Pinterest is one of my favorite social media platforms, because there are beautiful images and tons of inspiration for everything from DIY crafts to fashion. It is a great place to create a collection of things that inspire you especially in the wardrobe department. Working in a university research lab, means two things, that I don’t have to wear business formal clothing and that my attire has to follow lab safety standards. The general guidelines include closed-toe shoes, long pants, and no loose sleeves. However, in the past I found it a little tricky to translate style of influencers and fashion bloggers into practical everyday outfits for my life as a scientist. For this blog post, I was inspired to do a “Week of Wear” test to recreate outfits from Pinterest for a whole work week and observe how they translate to a life of a scientist.
I tried to replicate the outfits as close as possible to get a similar aesthetic, but of course modify were appropriate to follow lab rules. For all the outfits I selected, I took photos of them a few days prior to wearing them throughout my usual day working in the lab. (You can find all the Pinterest inspirations here).
Day 1: “Grungy Vibes”
I found this look by searching ideas for winter school outfits. I liked the idea of a grungy and dark look for winter. To replicate this outfit, I wore black high waisted jeans and a black t-shirt with a gold print, both were from H&M. I paired them with a similar gold necklace and short black studded boots. While this outfit came in a “winter” outfits search the only knit item was the beanie, which was not flattering on me. I did put on a beige knit cardigan to make the outfit more winter friendly.
Reflections: I found this outfit very comfortable and practical for my work day. It met all of the requirements for my lab attire, yet I felt fashionable, edgy, and warm. It is an easy outfit anyone can replicate for a casual style. I would wear this again.
Day 2: “Scarf as Shirt”
I really liked the idea of this outfit, because it was a simple jeans & t-shirt outfit but the scarf adds a pop of interest. I have also been wanting to wear my over-the-knee boots more so this was the perfect opportunity to style them for a lab look.
For this look, I wore dark blue jeans from Paige with a white t-shirt and light cream cardigan. Overtop I draped a floral cream scarf (when I wore it to work, I had it draped over the whole front of the shirt, as shown in the second photo). I wore my beige-grey boots from Catherin Malandrino.
Reflections: When I put this outfit together for the photoshoot, I felt confident and cute. It is such an easy outfit to put together and versatile by mixing up the scarves. However, when it came down to wearing it to work, I was very hesitant about wearing the boots to school. I thought they may be too sexy. I decided to fold them over inside the boot so they sat just below the knee. It worked! I loved the way it looked. I felt put together and confident at my work place. Best of all, it gave me the opportunity to wear my boots more! On a side note, I did find the heels slightly uncomfortable to wear all day, but it could be a factor of the shoes being too big for me.
Day 3: “Formal Jumpsuit”
I loved the juxtaposition of professional wear with comfort clothing in these Pinterest inspirations. Also, I think the mixture of neutrals and different textures was really beautiful. Although I didn’t have any grey dress pants, figured I could style my wide leg jumpsuit in this look. I wore my grey Pinafore jumpsuit from Shein with a t-shirt underneath and a chunky grey cardigan over top.
Reflections: This is the perfect outfit for writing all day because it is so cozy and loose. However, jumpsuits come with their own set of challenges. I did find myself wrapping up my cardigan around when I walked around the halls. I felt like others would judge me for wearing a jumpsuit, but it was probably just in my head. 50/50 chance for this to be a repeat outfit.
Day 4: “Lara Croft Meets the Everyday Women”
This look is so wonderfully minimalistic! I feel I love with it instantly and it is a nice contract to my usual style. To replicate this outfit, I wore khaki chinos that I have had since my freshman year of college with a long sleeve black sweater from H&M. For my shoes I decided to wear a pair of heeled combat boots.
Reflections: I freaking loved this outfit. It made me feel like Lara Croft, ready to tackle the world! (I would definitely recommend you watch the new Lara Croft movie, I loved it!) This outfit had elements of work wear with the slacks but with a casual spin my adding the combat boots and simple sweater. I would recommend you try this outfit for yourself!
Outfit 5: “The Millennial Suit”
Lydia Elise Millen’s style is a perfect combination of classic and trendy, so when I found this image of her on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to recreate this look. In the photo she is wearing skinny leather trousers with a classic button down and blazer. I ran into a few issues when I was trying to recreating this outfit. I thought that this look might be too formal for my work so I thought of ways to make it more casual. I switched out the white button down and classic blazer with a white t-shirt and a tweed black blazer.
I liked the outfit when I took the pictures, but after looking back at them I realized that the shirt was too see through and short to wear to work. So, I decided to find a middle ground and wear a longer chambray shirt.
Reflections: I really liked this outfit when I took the initial pictures. It made me feel like a total boss babe. But after looking back at them I realized that my shirt was too see-through and too short to wear to work. So, I decided to find a middle ground by wearing a longer chambray shirt. I think the idea of this outfit is great and has a lot of potential. However, for a research lab, it is both too formal and too trendy to comfortably wear. Changing to the chambray shirt was a good idea. Overall, I would try to replicate this outfit again for a different occasion with a long white button down similar to the inspiration photo.
Thoughts at the end
When I was searching for outfit ideas on Pinterest, I found that many bloggers style similar looks with staple pieces like oversized sweaters, leather jackets, and collared shirts. On the other end of the spectrum is over embellished patterns that would be difficult to replicate or find in average stores. Also, I saw so many influencers wearing 5-6 inch heels, while it makes your legs look amazing, they are in no way practical for most women’s work wear.
My overall I really enjoyed this challenge, but I believe that outfits styled for social media don’t always translate well to most people’s everyday life. I think you have to be pretty creative in interpreting the looks and working with the items you own. I did find some new outfit ideas that I really enjoyed and will rewear. I also found that preplanning a week’s worth of outfits made it so much easier to get ready in the morning with the photos handy on my phone for reference. However, there were a few misses, like the Millennial Suit. Most of the issues came from me not feeling comfortable or confident in what I was wearing, because I thought the items were too trendy for a conservative lab environment. If you liked any of these outfits, you can comment below!
If you are interested in reading more posts with week of wear challenges, please let me know. You can follow my blog if you are interested in keeping up with more fashion, style, and graduate school content!