When Seattle artist Alex Martin wore the same brown dress every day for a year - with the added constraint that anything she paired it with such as accessories, shoes or layering pieces was either second-hand in origin or already in her wardrobe - she was one of the first to tap into a nascent trend in a high-profile way. "In this performance," she wrote about her "Little Brown Dress" project which lasted from July 2005 through July 2006, "I challenged myself to reject the economic system that pushes over-consumption," mostly through immense pressure on women to look good by buying immense amounts of new clothing. In May of this year, fashionista Sheena Matheiken launched the "Uniform Project", wearing the same LBD for a year as an exercise in sustainable fashion, while NYC designer Mal Sirrah recently collaborated with over 1000 women around the world on the perfect, universal dress. What has become clear is that there is a movement afoot to reexamine the McTaste factor in rampant fashion consumerism.
The latest convert to fashion that multitasks is Valerie Elizabeth, a Dallas-based ambassador for GLAMOUR Magazine, the blogger behind The Diary of Elizabeth Hearst, and founder of Society Stylist.
"Most of us likely have more in our wardrobe than we could ever or do ever wear. On average I find most women have at least 20 pairs of shoes, 10 best, 5 handbags, drawers of unused accessories, hundreds of pieces of clothing, and at least a few items in their closet that still have the tags on them," she explains about what motivated her month-long experiment this August to wear the same LBD for 31 days in a row and demonstrate how pairing it with quality pieces - such as different affordable MICHELE watches - creates endless outfit combinations. "We have been programmed to think that the way to get a new look is to, yes, buy new things. Well I want to suggest something different: that maybe we should take a second look before we insist we 'have nothing to wear'."
Each day of the experiment, she will pose a question about the state of your wardrobe and the kind of style issues you're facing. Anyone who submits a style tip will be eligible to win cool prizes, including a Valerie Shift Dress by Elli Grace and a Michele watch - so be sure to weigh in at SocietyStylist.com.
- Lesley Scott
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