(Almost) Everything I wore in 2018

All the way back in January 2018 I set myself the challenge of taking a mirror selfie every day. Initially, I wanted to hold myself accountable to my new year’s style resolutions — making better use of the clothes I already owned, styling them more flamboyantly and actually doing something with my hair. However, as January drew to an end, thirty days of mirror selfies later, I knew I hadn’t finished playing sartorial anthropologist.

For an entire year taking a photograph of myself after getting dressed became as integral a part of my morning routine as brushing my teeth or selecting my shoes. Some days I did forget, others I wasn’t in the right mood, but for the most part I enjoyed the mundane routine of daily documentation.

Beyond posting each photo to the Leiden instastories, I never really reviewed my outfits during the year. I thought the longer I went without looking at them, the more I would feel when I eventually made the time to do so; and I was right. As I scrolled through a whole year of photos on my phone, sorting the selfies from the screenshots, I relived the highs and the lows of my 2018.

When viewing each outfit in isolation I could remember exactly what had happened that day, as if the traces of my experience were woven into the clothing I had chosen to shroud myself in. Depending on the mirror I could tell where I was: at home, in an apartment in Paris, a hotel room in Sydney, a conference in Melbourne. I could remember exactly how I had felt, whether it was optimistic, happy or depressed.

I also found it interesting to chart the rise and fall of certain items in my tastes, to note which were the most versatile and therefore most worn. Looking back I realised I had fulfilled my goal of making better use of my clothes and I had certainly pushed the boundaries of my styling and put a lot of things in my hair.

I am looking forward to continuing this anthropological project. I can already picture myself curling up with a cup of tea in five years time, looking back at how my tastes, body and presentation have changed, my clothes being the golden thread holding all my memories together.













Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.

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