting dressed will be a treat, my closet a Pandora’s Box of possibility (Day 12), or when it will feel like a burden, my closet a frustrating purgatory of indecision (Day 10). Maybe the frustration is an inevitable consequence of giving my clothing emotional weight in the first place. Maybe you can’t have one without the other.

I just wish it were more of a science, less of an art. But instead of statistics and factorials, it’s moodiness and body-consciousness and creative energy and self-esteem. It’s the first thing I put on (Day 27) or it’s three shirts littering my floor and none of my pants falling how I remember them falling (Day 20). It’s self-confidence or self-doubt. It’s an alarm set way too early or way too late, but always for 7:30 a.m. It’s more volatile than I’d like it to be, certainly. That’s something I’d be working on, ideally.

You know how sometimes you leave the house and feel “right?” Not necessarily great or cool but simply collected, in such a way that you’re able to think clearly and move on with your day? I’m obsessed with that feeling. I’m usually willing to change as many times as finding it demands, but doing so requires emotional labor and time I don’t always have. Add in the unpredictability of what makes me feel it — it could look as whatever as Day 23 or as fun as Day 29 — and such a pursuit can feel, at a certain point, like a vapid waste of my energy. Aren’t there a million more important things?

Maybe this is why some people transition to uniform dressing as they age. Maybe the highs of creative success aren’t worth the pressure of having to constantly create something new. I understand that draw of consistency implicitly and yet, I’m consistently and inexplicably drawn to the rollercoaster of reinvention. Maybe one day I’ll find a way to balance the two, but until then I suppose I should buckle up.

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  • Bmo

    love all the monochrome! Day 30 is pure menocore to me and I’m here for it.

  • this was a real treat. you so cool.

  • Adrianna

    This was fun!

    I’m one of those people who established a uniform by age 26-27. I realized overthinking my outfits while getting dressed in the morning produced a lot of anxiety that carried over throughout the rest of my day.

    • Haley Nahman

      totally fair

  • Maren Lindquist

    I have a couple 8ams this semester and this has given me some inspiration to not dress like an uninspired slob the rest of the semester. May the outfit planning commence!

  • You’re so cool it’s not even fair! But I am sort of intrigued by the idea of posting an outfit photo each day…Maybe it would help me get over my style slump…hmmmm

  • Hilary

    I identify with this – I really, REALLY want to have a uniform and not even think about my outfit every day. (Also, my partner basically has a daily uniform and a very limited wardrobe and I wish I could be so balanced and intentional.) But then every morning I end up trying a bunch of different things that don’t end up working together (I have those same moments of “why does this look terrible today but it worked the other day?!”) and/or staring into my drawers/closet until my eyes slide out-of-focus and then I just pick whatever’s comfortable and easy. GAH.

    Um also anyway I adore SO many of these outfits and you’re inspiring ! Favs are 16 & 22.

  • Shreya Chaturvedi

    When you’ve seen many of these outfits bc you follow Haley on all forms of social media…..

    • Haley Nahman

      lolll

  • Nancy Isabelle Satola

    I definitely recommend the book “Why Women Wear What They Wear” by Sophie Woodward – all about the psychology of clothing and the processes of dressing for women!

    • Haley Nahman

      I THINK I OWN THIS but havent read it past the 20-page mark. Need to!

  • Pterodactyl111

    I love your dresses! Especially the white one from Harling and the red one for your bf’s dinner.

  • dk

    The random Bug-cameos made this post even more special 🙂

    • Zoe Clang

      relooking at all photos now just to see Bug

      • TinySoprano

        Me too! What a beautiful creature!

        • Haley Nahman

          Will tell him u said so

  • Hayley

    NEED MORE DETAILS ON THE SECOND ST. SHIRT MIND EXPLODING

    • Haley Nahman

      COMING THIS FALL

  • Georgia

    please have everybody from MR do a month of mirror selfies !!

    • Haley Nahman

      yes yes i will!!

  • T-Fierce

    I love this! In HS I took a selfie with my iMac webcam every day to document my outfits–and, of course, to ensure I never repeated one EVER, unlike Lizzie McGuire. Now I’m inspired to get back into the selfie game!

    • Haley Nahman

      do it!

  • Arden

    Love this – especially the rediscovering and reintegrating of forgotten pieces into your current looks!

  • Autumn

    Your style is my favorite of all the MR peeps <333

  • Amanda M F Guimarães

    Oh God, I just LOVE your style and hair and personality, you’re so cool girl. Be proud of yourself. Kisses from a brazilian fan.

    • Haley Nahman

      tysm D:

  • Christine Dyson

    My top tip would be to sort my look out the night before, makes mornings less stressful. You could try a style challenge for fun, I enjoy them, it makes me shop my wardrobe and I’ve enjoyed getting feedback from the other members. You’re given a template for the day which you then interpret in your own way. I would love it if Manrepeller ran a challenge!

    • Lyla

      Agreed! When I do my nightly moisturizing routine I stare at my closet and try to put together something new in my head. On days when I don’t do that I just wear one of my go to looks. I also keep a solid (if a bit boring) mix and match look that I only ever wear if I’m having a crisis of confidence or am running extremely late – chambray shirt half tucked into black skinny jeans, fully tucked into black corduroy skirt (w/ black tights if it is cold), or the shirt loose over pale pink or white shorts, flat sandals or ankle boots. If it is super cold/hot I add a dove grey sweater or swap out a striped tee. I love having it. It’s just there hanging in my closet if I need it. I like the looks, I feel confident.

    • Haley Nahman

      I have tried and can’t seem to do this because I dress according to my mood! BUT could make a good challenge

  • juliuslv

    What size Acne shirt are you wearing in Day 18? I love how effortless everything is

    • Haley Nahman

      Oh man it’s soooo old but it’s prob a medium? It was def designed to be oversized

  • Kelsey Alyssa

    If only Outdoor Voices would ship internationally!!!! Your Kamm pants are fantastic. This makes me want to document daily outfits when I go back to work and see what I learn.

    • Alice

      I live in SG and I got such aggressive FOMO from US brands (ManRepeller Monogram tee, glossier, outdoor voices etc.) that I now use this company: http://mymallbox.com/

      Shipping costs sting a bit if you just ship one paakage – but its really good value if you get free US shipping, save up a few packages and then get them to repack them into one giant care package of goodess!

      I’m obsessed.

      • Kelsey Alyssa

        Very cool! I will have to save up some purchases and try it out 😀

  • Bria

    The Acne shirt is so versatile.

    • Haley Nahman

      I know! And I got it forever ago on super-sale and didn’t wear it for like a year

  • Shelby Davis-Cooper

    Loved this. Haley, I am so so comforted to know that you, the picture of effortless cool, have impossible getting ready mornings too. Also: I know iterations of this exist on the site already, but can this be made into a recurring series? Feat. MR staff and also maybe submissions (a la Money Diaries)?? This felt super accessible and real / not crazy curated and I esp enjoyed the captions (and the fruit mirror)

    • Haley Nahman

      Yes yes def!

  • Nicola V

    Totally know what you mean about that feeling your outfit is just “right” and it makes you feel good and cool whenever you look down and see what you’re wearing that day! But for some reason, the same outfits don’t necessarily produce this feeling on different days – it is elusive!! But isn’t it more fun, when you really hit it, than having a uniform? I think so 😉

    • Haley Nahman

      Yes exactly! It’s a high high

  • Kristin

    This is such a welcome respite from moving ! You’re a millenial Annie Hall. Love it

    • Haley Nahman

      BLESS
      YOU
      to the moon and back

      • Haley Nahman

        Also good luck moving

  • Emmie

    I once walked to the station from my house, after 90 mins+ trying to figure out what to wear, in an outfit i hated. I promptly walked back to my house, sobbed until i looked like Alice Cooper, facetimed my mum & dad, ate biscuits and drank wine. 2 hours later i left the house for a different event, tear stained but in glorified tracksuit bottoms and the baggiest shirt Cos has ever seen. so if i had had 4 hours to get ready,

    So i just wanted to say that this article was very much needed. I tried to explain to my friend why i couldn’t make it to his birthday (first event), but telling him it was because of a hysterical clothes crisis seemed juvenile. I mean, I told him, but i could have sent him this article and he would have been like OHIGETIT DON’TWORRY. ALSO HALEY’S STYLE IS SICK

    Thanks again, and socks and sandals are always a winner and i will always champion them

    • Haley Nahman

      omg yes def have been there. Like running so late clothes crisis nightmare

  • Anne Dyer

    Oh heeeeeey day 3

    • Haley Nahman

      heeeey

  • Carina

    Okay but who else is jealous how ALL jeans styles look amazing on Haley???

    • Haley Nahman

      U R TOO KIND but I do not feel that way!

  • Sophie F

    I feel much better realizing that I am not the only one who a) gets way too emotional about my outfit, b) sometimes hates the stuff that looks good on me because it just doesn’t FEEL right.

    Any suggestions to cure deep insecurity about wearing what I like/absolute hatred of formalwear when I’m a junior teacher at a tiny school with a professional dress code? I’m so lost rn.

    • Haley Nahman

      Amelia i believe is writing something in Sept!

  • Caitlin

    I really like the incorporation of the Eagle Scout belt in Day 7 and after seeing the picture I immediately asked my husband if he had one. He has since informed me that it is, in fact, an “Order of the Arrow Sash” which is earned through extra hard eagle scout work… I am just glad he has one so I can steal the idea!

    • Haley Nahman

      YES THAT’S THE PROPER NAME thank you for reminding me

  • Suzan

    Love your style, Haley! Especially the way you effortlessly wear button downs. I always feel kinda waiter-ly or stuffy in em, but I think I need to take a cue from you and loosen it up a bit.
    I also love your more polished looks with the dresses and lipstick. And OH that Second St top is absolutely wonderful!
    Thanks for letting us, the MR readers, creep on you 😀 I love it when my voyeuristic tendencies get indulged!

    • Haley Nahman

      I’m finding the BIGGER the button-down the better. I wish I had more oversize ones. Bc then you can roll the sleeves wayyyyy up and sloppily tuck.

      Also happy to offer opps to creep

      • quick q: what size is the acne shirt? i’m hunting for one online and not sure what size to get to make it fit like it does you! thanksssss

  • Nikelle

    Love. Unbuttoned pants under a tunic is real.

  • Francine Thompson

    Haley, this was fabulous. I, like others have commented, also struggle daily with not feeling right in what I’m wearing. The outfit could be great, but if it doesn’t make me feel like the person I want to be that day, I change. I’m still trying to psychoanalyze why I let the clothing that simply hangs on my person define be so much, but alas, it does.

    In other news, your house is stunning! Loving your dessert and shelving beside your mirror.

    • Haley Nahman

      It’s an Unsolved Mystery

  • diana

    All of those Levi’s jeans are so fantastic and styled in a way that feels fresh.

  • Emily

    I really love day 8, 12, 18, 19, 24. I’m happy to read about Avi (NJB?)! I’ve been noticing references to a new bf in your writing and, just from an outside perspective, you seem really happy and in love which is v sweet. and it seems to be changing your style a bit too! I’d love to read a piece about how changing emotional states or romantic attachments lead to evolutions of personal style.

    • Lauren Nicole

      YES PLEASE TO THAT

    • Haley Nahman

      Interesting! Don’t know if I’ve noticed a style change but I’ll think on it

  • Julia Park

    Would be interesting to see this from someone who is, like me, a teen and in high school (I am 17.) Style is such an interesting experience as a youth

    • Haley Nahman

      agreed!

  • Anna Rose

    Thoughts on zip up hoodies tucked into giant high waisted jeans? I just did this on accident and think it could be something or nothing.

    • Lyla

      How thick is the hoodie? All of mine are too thick to pull that off. If I’m being honest, I got all of my hoodies from jobs or sports teams I played on. Not a fashion hoodie in sight.

      • Anna Rose

        the one i used was a very form fitting one circa 2012 H&M

    • Haley Nahman

      love tbh

  • Caro A

    When my pants are too tight I do the hairband around the button and button hole trick. and a long shirt, too

  • Caro A

    Also you’re so inspiring!

  • Valerie Adrianne Barahona

    I LOVE THIS HAYLEY <3 can amelia do this too?

    • Haley Nahman

      on it

  • Kelsey B

    This article left me feeling so inspired and I want to challenge myself to do the same thing and see what I learn! I also love your style so much! Keep being you <3

  • Looking GOOD Haley! I love this series! Can one of you guys do this like, every month please? It’s super reassuring to see that even y’all ~in the industry~ have weird issues getting dressed in the morning and have funny relationships with all your clothes. More pls.

    • Haley Nahman

      will coerce

  • Sarah

    Day 15 top I need it!

    • Haley Nahman

      gah they dont have it anymore!

      • Sarah

        Oh no 🙁

  • Hannah Ricci

    Haley is SO relatable and funny. Everything she writes makes me feel good and leaves me laughing 😭😭

    • Haley Nahman

      this warmed my cold heart thank you for saying so

  • Jessica Amento

    I love this way too much!!! I feel like we are kindred wardrobe spirits. Also, great call on the Boy Scout belt ⭐️

    • Alison

      That was my favorite, too! I love the dress and belt.

    • Haley Nahman

      TY now i just need to locate it….. 0.0

  • Giulia Torelli

    I think you look amazing in outfit 29 and with the white feminine dress!

  • Ciccollina

    I hate to break it to you but you literally look perfect every single day and have now forfeited your rights to ever complain about your outfit ever.

    • Haley Nahman

      genuine/delighted lol

  • Isabel Sanoja
    • Haley Nahman

      ty for this

  • Look 24 is fantastic. You DO look super cool. And what is definitely evident is your “journey” into feminine territories unknown by the end of the month.
    Dressing is hugely emotional for me too.. when I lack confidence, the closet seems to offer absolutely no comfort or inspiration. I think it would be super interesting to overlay my menstrual cycle with my outfit choices – I might just do that. I’ll let you know how I get on 😊

    • Haley Nahman

      please do i think about that all the time

  • belle

    all black with white shoes is my daily uniform. sometimes i wear a grey sweater…

    also, if i have clothing that i like but wish the pattern/color were different, i just dye it. it’s super easy and cheap.

    • Haley Nahman

      don’t know why I don’t dye more

  • You got a rug!!

    • Haley Nahman

      lol! youre right! or, rather I finally got that one back from being cleaned

  • lillian c.

    day 29 and 30 are so good! truly style twins though. Love these looks.

  • Stephanie

    This was an awesome story! I loved that you captured everything including workout clothes and outfits you weren’t feeling awesome about. P.S. all your outfits were great, even the ones you weren’t loving!

  • lillian c.

    ALSO- what headphones are those? bc I want a pair real bad.

  • mariet

    Haley please tell your height so may be i can be less body consious if i can relate… because you look gooood

    • Haley Nahman

      I am 5’6 i hope that helps! :O

  • My greatest concern besides all these amazing outfits is this lovely apartment!!!!

    @ForeverScarlett

  • Caitlin

    Thank you for capturing exactly how I feel about getting dressed. The stress of a look being “off” can derail even the best of moods

  • Vida Rose

    I steal more ideas from you than anyone else on MR- you have an inspiring, fun and kind of gender-neutral way of bringing it all together.

  • Maureen McLennon

    Can I just say THANK YOU for addressing the fact that sometimes pants fit and sometimes they just DONT! sometimes they dont fit for a month at a time, but what can ya do

  • Amazing. From your own report, it looks like you feel uninspired by that white tee with the pink print (since the outfits around it don’t work in your opinion), and inspired by new clothing like that pink blouse and that tee! Must say, that cream Aritzia dress looks amazing on you… Saved that photo for reference of what I want next summer to look like. I say one of these reports from one of the MR staff at least once a season!

  • Blerb

    Can we please get a cool apartments feature on Haley?! I need to see more of that space, it looks super cool!!!

  • Hava Skovron

    You are effortless cool! I don’t really understand your desire to clash and feel awkward, but I’m Gen X so what do I know. I think the outfits that look great on you are the all black (day 18), white dress (day 19), the blush dress (day 27), and the pink top (day 29). Emphasizing your waist and embracing femininity works on you! That is my 2 cents!

  • Sigggi

    Day 19 – NEED the dress!!!

  • Rori Cross Brown

    Love this post 🙂 Which style of Citezens of Humanity jeans are these (day 9)? They are rad.

  • Shae

    Your glasses that you’re wearing in a lot of the posts?? Did that get discussed and I missed? Love them!

  • Paige Locke

    Probs the time for a response has passed on this, but I have the is-this-really-a-job job of making + managing all the merch for Bumble, and seeing you wear the 1-800 shirt made me rethink. I haven’t had that shirt reprinted (it was made before my time in this role) but, maybe I should? Even if for those moments when you don’t know what to wear and need a shirt?

  • anna sale

    hi! how do you know when to pull the trig and spend on a really nice pair of shoes? I am really inspired by your style but I can’t decide whether to save up and buy classic, expensive pieces, or buy similar cheap-o ones. how do you know when is the right time? Or do you find all your nice pieces on sale or in vintage stores?

  • Girl, you inspire me. I’m feeling so drab these days every time I have to dress for work. I need to start digging random shit out and trying new things. Thanks for the much needed inspiration!