For my project, because Pittsburgh’s weather is very inconsistent, I wanted to analyze how that affects the amount of clothing I wear. I documented my outfits from Monday to Saturday. I noticed that if the weather is higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, I wear my trench coat or a thick jacket. On the other hand, if the weather is lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, I either wear my purple puffer jacket or my parka. I realized that if it feels like 15 degrees or lower, I would wear multiple layers with my parka.

During this process of photographing my outfits, I realized some days that I overestimate the weather and think that it is really cold. However, it is actually warmer than I thought it would be, and I end up sweating from wearing too many layers. Also, through this photographic series, I realized that I only wear scarfs and/or beanies when it is very cold outside (i.e. when it feels like 10 degrees).

As I look back on this documentation, I do see that a lot of the clothes I wear are darker colors. I believe that these darker and muted tones are reflective of my emotional and mental state, which is heavily influenced by Pittsburgh’s weather and lack of sunlight. Also, I noticed that my perspective on clothing has changed since I moved to Pittsburgh. It is no longer a way for me to express myself or to be creative but rather a way for me to be comfortable and warm. Also, I don’t preplan my outfits. I decide within 10 minutes what I wear that day. 

Since I moved to Carnegie Mellon, I felt a restriction in what I wore every day. I felt like if I dressed too nice, it would attract unwanted attention. There are many times when I am hesitant on wearing too many bright colors. This restriction has led me to see clothes as a way to be comfortable and warm rather than a platform for me to be creative. Among the six days I took photos of my clothes, I noticed that only two of those six days I was wearing color. I definitely think I choose to wear colors on certain days when I want to boost my mental health. 

As I look at my photo documentation, I am able to see that I have been separating comfort and creativity behind clothes and prioritizing one over the other. I am starting to understand that I am able to fuse the two together and can add one more element to my day that can excite me. I have started to express more of my personality onto the clothes I choose to wear. For example, today (March 3rd), I wanted to wear my favorite color, so I decided to wear a vibrant, blue turtle neck sweater with blue hoop earrings. I definitely can see, now, that a slight change in my everyday life can persuade my overall mood. I noticed a huge boost of excitement, happiness, and confidence just by wearing color. 

Written by Sophia Kim