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1363 N. Western Avenue
Lake Forest IL 60045


Forest & Found is a nonprofit community thrift store located in Lake Forest, IL that features good quality, second hand goods and produces a cycle of benefits for donors, shoppers and the causes the community invests in


Summing Up: A Month of Wearing the Same Dress

Diana Durkes

One month, one dress, 28 ways to wear it and four good reasons to do so (see our original blog post on Feb. 4). During the month of February, we joined in the Uniform Project, an experiment in dressing mindfully and creatively by wearing the same dress each day. The challenge was to change the daily look with different accessories, and of course, where the same dress every day.

Did it get tedious by the end of the month? Yes, it did. The February weather didn't help to encourage variety.  I wore jeans, tights and tall boots most of the month. Add a wool scarf, and that was a uniform everyone is familiar with.


Nevertheless, we had fun mixing it up with sweaters, jackets, belts, bags and jewelry. To wrap it all up, here's a Q&A with Michaele on her experience with the Uniform Project:

F&F: Reflecting on a month of wearing the same dress to work, what was the hardest part of doing so? 

Michaele: Actually, it was not hard. The project was a very fun challenge.  I chose a basic dress (that I liked) so that it was a fun game to figure out how to dress it down/up.  I always wore black tights and boots so that cut down on the guess work. I wore a uniform to school for 12 grades and never minded doing so.  A uniform is SET. 

F&F: People have asked this at the shop, so I'll throw it out to you - what did you do for dress maintenance?

Michaele: That's not for public consumption. Because of its style, my dress was never next to my skin. I always wore a blouse/turtleneck, etc. My dress was sleeveless, that's the reason I chose it, to accommodate that issue.

F&F: And, was the length of the dress you chose a liability?

Michaele: The length provided a nice line for whatever changed on top. I especially like the unexpected way it meshed with the "Brooklyn" sweatshirt I wore one day.

F&F: Pre-loved, gently used, vintage.....there are many ways to label them, but they all mean that thrift store clothing once hung in someone else's closet. Why do you like to shop for fashion at thrift stores?

Michaele: I would never say 'used',  rather 'repurposed'. I shop thrift for the price point and the variety.  I can best illustrate this with my summer dress analogy:
If I purchase 7 (any number) dresses at Forest & Found they each have a different look. Shopping at a resale store is like shopping at an enormous shopping mall. If I were to purchase 7 dresses @ JCrew they would all have a similar look. Repurposed clothing runs the gamut from reasonable to high end.