The tarot is typically a pack of playing cards originating in the 15th century Europe used for games like the French jeu de tarot, a trick-taking strategy game, and the Italian tarocchini, a similar game from the 17th century. Later in the 18th century, some packs were used for divination through cartomancy or fortune telling and tarotology or deriving insight using the cards.
I’ve had tarot reading done on more than one occasion and have recently started to learn reading cards on my own. It helps me sort my thoughts and enlighten me especially when I’m in a confused state. For this story, I decided to pull a card a daily to help me decide what I’ll wear for the day. I used the Practical Magic Starter Deck, which has catchphrases to help make sense of the different cards. Here’s what I ended up wearing for an entire week.
Card: 5 of Cups
Catchphrase: Glass Half Empty
What it means: This cup is usually associated with grief or loss.
I went for the easiest route to convey grief—and that’s to wear an all-black outfit from head to toe. Wore this to a movie with some friends after work.
Card: 7 of Pentacles
What it means: It can mean hard work and perseverance.
What I wore: Blue and white striped dress, blue and cream pinstripe suit vest
I wanted to do a casual corporate look that wasn’t too business-y. I ended up wearing a summer dress with an unbuttoned suit vest over it. I originally wore this outfit with oxfords but they crumbled even before I left the house, so I ended up changing into white sneakers. I headed to a photo exhibit and dinner with my best friend afterwards.
Card: King of Swords
Catchphrase: Cutthroat Communicator
What it means: Some words that come to mind: power and intellect
What I wore: A linen button-down, denim midi skirt, black flats, black canvas tote
I was pleasantly surprised to pull this card because I was set to put my PR/Comms hat on for the day. I was scheduled to attend a launch for a coworking space’s brand-new branch, which I’ve been helping out with media relations. I went for a pencil-cut skirt and a collared button-down top for a balance of business and casual—which is what the company’s vibe is all about. This was one of my favorite outfits to come out of this challenge.
Card: 2 of Cups
What it means: It’s about coming together or becoming one.
What I wore: A button-down with ruffled collar and sleeves, black front pleated skirt, black flats, black canvas tote
For this day, my brothers and I were scheduled for a visa appointment at the embassy. I opted to go for a business look but with a romantic twist: one of my favorite button-downs that has a ruffled collar and sleeves. Felt lucky in my outfit—and the best part? Our visas got approved! Celebrated by watching the preview night of Dirty Old Musical to cheer on my friend who’s part of the cast that night.
What it means: I look at this card as the end and beginning of a cycle.
What I wore: White eyelet 3/4 sleeves top, dark denim flare midi skirt, black flats, black canvas tote
I was set to meet my former teammates for dinner and dessert, so I wanted to wear something comfortable. I went for something white to signify a blank canvas instead of the obvious choice of black for “death.”
Card: 6 of Swords
Catchphrase: Relocate to a better place
What it means: Moving on to better things
What I wore: A floral dress and mustard slides
Hung out with my friends from high school and felt like dressing up a bit. Wore one of my floral wrap dresses to signify blossoming (thus moving on to better things) and happiness.
Card: Knight of Swords
What it means: Something that drives your ambition
I took inspiration from the power of an idea fueling your drive for success. I love this tee designed by a Filipina for a global brand. I also wore some great finds from local brands: my abaca slides and my saddle sling from homegrown and handmade bag label Bags by Rubbertree. This is my favorite outfit of the week and will definitely wear it again.
Through this challenge, I not only discovered that tarot cards a great way to help you figure out what to wear when you’re having one of those “I don’t have anything to wear” days. I also learned to be more creative with my outfits without needing to shop for new clothes! The next time I’m stumped on what to wear, I’ll probably pull a card from my deck to help me out.
What about you? What are your tried and tested tricks when you’re stuck in a style rut?