Anja had a great idea for an experiment.

Why not try on each other’s clothes and see what it feels like? Would it feel very different? Would we discover new things about ourselves or would it just confirm our own style preferences?

And how would the other person feel seeing their friend in their clothes?

We decided to put it to the test and Anja tried on some of my outfits. Anja’s and my style are almost complete opposites so it would be interesting to see how she felt in my clothes.

I selected some outfits for her to wear that I felt could look good on her. Anja then also selected an outfit that she especially liked.

For this occasion Anja even toned down her makeup to bring it more in line with mine.

You will find Anja’s findings below as well as my own feedback.

White pants and red asymmetrical top

Anja: I think this outfit looks good on me. I could have bought these pants myself. I thought my hubby did not care for these kind of wide pants on me but even he liked it! I think the red color looks good on me even though I would not wear this with white pants or a white skirt. As for the top, I don’t like this style at all, especially the fabric.  But more on that later.

How does it feel to wear someone else's clothes? |

Sylvia: I think this outfit looks really good on Anja. I like the silhouette it creates and feel that the color red is a great color for Anja. I also like the whimsical top that creates extra interest. (how I wore this top)

Black skirt and black & white blouse

How does it feel to wear someone else's clothes? |

Anja: I quite like this outfit even though I’m not a big fan of black & white. The silhouette is flattering and I like the yellow details.

Sylvia: I picked this outfit because I thought it would give her a nice hourglass shape and also because it’s Greetje’s favorite outfit. I think it looks good on Anja, but I also feel it’s not really ‘her’. (how I wore this outfit)

Silk asymmetrical dress

How does it feel to wear someone else's clothes? |

Anja: I like the lila of this dress but not so much the brown. Overall I quite like this outfit though.

Sylvia: I think this outfit looks great on Anja. Since this dress is flowy, colorful and has a print, it suits Anja’s personal style really well. (how I wore this outfit)

Asymmetrical striped tunic


Anja: I don’t like this at all. I don’t mind the heels and pants so much, but I would need them in a different color as these colors are too pale and boring. I really dislike the top, both the colors, wide stripes, style and material. I find it is not flattering at all.

How does it feel to wear someone else's clothes? |

Sylvia: I like this outfit on Anja a lot more than she does. I think she can wear these colors and even though I love colors, I also like neutral outfits and I feel that Anja can wear them. This outfit gives her more curves and I like the asymmetrical aspects as well. If she had unbottoned the top a bit further it would have looked even better. (how I wore this outfit)

Yellow skirt and white blouse

How does it feel to wear someone else's clothes? |

Anja: Although I like the freshness of the color yellow, this outfit is not for me. I don’t like the materials and I don’t like to wear yellow with white. I’m not a fan of the style of both skirt and top either and find the length of the skirt slightly too long. To me this outfit feels matronly and stiff.

Anja in white and yellow |

Sylvia: I don’t think this outfit looks matronly at all. The accesories, shoes and color of the skirt give it enough of a young vibe. I like the knee-high length of a skirt and feel that it looks good on Anja too. The silhouette of the top and skirt give her a nice hourglass silhouette. I agree that the white color on top is not the best color for Anja though. (how I wore this outfit)

Black skinnies and printed top

Anja in prints and hat |

Anja: This is the outfit I chose for myself as I feel it comes closests to my own style. I quite like it. I could have bought those pants myself as well as the shoes. The print is a bit too geometrical for me and not cheerful enough (too much brown and blue). The hat could have been really nice but in this picture it is too high on my head, caused by a high bun that was in the way.

Sylvia: I was surprised that Anja chose this outfit as I do have more colorful and flowery options too. I think it’s a fun funky outfit though.  (how I wore this top)

Conclusion and general experience

Anja: What I found is a major difference in our styles is the choice of fabric. A lot of the items I wore were rigid and not flowy, soft fabrics that follow the body. The lila/brown dress was and that felt the best on me. But both the black skirt, yellow skirt, white blouse, red top and black & white top feel like they sculpt my body instead of follow it. I don’t like that at all.

Sylvia: It’s interesting to read Anja’s final observation as I never realised that I have quite a few ‘rigid’ fabrics in my closet. I have a lot of silk as well, so I feel I could have created the perfect outfit for her, by selecting the silk red top with frills instead of this more structured one. To me it’s very important that fabrics breathe (made by natural materials) and feel comfortable. But they don’t necesserily have to be flowy. I like structured items that sculpt the body and find flowy materials often too girly.

Overall, I thought that Anja looked good in my clothes but not great. I guess it does not really feel like HER. I’m used to seeing her in bright pastels, flowers and lots of accessories. So even when that is not MY style I feel it is the best for HER as it suits her personality so well. These clothes feel a bit forced on her. To me, it has confirmed the importance of dressing for your personality again. It’s so important to understand what that is and how you can express that in your clothes.

You may like to do a similar experiment with a friend and see if you discover something new about yourself!

We have now also done the reverse experiment: me wearing Anja’s clothes and you can see the results here.

You can find more of Anja at Curly Traveller.

For now, I would love to hear your opinion on this experiment. What do you think of Anja in my clothes? Which is your favorite outfit? Do you feel you dress for your personality yourself?



Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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