Thursday, 8 August 2013

Wear it Seven Ways

 Kate Middleton has been both applauded and chided for wearing the same dresses twice. 'Really?' You may think, 'That actually makes head-lines?' Well apparently it does...  Judging by the endless list of 'celebrity repeat fashion offenders' I found when I googled the topic, there are millions of snap-happy fashionistas out there hungrily waiting to pounce on any star who is stupid enough to show up anywhere wearing the same thing a second time. My goodness - the faux pas... the world will probably end...

Well go you Kate Middleton I say! I hope you wear your expensive gorgeous dresses a million times! Despite feeling ever so superior to all the fashion-slaves out there, the headlines did get me thinking about my own wardrobe choices... How many times have I convince myself that I simply MUST buy something new because I 'just' don't have exactly that top in exactly that shade of grey, or that I absolutely need a new bag to go with this new dress and match my new shoes... Over my year of shopping ethically and sustainably, I've felt challenged to think about sustainability in a more holistic way. I've come to realise that sustainability entails more than just buying second-hand or organic. It it also about versatility and redefining 'need'. Truth is, I don't need 75% of the clothes in my wardrobe. If I lost them today, I could still go on living tomorrow. Maybe rather than always buying something new, we could take a more creative approach to our own wardrobe. To inspire us all to do this, I've set myself a week-long challenge to wear one piece of clothing seven different ways utilizing the clothes I already have. Here are some of the ideas I came up with...

The item of clothing I chose to do my experiment with was this lovely black and white floral printed blouse... I agree the first outfit is a bit of a given... Combined with my fairtrade black cotton skirt from Annie Greenabelle, a black blazer, tights and some heels, this turns into a neat business look. I wore this to work, but would also wear it to a job interview or formal occasion.

To achieve a more summery, girly look I introduced some bold colour. I love this blue pleated skirt I got at a swap shop. Having some uni-coloured items in your wardrobe is always a good idea and makes combining outfits so much easier! Still formal enough to wear to work, this outfit is also totally comfortable - perfect for that after-work drink.

For looks two and five the idea was to wear the top over and under clothes I wouldn't usually wear it with. So in the first one, I've put it on over a dark grey beach dress. Arranged in this way, it turned an otherwise very casual dress into a more formal look. Similarly I love how putting the blouse on under my black Peopletree maxi dress and combining it with a neat little yellow belt and satchel completely changes the feel of that dress. Good-by beach, hello office!

Now this top is not one I would usually wear out... but  the challenge was seven days, seven ways and one day was Saturday. So I combined the top with a second-hand sequins skirt and my vintage silver heels... And - despite what I had first thought - I happily wore this outfit on a night out. Totally disco-ready!

Last but not least, there's always the option to go casual. Wearing the blouse with my mint jeans and throwing on a little denim jacket made for a super comfy casual weekend outfit. 

I actually had so much fun doing this little challenge, and it's made me see my wardrobe with new eyes! I felt really happy about all the clothes I own, when previously I often felt unsatisfied and bored with them. I also made the choice to approach future buys with more caution. Thinking about what I already own and investing in high quality pieces that work well with my other clothes, rather than buying on a whim or being influenced by a sale...

We'll see how long that lasts :).

Many thanks also to the lovely Claire Dalton for taking all the beautiful pictures. You're a star.


  1. Love this post, Sarah! Go you! And you look amazing -- esp loved the over version and the going out!

    1. Ah thanks Emily! Yeah it was such a fun post to do... the Disco one is definitely one of my favourites too!!