Monochromatic Style: Get The Most Compliments Doing The Least

by Elizabeth Nguyen

Photography by Katherine Perks

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits

I have run into too many cute people while looking like a zombie in sleepwear. I can’t stop wearing those black leggings and T-shirts however because I don’t have time to experimentally mix and match cute outfits… nor do I even feel like it (especially for 8 a.m classes).

My complicated relationship with fashion changed when I saw my friend dressed in different shades of blue from head to toe. Despite the simplicity, her monochromatic outfit demanded she stands out from the crowd and be boldly recognized. I was so captivated by the way she layered the different patterns and textures of blue into her outfit, I almost forgot she was wearing jeans, a sweater and rain jacket.

I couldn’t believe the message such simple clothing could have on others. I became inspired to do the monochromatic outfit challenge. With the additional help of thrift stores, and my family and friends’ closets, I decided to strut the PCL hallways from Monday to Friday in tan, blue, pink, yellow and metallic silver, respectively. My goals by the end of this challenge were to:

  • Spend less time coordinating outfits and being annoyed by my minimal closet.
  • Be creative with my outfits and remain confident even if they don’t meet my “vision”. My creativity with the closet of my friends and family will be different from Beyonce’s clothing line, and that’s ok.
  • Inspire people who love fashion but don’t have time to have fun with their clothes.
  • Challenge people to rethink the complexity of what makes “good” outfits look great.

Monday — Tan

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

What I Wore:

  • Coat: My grandmother’s from 2002
  • Sweater: Savers Thrift Store
  • Pants: Macy 2012

Compliment Of The Day:

“I’m reminded of Barack Obama’s tan suit.”

How’d Monday Go?

  • This was my first time wearing a blazer as casual wear, and I’ll definitely do it again. 
  • This outfit is inspired by the strong female actresses and their styles from the TV show Scandal and Korean dramas.
  • Took 10 minutes (I slept in, so I had no time to get ready).

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

Tuesday — Blue

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

What I Wore:

Shirt: Kohl’s Long-sleeved {$5} Winter sale

Overalls: Forever 21 {$7} Winter sale

Compliment Of The Day:

“The GLOW UP.”
*My friend compared this to a picture of me from high school when I’d overdraw my eyebrows (I over-plucked, ok!?).  

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

How’d Tuesday Go?

Realization of the Day: Despite being late for my 8 a.m class and taking multiple L’s throughout the day, I was surprised when I didn’t recognize myself in these photos. I couldn’t see any trace of tiredness and defeat.

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself because you’re stronger than you realize!
  2. Some of my classmates wanted to join the monochromatic fashion movement and dressed in blue with me. Just one of the ways in which fashion brings people together.

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

Wednesday — Pink

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

What I Wore:

Sweater: Banana Republic Sweater Black Friday Sale {$12} 

Dress: Forever 21 2016 {$12} 

Shoes: H&M Ribbed Sole Shoes 2016 {$20}

Earrings: YesStyle.com (Where I finesse 90% of my cutest clothing and accessories on a budget)  

* How I created the illusion of a fitted “crop top” sweater: I gathered the front section of my sweater and tied it like a ponytail. I then tucked the “ponytail” inside of my sweater. Wear this over any dress of choice.

Compliment Of The Day:

“Only you can rock this grandma outfit.”

How’d Wednesday Go?

  • I combined the sweater and dress for its sensations of comfiness and freedom.
  • This casual outfit took no time to create, and I felt this style would be more eye-catching than just a dress itself.

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

Thursday — Mustard Yellow

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

What I Wore:

Old Navy Ribbed Long-sleeve{$5}: Winter sale

Old Navy Suede Skirt {$15}: Winter sale

Earrings: YesStyle.com

Banana Republic Trench coat {$20}: Major Black Friday steal

Realizations Of The Day:

  1. Fashion is one of your most influential voices. If people observe your style, they’re fascinated by what you want to express.   
  2. Don’t buy clothes smaller than your size assuming you’ll fit into it soon — you’ll lose body sensation every step you take in your outfit.

How’d Thursday Go?

  • I was definitely nervous wearing this, as yellow is a very bright color, and I rarely wear skirts!

REVELATION MOMENT: I might’ve been paranoid but considering yellow is the brightest color of the visible spectrum, I swore everyone was staring and scrutinizing my very fitted outfit! Although I felt very insecure, I was very surprised when my photographer loved this outfit the best. Therefore …

If you feel unconfident, don’t be afraid to ask for affirmation. Your friends will remind you how wonderful you are!

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

Friday — Metallic Silver

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

What I Wore:

Top: Zara Halterneck 2018 Spring Collection

Trousers: Zara Mini Flare 2018 Spring Collection

Realizations Of The Day:

  1. The right pair of pants will never make you want to go back for those leggings.
  2. Slingback shoes are UNDERRATED, and might actually be the most comfortable heels in the professional attire category.

How’d Friday Go?

  • Mixing professional attire and contemporary style will cause people to give you double-takes.
  • I didn’t realize that leggings are so boring!

Considering how religiously I wear scrubby outfits, there were days during this fashion challenge where my confidence was tested and I questioned my outfits. Although I liked some outfits more than others, I was the person that executed and owned the style. Whether you’re wearing a hoodie ensemble or Sunday’s best attire, people will always notice your inner self and how it radiates throughout your outfit.

Own the outfit, WORK THE OUTFIT.

Elizabeth Nguyen takes on the monochromatic outfit challenge one school week to wear one color head-to-toe instead of the usual outfit of t-shirts and leggings to learn how to style and feel better in class in great outfits  

Whenever you feel small, fashion can speak for you.

Elizabeth Nguyen is a sophomore double majoring in Economics and IRG (International Relations and Global Studies), and double minoring in Finance and Computer Programming. She just joined Spark’s blogging team this semester! In her spare time, she loves hanging out with friends and family, watching Youtube videos, reading Pinterest and listening to K-pop.

sparkmagazinetx

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