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By Diane Small
What would happen if you wore the same outfit for a whole month? And I don’t mean your basic jeans and tee; I’m talking about an outfit that really stands out. Something that would make people say: ‘hey, didn’t you wear that yesterday?’
Marina Testino wanted to try this experiment, and #onedresstoimpress was born. As part of the creative roster at Society Management (Elite) and the founder of the fashion brand Point Off View, she knows about not only the importance of conscious consumerism, but also the pressure many working women face to wear a new outfit every day.
Working in the fashion industry, Marina says she’s constantly running around going from one event to another, changing outfits in between. One day, she simply got tired of having the pressure to look different everywhere she went. This is when she thought: why do I have to chose something new for every event, what if I chose to wear the same thing every time. For her, choice doesn’t always have to mean choosing something new – in fact, it has been totally liberating choosing NOT to choose. And not to shop. And not to be novel.
Still, there are plenty of Instagram influencers out there who love to show off new styles and garments daily, putting increasing amounts of pressure on young women to follow suit. But Marina decided to do the exact opposite: she has shared pics of herself wearing the exact same clothing every day for a month on her Instagram, @MarinaTestino.
She says there were plenty of advantages to putting on the same suit daily, but also some things she missed, too:“The biggest perk of wearing the same thing every day was falling into a routine with getting ready and not having to think about what to wear. Whether I was going to the supermarket, clubbing, or a black tie event- I simply had to put on my red suit and go. However, 20 days is a long time, and I’m definitely starting to miss wearing other things. I used to match my outfit to my mood everyday and now even if I’m feeling lazy or just want a discrete outfit, I don’t have that choice.”
The project also got her thinking about capsule wardrobes, reducing consumerism and the concept of conscious shopping itself. On her Insta account, she wrote:
“Selecting the right suit actually reminded me of Marie Kondo’s incredible book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She advises that to get rid of clutter, we should hold each item and feel if it brings joy. I think this could be a revolutionary new way to buy and consume fashion in a more conscious way.”
So why choose something so red? “I wanted to wear a colour that stood out and would attract attention,” she says. “I believe the colour red embodies power and confidence and that is part of the message I wanted to get across to people. Wearing something with confidence stands out more than wearing the latest fashion trend. I’m not saying people shouldn’t buy on trend, but simply to shop consciously and buy what makes you feel good and empowered- which is what this red suit did for me.”
We totally understand and support the concept behind the project – it really is ridiculous to expect people to wear new clothes all the time, and in fact, it was only with the birth of fast fashion that this even became possible. In the fairly recent past, people kept the same garments for years, and possibly passed them down to siblings or children when they outgrew their style.
But we did have one question for Marina: What has been the reaction to the project? Didn’t people look at her funny, seeing her in the same outfit, day after day? Nope! “People have reacted great!” she says. “I constantly get stopped on the street just because the suit stands out so much but once they hear my reason behind wearing it, they fall in love with the concept. I’ve even had some people I know tell me they’re going to try it out as well and wear the same outfit for a week or a month.”
#ONEDRESSTOIMPRESS- Marina Testino images: Nick Onken