Eight days in and I’m finding myself getting dressed slightly begrudgingly now. I wish I’d chosen a dress that wasn’t quite so short … Still, I’ve yet to repeat an outfit, and I’ve now set myself the vague aim of wearing a different look every day.
One major flaw with any notion that wearing one dress repeatedly can be considered an exercise in sustainable fashion is that it requires dozens and dozens of extra items of clothing to build outfits with. Even those who are seriously dedicated to this idea – such as Sheena Matheiken over at the Uniform Project, who’s wearing an identical dress every day not for a month, but a year – have to depend upon a vast array of accessories, jumpers, jackets, tunics and so on in, in order to vary the look enough to make the concept remotely plausible or appealing to the people who they’re hoping to win over.
Matheiken’s blog calls for people to donate accessories to her, or make something and send it in, or collaborate with her to put together an ensemble, and most of the extras she mixes and matches with her dress are second hand, from small producers on sites such as Etsy, or made for her by her conveniently crafty friends. While it means that she can uphold her sustainable style principles even while wearing, over the course of one year, more clothes and accessories than most of us get through in five, it’s hardly a model that is practicable for the majority of people. We don’t all have access to NYC flea markets, or have friends who happen to be fashion designers. Even in Glasgow, where we’re blessed with wonderful and reasonably priced vintage stores, if everyone adopted Matheiken’s stance, there’d soon be nothing decent left in them. The stock of reasonable-quality second-hand clothing is by definition limited.
Still, that’s not to deny the fact that setting limits is one of the best ways to encourage yourself to be creative, and if I can get 31 different outfits out of one dress without purchasing any new accessories this month in order to make that happen, I’ll at least have shown myself that when I feel like I’ve got nothing new to wear, shopping isn’t the only solution.
Grey tunic (worn under dress), Acne
Black ruffle cardigan, Reiss (as before)
Leather jacket, M&S [I’ve owned this for a decade, which is both terrifying, and, I suppose, a good thing]
Black lace tights, New Look [I can’t wear tights more than three times without ripping them, so there’s no point wasting money on pricy ones]
Opaque pink ballet tights (worn under lace ones], from dance supply stores
Know someone taking on the One Dress, One Month challenge? Support their cause by donating online to Macmillan Cancer Support here!