One dress, three outfits: Getting your money’s worth out of clothes

As soon as I bought this gorgeous ombré beauty of a maxi dress, I knew that it’d be hard to get me to take it off. I imagined myself sleeping, grocery shopping, working out, going to class and cleaning my house in this dress because of what I call the “Love At First Sight Effect.”

Okay, maybe that was slightly dramatic, but the bottom line is that I was super psyched to have found this hippie-esque, flowy dress at Urban Thread, a local Gainesville boutique. Before I buy something new, I always think about whether I have a sufficient amount of other clothes to wear with it to make sure I’d be getting my money’s worth. As I tried on this maxi in Urban Thread’s quaint little dressing room, the inspiration came flooding in. I realized I could wear it with a cozy knit sweater for a lunch date with friends or with fancy jewelry to dress up the casual nature of the dress for a nice dinner at home with my family.

I think it’s necessary for every gal and guy to do a mental run-through of his or her closet before buying something new to make sure the purchase is going to be worthwhile. If you’re thinking of buying a funky pair of pants or a chic fur vest but don’t have anything to wear with it, then you may need to rethink how bad you really want to drop $70 on a vest you’ll wear one time.

I’m sure you’re thinking, Okay, okay… I already know it’s important to spend my money wisely. Like, duh. But it’s also essential to think of outfit pairing options before making a purchase so you can partially escape the dreaded label of an “outfit repeater.” You can easily dodge that bullet just by adding or subtracting different layers and accessories to distract from the fact that you’re wearing the same dress you wore a week ago. If you have a dress you really love but barely wear because you’re sick of pairing it with the same old strappy sandals, then here are some options to give you some inspiration for how to wear it next.

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