When I was in high school, outfit repeating was a huge no-no. I’d be scorned by friends for being seen in the same dress twice, and heaven forbid you wear the same outfit as someone remotely connected to the friendship group – even on a different day. And when I started blogging – five years ago, now, would you believe? – it was rather much the same societal pressure when it came to wearing your much loved clothes more than once.
In fact, you could head over to Depop and guarantee a blogger’s outfit worn yesterday on the grid would be up for sale as ‘nearly new, worn once’. And for the love of fast fashion you bet I bought them, because I was fast running out of fits I’d already worn on the grid, too.
But here we are post-pandemic where I’ve barely spent a penny on new clothes for 18 months – but also where a good 40% of my wardrobe no longer fits me as a result of lockdown weight gain. I realised that there are clothes in my wardrobe from five years ago that I completely and utterly adore that no longer fit me. Clothes that I’d ‘saved for best‘ but best never came. And that feeling of resent for not having worn some of my favourite outfits as much as I should have has confirmed that clothes were made to be worn, and there’s no shame in wearing that dress for date night and girl’s night – right?
And so, I treated myself to a handful of new summer outfits to replace the jumpsuits and dresses lost to lockdown – and as I clicked ‘proceed to checkout’, I’d already mentally planned what events I’d wear them to and how to style them. I’ve found recently that carefully and thoughtfully purchased clothing tends to see more compliments – like my beloved pink vintage leather jacket, which is rarely off my back.
Thankfully, with sustainability at the forefront of everyone’s minds in 2021, the fear of outfit repeating is becoming one we no longer tend to care for. In fact, more and more of us are celebrating the phenomenon over on Instagram! Hey, if I’ve managed to take three great photos in the same dress, you bet they’re all going on the grid.
Speaking of, this gorgeous Roses are Red ‘midaxi’ dress, from Lula Boutique, in Leek, is one such garment. I managed to bag the last one in the independent store’s online sale for just £16.80. The versatile dress is lined to just above the knee, allowing the lowest, tiered skirt to be semi-sheer. The cut adds texture and gives it more movement, and it’s length means it can be styled with either flats or heels, making it suitable for even more occasions.
The neckline is a very high neck, but the stretchiness of the shirred fabric doesn’t make it feel restrictive. The same design is used on the sleeve cuffs, allowing for a super cute puffed sleeve which is still very much on trend after a rise in the look last summer. The waist doesn’t cinch in too much, so the dress can be worn loose and floaty, or you can belt it for a fitted look. I wore it with the rivet belt, which was also from Lula.
To accessorise, I opted for vintage old faithfuls: my Wrangler leather boots from Sparrowhawk Vintage – my go-to boot for any occasion – and paired them with the cream bag I got from Dorothy Perkins last year before its High Street departure. The bag goes with practically everything, and only cost ma around £15 at the time.
Finally, I finished the look with a fedora I’d picked up at Denstone Hall Farm Shop a few months back for £25. The pink matched perfectly with the colours in the dress, and dressed it up even more. I feel like this particular look would make a fab summer wedding guest outfit, but equally gorgeous for date night. It’s safe to say this Lula dress won’t be sitting in the wardrobe waiting for a day out any time soon – those days are over.