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.

Add a jacket and boots
I’ve always loved juxtaposing feminine and somewhat masculine pieces when it comes to outfits. Whether it’s a structured button-down paired with a skirt or a girly dress worn with Vans, it’s fun to try out unexpected options. With this outfit, I chose a military-inspired route by opting for my combat boots and utility jacket. This is the perfect combo for those slightly breezy days when sandals are a no-can-do.

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Wear accessories and a dark lip
Sometimes adding a few accessories and bright lipstick is all you need to differentiate an outfit. Though statement necklaces are always a great way to distract from a repeated outfit, I chose simple accessories to allow the dress and lipstick to be the center of attention. This outfit option is perfect for a fancy holiday dinner or party with your family (if you live in Florida and have 70-degree Christmases, that is…).

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Throw on a flannel shirt
Whether you wear it open or buttoned up how I did, a flannel shirt is an ideal layer to have on hand for all seasons. I chose to button it halfway down, tie up the loose ends and tuck the ends in so they didn’t show. It ended up sort of looking like a flannel tucked into a maxi skirt, so I’d say this outfit was a success in terms of transforming the dress just by adding a layer.

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Don’t let the fear of outfit repeating keep you from buying something cute for yourself. As long as you know you have ample accessories and layers to wear with whatever you’re buying, then I say #treatyoself and go for it. If you’re craving more inspiration, check out this blog post to see how I styled four different outfits with one graphic T-shirt.

As always, thanks for reading!

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2 thoughts on “One dress, three outfits: Getting your money’s worth out of clothes

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