How I Got Away With Wearing The Same Dress To Work For A Week


My week as a dirty-outfit recycler.

Caught in my usual season-transitional "Goldilocks" clothing rut (Too hot. Too cold. Too worn. Too old.), I recently challenged myself to forego the premature (and often pricey) fall fashion spree in favor of breathing new life into some of my summer and fall staples.

Using a classic LBD and tights as my canvas, I set out to create my collection and, while I'm not necessarily suggesting wearing the same dress for five days straight, I do hope it goes to show how far a little imagination and planning can go when it comes to stretching your wardrobe (and dollar).

*Style steals for reference only. Try to adapt your own wardrobe to save money if possible.


Day Styling Philosophy: I decided early on in the strategizing phase of this experiment that the trick to keeping my little style secret intact would be not revealing the main wardrobe piece, at least in its entirety, until the end.

By opting for a bold top and leg-covering boots, I hoped to deflect the attention away from the black skirt of the dress, or at least minimize it so it wouldn't be remembered the following day.

Get the Look:
Forever 21 Grommet Plaid Shirt, $27.90

Charlotte Russe Back-Gored Knee-High Riding Boots, $42.99
Day 1

Day 1

Day Styling Philosophy:Now that half of my cover had been blown (thankfully only literally), I broke things up by shifting the focus to the top of the dress.

Since the skirt was on the full side, I chose a bottom equal in body and length, yet more loose and lightweight, trying to further play up the fact that the top and bottom weren't attached with a belt at center.

I completed the look with another statement piece - leopard shoes - so they'd draw the eye downward (away from the deception).

Get the Look:

Asos Premium Full Skirt in Bonded Satin, $95

The Limited Leopard Calf Hair Skinny Belt, now $19

DV by Dolce Vita Graysen Leopard Calf Heels, $90

Day 2

Day 2

Day Styling Philosophy: I knew the stakes were getting a little higher, so I decided (still reluctant to the full-dress-disclosure) to direct attention back to the hopefully-not-memorable skirt I'd worn two days prior.

As with Day 1, my aim was to minimize the bottom of the dress by maximizing the top, this time with a metallic crop top.

Turns out, the metallic marvel was worth every cent. It warranted multiple compliments and got me through another day without being outed as a dirty-outfit recycler.

The dress was getting dirty, so I gave it a real cleaning for good luck (the last thing I needed was a scent selling me out).
Get the Look:

Pixie Market Silver Metallic Crop Top, $65

JCPenney Call It Spring Borovsky Lace-Up Booties, $59.99

Mural Chic Love Studded Faux Leather Jacket, now $43.98

Day 3

Day 3

Styling Philosophy: Slightly relieved at getting over the week's hump (yet fearful of still fighting an increasingly uphill battle), I went with my ace-in-the-hole on the fourth day, partly because I was afraid to focus on the skirt for the second day in a row and partly because it had now been three days since I'd worn a dress and that, for me, was extremely out of the ordinary

That said, I did layer the dress over a long-sleeve blouse to create the illusion that they were one. I threw on a pair of playful color-blocked heels for good, attention-stealing measure and crossed my fingers that my secret would be safe.

One more day to go.

Get the look:
Neiman Marcus Long-Sleeve Button-Front Semi-Sheer Blouse, now $23

Carlos by Carlos Santana Capelli Platform Pumps, $110

Day 4

Day 4

Day Styling Philosophy:Since the big reveal happened early, my plan for Day 5 was to once again to change it up, while covering as much as possible.

Cue the big comfy sweater — a slouchier, longer alternative to the shirts that had come before it. Once cozied in and belted up (I added gold pumps), I was prepared to ride out the experiment (proceeding with caution).

Before I knew it, I had arrived at Destination Discreet and, despite a few minor "Could this be it for me?" bumps in the road, my experiment had worked.

Or at least no one called me out. Either way, I'd managed to get the most of my wardrobe and — bonus points! — saved time and energy.
Get the Look:

Charter Club Polka-Dot Sweater, $60

Nine West Gramercy Pump, $52

Go Jane Slim Pickings Metal Plate Belt, $10

Day 5

Day 5



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