Our clothes are more than fabric on our bodies. What we wear becomes part of our lives in an emotional way. We all have a moment in time that’s marked by what we were wearing: our first job interview, first kiss, first bad haircut … Welcome to “What I Wore When,” a series that asks our favorite women what they were wearing during a memorable moment in her life. Today's account: Nell Diamond, founder and CEO of influencer-favorite bedding brand Hill House Home, shares her memory of getting dressed for the dreaded SATs.
I graduated high school in London in 2007. It was the Spring of 2006 and Topshop was everything. Sienna Miller was the ultimate style icon, and I lived for anything “extra” (still do…). My mom always used to tell me to look in the mirror and take off one accessory, but I never could do it. I loved shiny, glittery, colorful things. I’m a magpie.
By junior year, I was already very stressed about applying to colleges in the United States. I had my heart set on my dream college, the one my brother attended, and I knew I needed to do well on my SATs to even think about getting in. I’m a worrier, and although I’d been studying for months, I was totally panicked.
Clothing has always played a huge role in how I feel. It has this incredible, mood-elevating power for me. When I’m not feeling great – when I'm anxious, stressed, having a super-busy day at work – that’s when I know I need to put on something that will make me feel amazing. In college, my friends used to joke when I had a crazy outfit on that I either had a big test or a boy I liked hadn't responded to my texts. And to be honest, in college in was usually the latter!
The day of the test, I decided to really go for it, sartorially speaking. I took a break from flashcards the night before and tried on a number of outfits. I settled on an A-line white skirt from Topshop with huge blue flowers printed all over it. I paired it with a white American Apparel bodysuit and a gauzy, white collared shirt from Miss Selfridge. When I put on the collared shirt, it reminded me of that moment in Clueless when Cher is about to take her driver’s test and can’t find her “white collarless shirt from Fred Segal.” In my teenage angst, I felt that, without my own white shirt, I simply couldn’t take the test. Teenage drama! I paired the look with red sling-back heels.
We had to be at school at around 7am on Saturday to take the test, armed with No. 2 pencils and I.D.s. High school students from around London gathered at the same location to take the test, and while my friends were used to my strange outfits, I definitely got some odd looks from visiting students; especially for the heels. Most people were in pajamas. I couldn’t have cared less. My outfit made me happy and helped release some of the anxiety. I felt motivated, powerful, and ready to take the test.
BUY SIMILAR: Miss Selfridge Ivory Dobby Flute Sleeve Top; $68; us.missselfridge.com; Wolford Jamaika Stretch-Jersey Bodysuit; $195; net-a-porter.com; Rebecca Taylor Marguerite Floral Polin Skirt; $395; rebeccataylor.com; Paul Andrew Rhea Suede Slingback Pumps; $645; net-a-porter.com
I would wear the look all over again, albeit probably not at 7am on a Saturday. I’m a big believer in the “One In, One Out” philosophy of closet management, so every time I get something new, I donate or sell something old on TheRealReal.com. Sadly, this particular look fell victim to one of those spring-cleanings. I do have some pieces I still wear that were high school/college favorites, though. Dresses over pants were a huge staple of my high school wardrobe, and I’m trying to bring that back. It’s very 2005 Britney and I live for it.