The Dress Project

As I’m getting older, I’ve started to realize just how important what I wear actually is. A great outfit can make you feel both strong and confident while also giving others a good impression of you. But finding these outfits is not as easy as it sounds, and it can often be tempting to shop until we find it.

Enter the October Dress Project, an amazing idea by my friend Avery. She wanted to see how creative she and others could be with their wardrobe when limited to one dress for an entire month. The project is all about teaching you to appreciate what you have and challenging you to find out how much you could do with very little. Many people have participated, and you can do it whatever month you choose!

My friends and I decided to take on the Dress Project to see what we could do. While none of us lasted the full month, we still walked away with a totally new perspective on shopping and our existing closet.

How you can make one dress go a long, long way

The amazing part of this project was seeing just how different my friends’ style choices were. When you’re working with just one garment, personality and fashion sense really shines through. And while my three guinea pigs all had different results, they offered a few key takeaways for those who want try the October Dress Project or just mix up a boring closet.octoberdressprojectkemie2

1. Your main dress matters

I was surprised to see all of the different dress choices my friends made! While solid is really easy to work with, I could see it getting boring. All of my friends who participated instead picked a dress that made them feel beautiful, regardless of the color, pattern, or design.

2. Shoes are your foundation

Hannah, one of the participants, suggested starting with a pair of shoes when making an outfit. While a closet full of shoes isn’t necessary to make the one dress challenge work, it certainly helps to have a few staples. For example, boots, metallic flats, comfy heels, and a pair of everyday sneakers were favorites from my friends.

3. Layering rocksoctoberdressprojecttori2

The girls got super creative in how they paired their looks. There were dresses with classic cardigans, structured blazers, and tied up t-shirts. I was really impressed with the idea of adding a long skirt at the dress waistband to turn it into a top or adding matching leggings and long-sleeve undershirts for added texture and color.

4. Accessorize wisely

For solid-colored dresses, the girls got really funky by adding flower hair pieces, patterned scarves, and larger jewelry. My friend in the patterned dress stuck to a neutral, tan hat, black tights, and dark belts. Whether you decide to be adventurous or keep your style neutral, but it’s important to have a little accent to mix it up.


5. Hair and makeup can change it all up

Tori made a great point when she said that while you can’t change your dress, you can create a new look with your makeup or hair. Fixing up your hair can help set a theme or at least give you a concept. On the other hand, makeup adds color and dresses up a casual look.

6. It’s more than the dress

I was very surprised to see how much my friends managed to do with just a dress and their accessories. It really made me reconsider “shopping” in my closet when I get the urge to go buy a new outfit. With just a few tips and tricks, your options are endless.
Most importantly, we all walked away with an appreciation for the blessings we have. While our clothes may not be the best brands, have high price tags, or are fresh off the catwalk, we have the ability to make our style all our own without giving in to shopping temptations or complaining about having nothing to wear.