Do More with Less: 1 Dress, 15 Ways

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One of my favorite things to do is rework one item a gazillion different ways. It saves space, time, and money, not to mention it gets your creative juices flowing.

For instance, take the McQ by Alexander McQueen lace dress pictured above. You can actually do this with any similar black dress, but I’m using this one for illustration purposes. It’s basic enough to be worn season after season, year after year, yet interesting enough to keep you from getting bored. It was originally $535 which is more than what the average person pays for a dress, but it’s marked down to $240 at

Some might still say $240 is a lot to pay for a dress but let’s look at it from a CPW (cost per wear) standpoint. Just wearing it in the 15 ways I’m about to illustrate below costs you just $16 each time you wear it and you know you’ll be able to go beyond 15 wears with a dress like this so the cost per wear is constantly going down. Now say you bought a $16 dress from a mass market retailer and could only wear it once because it didn’t make it past the rinse cycle. Where’s the savings there, huh?

It’s more about quality than it is quantity. I always say go to some of the high end retailers and feel the clothing, see how the seams are put together, how the lines are cut, and which materials are used to create an item. Then using that knowledge, buy the best quality clothing you can afford. You might even be lucky enough to score a great well-made piece for $16. I got a Valentino skirt originally over $1500 for just $2 a few months ago! You also can’t beat some of the finds at thrift stores.

I know a lot of people are apprehensive about repeating an outfit—but the beauty in this is you aren’t exactly repeating an outfit and if you do who cares–Suze Orman says we spend too much time on clothes trying to impress people we don’t know and don’t like anyway…lol.

Anyway, enough rambling…onto the looks. So of course it will take other items to make this work but these aren’t items you won’t find in your wardrobe or can’t substitute. See How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe for more info.

P.S. I don’t have the type of editing skills to show when a top is worn over or under the dress, but the sweaters and short sleeve tees are worn over while the long sleeve shirts are worn under in these examples.

In case you were wondering about the pieces used to create the outfits above…

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas,, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.
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8 Responses to Do More with Less: 1 Dress, 15 Ways

  1. Sherry Blossom says:

    Thanks for this! I was literally JUST talking about how I need to buy more quality over quantity. That is so difficult for me to do sometimes BUT after THIS post I know for sure its DEFINITELY the way to go! I love the outfits and I see there was capsuling done! (see ive been studying!!)

  2. Dobe says:

    Of course, that blue suede boot would be $405! lol
    I really like them… good post!

    • Danielle says:

      LOL—I didn’t even notice those were blue nor did I look at the price initially because I was just putting the outfits together…lol. My bad! But I bet you can stalk them into a further markdown :)


  3. Pingback: FASHION: MUA STYLE: SUMMER MIDI IN THE FALL?! | Sherry Blossom Beauty



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