May 5

Dress Me for: A Date with Myself

by Team Whering

‘Dress Me for’ is a new series on the Whering Thoughts feed, where guest writers will shuffle through the Dress Me feature on the Whering app and wear and style the first suggested outfit to an activity or event of their choosing. The idea is to break out of our routines, do something we wouldn’t normally do, and challenge ourselves to style and feel comfortable in an outfit we’re not familiar with.

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At Whering we often talk about our clothes being in need of some major TLC, but that doesn’t mean our personal TLC needs to be placed on the back burner. We’ve lived through one of the strangest years we’ll probably (hopefully) ever encounter in our lifetime, and often we don’t give ourselves enough credit for how wonderfully we’ve managed to survive the past 12 or so months. For anybody who may need to hear this today: I’m proud of you and the progress you’re making, no matter how small (this may or may not be my lock screen).

So I’ve been trying very hard to give myself credit for all the things I have accomplished recently, no matter how big or small. With my final year exams and two dissertations coming in strong, coupled with my co-star telling me I’m experiencing trouble in my sense of self and social life, I wanted to give myself an entire day to do all the things I love. A date by me, for me, entirely catered to everything I want to do.

6:30 am: My first alarm goes off. For a little bit I think maybe I will get up now. Nope, I go get some water and ask google to wake me up in another hour.

7:30 am: Alarm #2. I can’t go back to bed again… I’ve somehow transitioned from being an avid morning person to being incapable of accomplishing anything productive before 7pm, resulting in countless all-nighters to get my final year deadlines in on time.

7:45 am: After aimlessly rolling around in bed for a bit, I finally get up and go wash my face. I’ve started leaving my phone to charge in the living room, to eliminate the hour(s) of scrolling and procrastinating before I go to sleep and before I get out of bed. And honestly, it’s helped so much because if I want to check it, I need to get out of bed.

7:55 am: I make myself a quick oat americano, sip it while checking my phone, and decide I’m going to go on a quick run. Recently, I’ve started doing anything and everything to avoid exercising, but I know it boosts my serotonin significantly for the rest of the day.

9:00 am: I definitely skipped a few steps, but after a quick shower, I’m going to do my makeup and let Whering’s Dress Me decide what I’m going to wear today

So my first Dress Me shuffle came up with this:

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And I decided to add this pink button down to add some colour to the whole outfit, a pair of earrings, and this bag that I ‘borrowed’ from my mum 3 years ago which I literally wear every single time I leave the house.

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9:40 am: All dressed and with some makeup slapped on my face (don’t come for my technique), I had a lengthy debate with myself about whether or not I should have breakfast at home. In the spirit of doing things I’d normally talk myself out of, I decided to head out to my favourite açai spot in London (Portobello Juice Hub in Camden).

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10:00 am:

I walked past the cutest flower vendor- all the flowers were gorgeous and wrapped in newspaper. My flatmate and I always get each other flowers, but because our usual go-to is wherever we do our weekly shop, they’re always sporting the Tesco / Waitrose / Lidl plastic wrapping (broke London student life, you know how it is). Since our most recent flowers had just about died, I couldn’t not get some. And of course I have to live my main character moment and get them at the beginning of my day, so that anybody who sees me out wonders: “did she get these for herself? Wow she must have such a positive relationship with herself!” or “I wonder who got those for her, how cute!”

10:30 am: With a Starbucks pit stop along the way (if you haven’t tried the ice matcha latte with coconut milk and sugar-free vanilla, do it!!), we’ve made it to Portobello Juice hub. In the autumn of 2019, I stayed with two of my friends who lived on Camden Park Road and they showed me this little café. Now it’s my go-to when I want to treat myself to an açai bowl breakfast. I usually go for the Açai Berry Bowl with agave, almond butter and hemp protein (and yes, I sat outside, just got a quick photo before I did).

This is kind of hard to admit, also a bit of a ‘wow, I can’t believe how far I’ve come’ moment, but this is probably the first time I’ve ever sat down and eaten by myself in public. Disordered eating and issues along those lines have been prevalent in my life since I was around 11, and food insecurity has always been a part of it, whether I was healthy at the time or not. Adding this to the list of things I’m proud of myself for doing.

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10:00 am:

12:00 pm:

I had booked myself a nail appointment in anticipation of this day, and walked back towards Islington to get my nails done. While I’m in London, I literally never get them done and always rely on my shaky hands to do the job at home. Nail salons are usually a strictly Bulgaria-only thing (if you are Eastern European, or have ever visited, you’ll know the prices are absolutely unmatched).

Hold me accountable every time I call myself a broke London student throughout this, because I clearly have no regard to my bank account today.

1:15 pm: I decided to cycle to Hyde Park and go for a walk before heading somewhere for a little lunch. Everyone I know hates on Hyde so much, but my first year university halls were right next to Marble Arch, and it has been my favourite park since.

2:30 pm: I walked towards South Kensington, and decided to do a little window shopping. I’ve been trying to buy less clothes; partially because I am broke, partially because I have no feasible space in my room anymore, and partially because I’m really trying hard to distinguish between what is actually my personal style, and what is based on online trends.

3:00 pm: I had no idea of where I wanted to have lunch, but I decided to go to the Aubaine in South Kensington. I know, I know, there’s so many better places I could’ve tried. A few years ago, when I had just moved to London, a family friend of mine took me to brunch here (I used to go out to brunches and lunches with adult family friends a lot because I was hOmE sIcK all the time), and I just remember their food being insanely good.

3:15-ish pm: The waiter at Aubaine said that the combination of my pink shirt and flowers made me look like the human equivalent of a sunny day. Yes, I told him all about Whering.

6:00 pm:

I ended up walking through South Kensington for a little bit after lunch and biking back towards Camden. A few weeks ago, I heard that complimenting strangers on the street is one of the best things you can do to overcome fear of rejection, so I’ve been attempting to get out of my shell and do that more. Shoutout to the girl with the super cute pink coat, and the guy with the docs and yellow bomber.

I felt like such a dream girl with the flowers in my bicycle basket, it was cute. I toyed around with the idea of sitting down alone in a bar and getting a drink as a strong woman power move, but then I remembered I am terrified of men, and maybe I’ll save this endeavour for another day. Instead, I picked up a couple of G&T cans from an off licence on the way, and decided to sit on Primrose hill until the sun set.

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7:30 pm: I cycled back home, and had a little snack with my flatmate as I told her about my day. We replaced the dead flowers in the vase, and let’s be honest, I probably scrolled through TikTok for the rest of the evening.

Honestly, looking back at it, this was such a wonderful day. I’ve never spent so much time by myself, entirely doing things for myself, and I feel like I definitely want to make this a regular thing. My Dress Me might not always hit the mark, but it did today.

When I first started using Whering my favourite thing about it was that it put into perspective why I was so indecisive about what I wanted to wear. The more I would change in and out of outfits, the more I would psych myself out about how my body looked in my clothes. But if an outfit looks cute on my Whering canvas, there is no reason why it shouldn’t look cute on my body. I think if nothing else, what I really accomplished today was getting a little closer to being entirely comfortable with… me. I can’t wait to do this again when more of London opens up, and I can actually rediscover things like galleries, classes and experiences by myself.