I have a confession to make:

My Computer Dresses Me

Can you tell? Maybe with that last one?

Can you tell? Maybe with that last one?

This year I got tired of dressing myself. Truth be told, I am not that great at creating “outfits” or “looks,” and I don’t have any time to dedicate to a careful consideration of what to wear each day. After I feed, dress, and apply sunscreen to my four-year-old twins to prepare them for their day, I have no bandwidth to lovingly choose my own clothes. Those few minutes that I stare blankly into my closet and try to select items while worrying that I’m taking too long are some of the most miserable of my day. I figured my computer couldn’t be any worse than I am at choosing my clothes, right? It at least would be a lot faster.


So, I took matters out of my own hands. I had already paired my closet down to about 40 items that mix and match well. In about ten minutes I programmed a little script in R that would select a random item of clothing from a series of six categories and present them all together. This is what I would wear each day. I have some choice in the matter because, while I have the computer generate three layers of tops for me (inner shirts, outer shirts, and sweaters/blazers), I choose only two of those layers. This protects my dignity because I could tell from generating a few outfits that this is the area where my computer gets a little bit wacky in its fashion choices.

The three above outfits as my computer printed them out.

The three above outfits as my computer printed them out.

 Some lessons learned:

  1. I no longer let my computer generate the shoes I wear. It selected an uncomfortable pair one too many times, so I took this privilege away.

  2. This only works because, like my children, I give my computer only non-choices. I’ve already made sure that my closet contains only those items that I like, that fit well, and that go together. I haven’t allowed my computer room to fail. It’s like when I ask my kids if they want three green beans or four.

  3. I need to edit my code so that my computer can’t select items I’ve already worn that week. My computer keeps recommending dirty clothes to me.

  4. My computer is better at generating outfits than I am at documenting them. While I do document outfits on Instagram (follow me @myComputerDressesMe), most days I fail to take a picture. Rest assured, if you see me, I am wearing an outfit my computer picked out. 

Now, let’s see what my computer can do for automating dinner.