One Dress, Two Ways – The Challenge

Fabulous, stylish Sheila of Ephemera has challenged herself to wear her new wardrobe purchases three times in a week, to see if they pass the “keep it/lose it” test. I really like this challenge, because so often if I am on the fence about an item, I stick it in the back of the closet to live on for another judgment day.

I only dress up for work three to four days a week, so I’m giving myself a twice-a-week challenge for business wear. (It’s no challenge to wear my favorite jeans five times a week). This is a double-good discipline because it forces me to come with new looks on short notice. Staying sharp for style!

I thrifted this brown and white polka-dot dress a couple of weeks ago. It fits and flows nicely, washes and dries in a heartbeat and had potential. It didn’t stir my soul, but I broke that rule because of the low, low price (about $4).

Here it is on the first wearing, with just a simple leather belt and bronze cowboy boots. My photographer was not available so please excuse the wonky mirror photo; the mirror is beveled and I have not had my legs cut-up:

I like this look, I felt swooshy yet grounded all day.

Two days (yes!) later I wore the dress as a blouse, with a flared skirt on the bottom. I accessorized with a vintage gold-tone necklace, wooden cuff, and Tsubo booties

I did not do this at the office. Very much.

This was a fun and worthwhile challenge, but the dress did not pass the “keep it” test. The fabric is just too inexpensive-feeling and the dots aren’t my favorite print. So I re-donated it. (Note to self: Do Not Ignore the soul-stirring test in favor of the almost-free lure). I will “double up” again in coming weeks, for the sheer joy of playing in the closet.

Are you intrigued by Sheila’s challenge? Would you double-or-triple-up in a week to see if an item passes muster in your wardrobe?

Have a fabulous Thursday!

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  1. I really liked the polka dot dress! But, you have to go where your taste takes you. I am impressed by your discipline. I have many clothes hanging in the closet that are "not quite" right. I did however, pat myself on the back for taking four garbage bags of clothes in for recycling this week. Sometimes you just have to plug your nose and jump in.

  2. What an adorable polka dot dress! Would also love seeing it with a blouse or sweater over the top and just show the polka dot skirt portion of it. It's so darned cute!

  3. I think this is a fabulous test, and I am SO guilty of succumbing to the thrift shop "bargain," only to end up with yet another useless space-taker in my closet I never wear.

    This dress, however, does look fabulous on you, but I go the same way on fabric; if it feels cheap, out it goes, no matter how cute.

  4. I thought it was fun though!! You are better than I am to resonate it. I have some misses still sitting in my closet!

  5. You look fabulous in the dress, and I really like the boots and belt version so much! But if the fabric doesn't feel right, and you know it's not going to see daylight again anytime soon – it's best to let it go!

    The test sounds like the piece of advice women never get but should have had a long time ago!

  6. Oh, Patti, I love brown!  I know some consider it of no account, but I love it!!  And this dress looks awesome with just the leather belt!  I would so keep that dress! 


  7. I like the idea!  The challenge and wearing a dress as a blouse.  I am with you on the concept that if I don't love a piece, it's out the door.  Now if I can just be disciplined enough to carry this out, my closet and I will be thrilled.

  8. I like the brown polka-dots, but if it doesn't suit you it's better off gone. And I like the new style! Very clean and classy!

  9. Fantastic idea!
    I'm going to give it a spin!
    I have two different jobs so repeating garments won't be an issue.
    I'll do your 2x a week rate.

  10. When I started to read this post, I was going to suggest you send it my way if it failed your wear test.  You know how I am about polka dots.  🙂  I think it looks(ed) cute on you, but if the fabric's average to less than on quality, bye-bye.

  11. I would have a hard time wearing something 2xs in a week, i'm sorry to say!  It would prejudice my opinion, i'm afraid!
    I can see how it could help tho!

  12. What a great idea to test your dress. Too bad it didn't work out because it is really cute on you!

  13. This dress is absolutely adorable
    Dresses are hard to remix, I like what you did wearing a skirt over it.
    I always feel like I have a huge stomach baby when I do that though lol

  14. It's a gorgeous dress, but I agree if the fabric didn't feel good then it's not a keeper. Thrifting has the drawback of low-low prices swaying our "do I love it" question. Sometimes it is a major steal, sometimes we go "but it's just a dollar!" and never wear it. 

    I agree with Pinkcheetahvintage that fabric is a HUGE contender for my clothing-love. It has to feel really good for me to want to wear it.

  15. I have to admit I kind of liked it, but it is about how you feel in it after all. 

    I need to follow your lead and be merciless about closet decisions. I'm very bad at it. I keep thinking that a year down the road I might want to wear it again. bisousSuzanne

  16. The dress looks lovely, but if it isn't making your heart sing, then it isn't The One for you. Love seeing you do a bit of a twirl, Patti! xxx

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