Maybe you know me in real life, or maybe you read this blog on the reg. Either way, you’ve probably gone “UGH! All of your outfits look the SAME! Why don’t you switch it up once in a while?”

Well, my dear reader, my outfits all look the same on purpose. I’m God-awful at putting together looks that aren’t either a) a dress and heels, b) a mens’ sweater and black pants, or c) a onesie. I shouldn’t be calling myself a “style blogger” at all. Style bloggers have at least a modicum of variety and an eye for combining pieces in a way that compliments the wearer.

Meanwhile, I have … an algorithm.

Okay, so I was equally bad at fashion before the daily outfit algorithm was a thing, but I was also inefficient at it — dresses were hung up in my closet in no particular order, and getting dressed in the morning was an ordeal that involved me waking up an hour earlier to pick and choose, only to end up wearing and re-wearing a small subset of my actual wardrobe. This was quite the overhead that not only cut down on my willpower, but also left me miserable and often late to class. Post-algorithm, everything is sorted by color, and I can pick out a great-looking ensemble in a minute or less with almost no thought involved. That extra hour of sleep in the morning is so, so sweet.

So what does this mysterious system consist of? Let’s take a look.

What I wear on most days is incredibly simple (dare I say basic?). All outfits revolve around a dress, which can either be the main focus or the piece that pulls the entire look together. I’m most likely wearing high heels to go with the dress (comfortable ones do exist!), and I always have sunglasses on if I’m outdoors. Since my outfits are made up of the same aspects over and over, the algorithm breaks down into parts that focus on each of these aspects. All I have to do is perform some basic tasks and ask myself a few simple questions:

The Dress

I’ve written several programs to automate this first part (it’s my go-to project to do every time I learn a new programming language), but I find time and time again that, in practice, I still enjoy picking out the dresses myself. I generally have an idea of what color and style I want to wear in the morning, and I go from there.

Hair and Makeup

Although it can look over-the-top with a frilly dress, curled hair is lower-maintenance than straightened hair for me — the ringlets don’t get messed up from the wind or power naps, and they look just as pretty when brushed out the next day. Straightened hair looks really sleek, but requires regular brushing to avoid tangling. I have the same general makeup routine; if the dress isn’t too bright, I like using pink lipstick to give my face a pop of color.

Accessories

As you can tell from the above, I only own statement necklaces, pearl studs, and a few other miscellaneous jewelry items. I didn’t accessorize at all for the longest time, and still sometimes struggle with what to pair with certain outfits. Most days I rush out the door with no adornments, to be honest. Styling accessories is something I’m still trying to get better at.

Shoes (specifically, heels)

Shoes can really make or break your outfit, so I try and stick to a few I know look good with any dress (I know, I know, variety is better! I don’t enjoy shoe shopping … maybe I’ll be more inclined once I graduate, but I doubt it).

The algorithm isn’t nearly as complicated as it looks here — in practice, the entire process is incredibly short, and using it every day has become second nature. As frivolous as it seems, my life has seen many improvements since its development. I’m thinking about extending the functionality of one of my virtual closet programs to include picking out hair, shoes, and accessories. #AutomateTheProcess

I may not be a true style blogger, but maybe I can call myself … an efficiency blogger? An optimization blogger? Computer science student who likes girly dresses and looking like a slightly variant cartoon character on the daily? You decide.

mimi chenyao

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