Did you ever hear about The Uniform Project? Back in 2009, a woman named Sheena Matheiken decided to wear the same LBD every single day for a year, documenting her outfits on her website. She launched the project as a fundraiser for a charity close to her heart, as well as a personal challenge to be less consumeristic. But what really got people hooked was how she managed to transform the dress on a daily basis, using handmade, vintage, and donated pieces to mix and match.
This struck me just the other day as I was having lunch with a friend. Unbeknownst to her, it was the third time that week that I had worn the same dress (a simple, sleeveless black thing). The first time was to dinner with my high school BFF; the second, to catch the new Spiderman movie with my folks. Same outfit, different crowd—it doesn’t count, right?
Disclaimer: this is probably one of those things you can write off with a sigh and an eye roll as a “fashion girl problem.” I won’t deny it--in the big scheme of things, it’s pretty much meaningless.
Nevertheless, I’m guessing many of you like-minded ladies can relate to what I’m about to say, especially since, in our world, fashion is numero uno in self-expression.
Here it goes: Piecing together one-time-big-time outfits is fun until the novelty wears off and the new clothes run out. After that, it can be a huge hassle--especially when you're not in the mood.
As much as I revel in the joys of pretty, plentiful clothing and the small sense of triumph that follows a great outfit’s completion, it’s hard to keep that creative momentum going. Katharine Hepburn once said, “I wear my sort of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding which clothes to wear.” How true is that? Sometimes a girl just wants to wear the same thing over and over—and not be judged for it.
I think Sheena Matheiken had it right when she chose the LBD as her 365-day uniform. Like our mothers (and Tim Gunn) told us, black goes with everything. The dress is a workable base for different layers, colors, prints, and accessories. At the same time, it makes a strong statement on its own. It summons forth every girl’s inner Audrey Hepburn or Coco Chanel—and they wore it innumerable times to great effect. So what if people notice that you’re being a "repeat offender"? It’s not a fashion crime if the garment in question is timeless.
Ready to take on your own "uniform project"? Here’s a week’s worth of potential outfits that revolve around one pretty-much-perfect LBD.
(Product photos courtesy of TheMall.ph, unless otherwise stated.)