When I first got into minimalist fashion, back before I was blogging my feelings about it on a semi-weekly basis, I tried an experiment. I picked out the plainest, most innocuous black dress in my closet and committed to wearing it for a full week. It was a fun little project, and it taught me two very important lessons about my wardrobe:
1. It is not a good idea to wear a 100% polyester dress for seven days in a row in the humid DC summer.
2. No one is paying enough attention to me to care about what I’m wearing every day.
Lesson number one is an important one, but lesson number two is the one that I want to talk about in today’s post. Prior to that week-long experiment, I had my wardrobe on a strict two-week rotation, my logic being that as long as I put two full weeks between the wearing of any particular garment, nobody would think…what? That I was poor? Dirty? Unfashionable? In my mind, these were the worst assumptions people could make about me, and I thought that by keeping my wardrobe big and my outfits diverse, I could protect myself from those judgements.
But during the dress experiment, not a single person noticed that I was wearing the same dress I wore the day before and the day before that, and, come to think of it, I couldn’t recall what any of them had been wearing the day before either. We could have all been doing the dress experiment simultaneously, for all I knew. Realizing that nobody was paying attention to me was the green light I needed to get myself out of fast-fashion hell and whittle my wardrobe down to something more satisfying and functional.
Now I repeat my outfits all the time. I frequently wear my favorite pair of black pants two, or even three days in a row, and yeah, sometimes I do throw on the same dress from yesterday, usually just because I’m too lazy to conjure up anything else to wear.
That’s where I was last week when, on Monday, I put on my Wool& Brooklyn Wrap Dress, and then, on Tuesday, when I woke up feeling completely uninspired, I put it on again. On Wednesday, I wore it a third time. I hadn’t really planned on doing any kind of wardrobe experiment that week, but there’s nothing so anonymous and easy as a little black dress, and this one is stretchy and soft in a way that I needed when I wasn’t feeling physically at my best.
I wrote previously that I wanted to try an experiment like this with my Wool& dress (which was gifted to me by the brand, just FYI), but that I wanted to get it tailored first because it was a little large in the shoulders, making the v-neck fall open too low sometimes. Well, I feel like I might never get it to the tailor at this point because I wear it all. the. time. Wardrobe-malfunction risk and all.
Here are the ways I wore it last week:
Monday | Day 1
On Monday I wore the dress with my French Connection Elongated Bomber and Keds Classic Champion Sneakers, neither of which are made ethically but are nonetheless two of the best things I’ve added to my wardrobe this year. They’re both particularly good for travel because of how lightweight, comfortable, and versatile they are. I never pack a suitcase without ’em, and I travel a lot these days. I took the jacket off when I got to the office and wore the dress by itself, which looked cute with the sneakers even if they weren’t 100% dress code compliant.
Tuesday | Day 2
Did I mention this dress is reversible? I’m a sucker for a piece of clothing that is designed to be worn in more than one way, so on Tuesday I turned the dress around, put a belt on it, and got fancy with a red lip. I’m wearing my Nisolo Mariella Mules and the Tradlands Les Femmes Tote to up the art-vibes. Just a quick note on the Les Femmes tote – I’ve been using it a few times a week as my primary work bag, especially when I’m wearing all black. I think an all-black outfit really makes this tote pop and draws the eye to the beautiful illustration.
Wednesday | Day 3
Wednesday was the last day of the week for this dress, and I wore it with my green Everlane Block Heel Sandals. You can see that the top of the dress is just a little too big for me because it’s exposing my bra strap a bit in this photo. I do end up yanking the dress up a lot during the day, so I really need to get to the tailor and make this dress a little more appropriate for petite proportions.
Why This Dress?
The reason that this dress in particular makes a good candidate for multi-day wear is because of the fabric: it’s a merino-wool blend (a far cry from the smelly polyester dress that I wore in the first experiment) so it wicks moisture away from the body, doesn’t hold on to odor, and keeps its shape after being worn and stretched. I take a walk every day around 12pm (because I am a sun-loving masochist) and it doesn’t make me feel sweaty or uncomfortable despite relentless DC heat and humidity.
I didn’t wash the dress between these three wears, but I did wash it after. The instructions say to put it in the washing machine in the delicate cycle and line dry. Well, you all know me. I threw this sucker in the regular cycle with a ton of other stuff and then put it in the dryer. Nothing bad happened – it came out looking perfect. I don’t recommend this method for each wash, but it is good to know that it’s a hard dress to ruin.
I am a Wool& affiliate, so if you want to support me as a blogger and you’re thinking about making a purchase from Wool&, please consider clicking through one of the links on this page (it doesn’t cost you anything extra). It works by putting a cookie in your browser that lets Wool& know you got to their website via my blog, and so if you buy something, they send me a small percentage of the sale.
I also really recommend this blog post from the Wool& journal about the 10 women who wore the brand’s original Rowena Swing dress for 100 days straight. That’s something I really aspire to do, and the reflections from the women who participated in this experiment are fascinating.
Would you wear the same outfit for three days in a row? Why or why not?
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