October Dress Project

I just completed 31 days of wearing the same dress. Yep, the same dress, thirty-one days in a row (don’t worry, washing was involved) for the October Dress Project (ODP). After 3 years of talking about it, I finally jumped in with a group of ladies from around the globe who take the month of October to find ways to maximize their creativity while minimizing their spending. I don’t have a noteworthy problem with the latter (that department is strictly saved for my husband!), but I do find myself victim to the, “I don’t have a thing to wear….” whine. Meanwhile, my closet explodes. This project showed me just how creative I can get with what I’ve got. Sometimes limitation is an open door to creativity.

So, the rules of ODP are simple: find one dress, any dress, and wear it everyday throughout the month of October. You’re allowed to incorporate anything from your closet as long as it’s centered around The Dress. The point is to change it up as much as possible. And the simpler the dress, the better so it’s not totally recognizable. I went with a black, cotton dress with three-quarter length sleeves. I found it secondhand and it was perfect.

Everything worn for ODP (besides my delicates and shoes) was gifted or thrifted, rummaged, or somehow acquired second hand by my best man. All jewelry (unfortunately obscure in the photos) was either beautifully crafted by my mom at ColorSpeak, purchased at a fair trade shop I proudly serve on the board for at Ten Thousand Villages or acquired by my hubs.

Several friends and family have asked to see photos of the day-to-day and this seems to be the best social outlet to do it (Facebook self-portrait embarrassment!). So here is a selection of my October looks. The weather varied from low 50’s and rainy to 108 and, well, DAMN HOT. I duplicated 2 looks twice.

Today’s the first day of November and I don’t know what the hell to wear.

The Dress:

Selected Looks:

I already can’t wait for ODP 2013, but, that’s about as much of “me” as I can handle in a post for awhile!! πŸ™‚


25 thoughts on “October Dress Project

  1. THE GIRL CAN ACCESSORIZE! Oh. My. Goodness!!!!! If you could hear my squeal of excitement over this it would burst your ear drums. First, what a great idea and second… how cool that you tried it and totally succeeded.

    Every look is so cute that there’s no way I could pick a favorite.
    I’m a girl who LOVES tights and leggins and I wear them constantly in the cooler months. You my friend, have the most awesome collection EVER. They really made so many of the outfits super cool. So much gorgeous color and the black is most definitely the perfect canvas for your creations.

    Don’t even get me started on all your cute little shoes. I’m a mary-jane, give-me-a strap-on-a-shoe kind of chic and those turquoise shoes knocked my socks (tights) off. I’m sorry I can’t quit gushing… but honestly I feel like we probably dress very much the same day to day. It makes me want to get to a thrift shop PRONTO!

    Loved this post, T. And loved seeing your pretty face and stylish outfits. I think this made me week! Ummmm, yes, it did!
    xo Stacey

    P.S. I love that you have “nothing to wear” this month. HA HA HA!!

    1. ohhh, that we only lived closer! we could share all of our mary-janes!! they are by far my favorite style of shoe. i’ll probably be 80 years old and still wearing them! and same with tights. all colors.
      thanks so much for the self-esteem boost, stace! πŸ™‚ it was a really fun project. but if i want to do this next year, i probably need to get even more accessories, don’t you think?! time for J to hit up the rummage sales! πŸ˜‰
      hope you are well and less crazy busy. thanks for all your kind words!! xoxoxox

    1. thanks from across the pond, sister! and thanks for the inspiration. i think that golden look was my favorite, too. maybe have to resurrect that one throughout the year! maybe for our birthday?!?! πŸ˜‰

    1. hiiii hannah! thanks so much. it was totally fun and i expect to do it again next year. you should join me!! and thanks for the adorable comment. makes me smile πŸ™‚

  2. Absolutely amazing, Tam! What creativity! I like every single outfit and am so impressed that you did this. Every woman needs a little black dress. I need to get one!!!

    1. thanks, laurina! i wasn’t sure if i was going to get sick of the dress or not, but instead i was sad to see it end! it was a lot of fun. get yourself a dress and do ODP with me next year! πŸ˜‰

  3. Well done, lovely one! Fun to see you in all the different looks and colors. My personal fave is the shades of blue w/ the white tights. Close in line is the last photo. Thank goodness for colored tights and scarves, huh? And of course basic black dresses!

    1. thank you! and for the jewels to help accessorize! the last photo was probably one of my comfiest outfits, but i must admit the whole time i was pretty dang comfortable!! πŸ™‚

  4. This is truly amazing!! I can’t believe that you came up with so many different looks with the same dress. This is such a fun challenge and inspires me to really think outside of the box more. Accessories make such a huge difference.

    1. thanks, danielle! certain days were a challenge, but a fun challenge! this project inspired me, too. thanks for the compliments. let me know if you’re interested in 2013! πŸ˜‰

  5. I love, love, love, love, LOVE this idea!!! Probably because I hate dressing myself. This also reminds me of another project a friend of mine is doing called The Twenty Pieces Project. They “curate” their wardrobe and select twenty pieces of clothing to wear all year long. No shopping allowed unless something gets damaged or falls apart. They call it a discipline of detachment. Check them out at twentypieces.org.

    1. ohhhh, i haven’t heard of twenty pieces. i will definitely check it out. thanks for the 411! and thanks for the comments. this is perfect for the “i hate dressing myself” people. it’s like having a uniform that you just add flair to. πŸ™‚ 2013???
      thanks, danica!

      1. just read up on TPP. very cool! i need to “purge my closet within an inch of its life” as they suggest. good advice on their rules post! thanks, danica. i also like their “love what you wear” rule. sometimes i don’t love what i wear. so why wear it?!?!

    1. ha, thanks, ingrid! that is my mom’s favorite look. it was by far the most comfortable, though i lucked out with a comfy dress all around. and the yellow gave it just the right “pop” πŸ˜‰ xoxo hope you are well. come out here!

    1. hi kari! you’re welcome! and thanks for commenting. hope you both are well and come back to us soon πŸ˜‰ xo

  6. Pretty damn cool and nice styling! I think I do this albeit unintentionally with a pair of black jeans that are dreadfully called “jeggings”. I realized after reading your awesome post that I can’t remember a time this past month where I wore a different pair of jeans. I see we both have an affinity for cardigans. My collection is out of control. Though I could never rock those yellow flats! You however totally do!

    1. alex, not for one minute do i believe you couldn’t rock a pair of yellow flats. especially with black jeggings (that word always cracks me up btw)!!
      i feel similarly about a pair of blue jeans i have. october was nice to “dress” it up a bit πŸ˜‰
      thanks for the compliments, A!!

  7. Awesome concept and great results – love all the looks you put together. The dress is perfect and you DO have such cute shoes, tights and accessories – they seem to have gotten you through a range of temps! Bravo! Glad you shared the montage… πŸ™‚

    1. thanks, j! it was a lot of fun. and thanks for the tights and shoes compliments, i can’t seem to get enough tights. i’m missing the color pink, however. must remedy that! πŸ˜‰ thanks for your comments!!

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