What Happened When I Let My Instagram Followers Dress Me

As an editor, I may feel capable of dressing for nearly every type of occasion out there, but when it comes to dressing for a cocktail event, I’m somehow stumped. “Cocktail attire” is one of those sartorial categories that not many of us have on lock (if you are someone who can navigate this territory flawlessly, please let me in on your insider knowledge). So when the opportunity to work with a stylist before attending a cocktail event arose, I jumped at the chance. Maybe I’d discover a tidbit of life-changing advice from the experience, or at least find a look fitting for the occasion that I could re-create in the future.

What actually happened was this: I arrived at Nordstrom Localthe retailer’s genius new West Hollywood concept store where nothing is actually for sale. I quickly spilled my life story to the stylist I worked with, and, yes, I described my strange anxiety around getting dressed for a cocktail event. We quickly got to work chatting about what kind of overall look I was going for, and after trying on a few outfits I felt lukewarm about, it came down to deciding between two looks that were on opposite ends of the style spectrum. Being the indecisive person I am, I threw the question out to a close circle of trusted friends—that seemingly random assortment of Instagram followers who watch my daily Stories—to make the decision for me.

One poll later, and I swear to you my inbox has never been more inundated with impassioned messages and comments. It seemed everyone had an opinion on the matter. Everyone agreed—94% were in favor of the second look, and I was immediately at an existential crossroads.

As much of a thrill as I got from reading the responses and urgent messages regarding the red dress, it was ultimately my decision to "go with my gut" and wear the first look that made me feel like myself (read: most confident) attending the event a few nights later.