A week of getting dressed
We’ve already touched upon our clothes on week 16, when in a survey-mode we decided to represent all of our closets, but this week we focused on the actual dresses we wear, and on when we change.
Stefanie and I only met 3 times at this point in real life, and the majority of those times we were at conferences or at organized events, thus probably wearing more elegant attires than on our normal days, so we decided to give each other the idea of how we look like from day to day, in data and drawings.
I reported every time I would change my clothing during my days from when I woke up, and every time I would put a coat, a beret or a scarf on and off.
(I also started my week taking pics of my outfit every morning, but then I felt stupid and I just stopped!)
It was the beginning of May, definitely still pretty chilly here in New York, and I am a very cold person, so my data doesn’t really reflect a typical “May” apparel!
In my drawing, I organized my data chronologically, to give Stefanie the picture of my week in dresses.
Every vertical line indicates a type of garnment I wore, defined by their symbols: underwear, socks, bra, undershirt, longsleeve, sweater, turtleneck, shoes, pants, scarf, jacket, beret. (for some reasons I didn’t do anything fancy this week but I mostly just worked, so I didn’t wear any dress or skirt!)
The color of the lines represent the actual main color of what I was wearing, and I drew some attributes to recognize those who had stripes or patterns. The lenght of the lines then, is the “amount” of time I had that clothes on during the day. Since many of my dress-changes happened after a shower, of course, I indicated it as well.
This week Stefanie and I produced two incredibly similar drawings in terms of how we discerned our data: she also gathered data on every wardrobe change, ordering her changes chronologically, dividing per days and per hour.
How many different clothes she wears! I am such a routinary person!
(I am laughing at her legend and notes about her imperfections, it is so sweet! :))
What does this week teach about us?
For sure, as I realized multiple times, I have sort of a problem with my wardrobe, as I guess probably lots of women especially have. (?)
I have lots of clothes, nice clothes, nice dresses; but I really end up wearing always the same comfortable kind of pants, shirts and sneakers. I just love feeling comfortable and not tight-up in confining dresses.
But then why do I keep on buying new fancy stuff?
I am ambivalent about my relationship with my outfit: from the one hand I love feeling casual and loose; but from the other (and as it’s visibile in my week of envy) I do like so much women who look elegant, and I do take pleasure when I finally decide to dress up a bit!
I am pretty sure this is a very common sensation?
But this week left me with questions more than any kind of answers!
This week I was going on holiday to spend a long weekend cycling through the Netherlands and Belgium, and I knew I would be on my bike most of the day. Because of my difficult experience gathering data on last week's cycle rides, I needed to find a type of data-gathering that would suit cycling and wouldn't ruin my enjoyment of the holiday.
So, a week of wardrobe changes was perfect for this week of cycling for two reasons: firstly, there’s a pretty slim chance I’ll be undertaking any major wardrobe changes while riding a bike (alas, I’m not that skilful) and secondly, I thought it would be fun to capture the variety of different technical garments that cycling requires for Giorgia.
Through the week, I noted down every single wardrobe change, even counting the towels I wrapped around just-washed hair when I stepped out of the shower, or times when I was completely naked (moments with no wardrobe are slightly hidden in the card, I really ought to have made these stand out a more in my drawing)
I liked this week, as it made me look more closely at a part of life that has become second nature, and has also highlighted parts of my wardrobe where I might consider adding some variability (ie perhaps I really need to stop finishing my outfits with black tights and black trainers for a change, since I seem to wear them every day!)
However, I was mainly excited to get to the weekend, when my cycling holiday arrived and I gathered data on all the strange attire I was wearing, such as padded cycling shorts (so you don’t get a sore bum, of course), helmet, cycling gloves, exercise gear, waterproofs, and so on.
To be fair I didn’t really have that much technical clothing; I prefer to be a slightly incognito cyclist by hiding most of my gear under more normal-looking clothes and never wear athletic shoes, only black Vans. I do this to because I dislike cycle bores who drone on about their technical gear (if any of my friends read this, you know who you are, ha), so I try to be discreet.
While drawing this week, I decided to set myself a challenge to create a drawing with more of the rigour found in my professional data projects than I have on some of the other weeks of Dear Data, where I normally use the data as a structure with which to experiment with different drawing approaches. I organised the garments according to where they are worn upon the body and also tried to colour-code these garments in rough ‘warm/cool’ groups to create a more formal logic for my colour choices.
Because of all this pre-planning and the sheer amount of wardrobe
changes, this card took me ages to draw. I think I experienced something similar to Giorgia’s plight while drawing her ‘Doors’ postcard, repeatedly looking at the spreadsheet, drawing the data, looking at the spreadsheet again, finding a mistake I can just about resolve, looking at the spreadsheet again, all the while praying to the universe that I don’t make a mistake and have to start over.
By the time I finished the drawing and began to fill out the legend, I was so sick of the process that I was writing the legend in haste while listening to music, which made me distracted and I made some terrible mistakes that sent me in a panic because they were unfixable. I had to cut and glue another piece of card down to cover up these mistakes up… not ideal, but prevented my from throwing all my drawing materials through the window.
And Giorgia’s postcard reminds me that we are opposites in regards to clothing: I mainly own black or dark clothing, while Giorgia wears white often. And I am reminded of how Giorgia says she gets cold easily, as this is evident in this postcard through the multiple layers of clothing that she keeps on throughout the day, even in springtime!
Finally, I am able to get an idea of her fashion sense through this card as well (while we have met, daily fashion is hard to spot through messages, emails and video calls): she wears turtlenecks and berets, two articles of clothing that I don’t own and generally wouldn’t wear. I enjoy how by focusing on gathering data on the mundane and routine aspects of our lives we likely tell the other more about ourselves than if we tried to gather more ‘exciting’ data.