One Dress, Three Ways

One of the most fun things about capsule wardrobing is the mixing and matching that’s possible. I swear I could reach into my closet with my eyes closed and pull out a great outfit every time! Among the many benefits of this is learning to use your clothes in many different ways.

I remember what getting dressed was like before I started capsuling. One of my biggest problems was that I had clothes that I couldn’t seem to pair up with anything. The other problem I had is that I ended up using many of my pieces in rigid outfits that I never changed. I would find that a blouse I owned looked good with a particular pair of jeans and shoes, and it would end up being the only way I ever wore that blouse. I basically had a closet crammed full of clothes, half of which I rarely, if ever, wore, while the other half was relegated to one-use outfits. Crazy, right?

I mentioned in a previous post, How I Used Capsule Wardrobes to Organize My Closet, that I now have two mini-capsules in my closet, 18 pieces each. Because everything in each capsule coordinates, I can make endless outfits. I can also dress up or dress down any outfit easily.

I tend to categorize outfits from casual to dressy and this corresponds to things like my daily life, lunch with a friend, dinner out with my husband, going to church, etc. So one of the things I keep in mind when choosing an outfit is the occasion, and then I think about how to dress up or down to suit my plans.

Here’s a dress I picked up from Old Navy a few years back. It’s all cotton, and has held up to multiple washings. It’s great in the summer with bright red accessories – a sort of nautical look, but works well in the fall and winter too. I found three different versions of similar dresses online and the links are below. Sadly, Old Navy isn’t make this particular dress anymore.

fullsizeoutput_21fThe first way I wore this outfit was to church. I felt like such a lady! I wore these really lovely Anne Klein navy/cream patent leather heels. The piping on the shoes makes them work really well with the striped dress. That cream colored bag is also patent leather. It’s a vintage bag that I found at my neighborhood thrift shop, Red Fox Vintage. It feels awesome to go to church feeling put together AND comfortable.


The second way I styled this dress is designed for everyday wear. The boots are low heeled and comfortable. They’re also real leather and hold up to rainy days. The cardigan I’m wearing came from ThredUp, one of my favorite online thrift shops. There’s a pattern knit into the sweater that works well with the stripes in the dress. If I planned a day spent working on the computer, cooking and cleaning around the house, and maybe taking a walk to New Seasons, this would be the way to go.




I love this last outfit! I’m so happy when I can find new and interesting ways to wear something. Here, I’ve basically turned this dress into a skirt. The sweater is from New York and Company and looks absolutely brand-new after almost two years of wash and wear. The shoes were a steal at DSW on the sales rack. Something like $15. Real leather and a stacked wooden wedge heel. Seriously gorgeous. And the beads came from my mom. Vintage, mixed blues and long enough to be versatile. It’s one of my favorite necklaces. I can’t find anything that’s really like it, but I’ve included a triple strand necklace, below, that would look good with an outfit like this. The sweater, below, is from Macy’s and has a horizontal ribbing pattern. It would look terrific with a skirt like this!

  • Dress: Adrian Papel c/o 6pm (similar)
  • Sweater: Charter Club c/o Macy’s (similar)
  • Shoes: Chloe c/o The RealReal (similar)
  • Necklace: Nakamol c/o Nordstrom (similar)

Have you tried putting together a capsule yet? I think if you do, you won’t be sorry! Either way, go into your closet and find a dress you love. Try to come up with three very different looks using the same dress. You may be surprised at how many options there are. Flexibility is good in all things, including fashion! Part of learning to make do with less is learning to expand the possibilities of each item we own.  Let me know what you think? Do you already do this? Would you like to? You can leave a comment at the end of the page, no sign in required. Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

A note to readers: There are affiliate links in this post. If you click on these links or make purchases, I will be paid a small commission. I only promote or recommend what I sincerely adore. Thank you for reading!


About LeilaPiazza

I am a wife and mother. I am an Orthodox Christian. I am a Syrian American with family living in Syria. I am a also a yoga teacher and freelance writer. I recently described myself in a job pitch as "a person who's lived in Portland, Oregon for over 20 years with a passion for writing and a passion for all things Portland. I'm a foodie, knitter, wine and beer lover, bee-keeper (yep, I said it), mead and fruit-liqueur maker, organic gardener, home-canner, hiker, biker, runner, and occasional skinny-dipper. I’ve camped all over the state, I sail a sailboat that’s moored on the Columbia (o.k., I'm the first mate), and I spend a large percentage of my time at our beach house in Seaside." That about sums it up.
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2 Responses to One Dress, Three Ways

  1. Pingback: One Dress, Three Ways | By the Mighty Mumford

  2. Pingback: How do I choose what to wear? | O.K. look, here's the deal.

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