Marina Testino Makes The Case For Outfit Repeating

Her #OneDressToImpress project explores what happens when a woman wears the same, strong, visible outfit everywhere for two whole months.
Reading time 5 minutes

Any millennial who grew up watching Disney Channel will know just how awful it is to be labeled an outfit repeater. We have the cult-classic and generation-defining Lizzie McGuire Movie to thank for that, in a scene where heroine Lizzie is called out for wearing the same puffy-sleeved peasant dress to graduation that she wore to a spring dance. But despite the bad rep outfit repeating may have, some of the greatest minds in history—and a few fashion people themselves—have consciously worn the same outfit every day: Steve Jobs and Karl Lagerfeld included. 

Of course, not everyone is so keen on wearing the same outfit every day. In a world where fast fashion mega companies are constantly churning out release after release, there seems to be a never-ending focus on the new, which led businesswoman and fashion darling Marina Testino to launch a project that challenges that. 

With One Dress to Impress, Testino explores what happens when a woman wears the same, strong, visible outfit everywhere over the course of two months, inspired by Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In a series of daily posts documented on her Instagram, you’ll see Testino posing in a bright red suit, striking a variety of poses against a variety of locales. With month one completed, we caught up with Testino to talk about her experience and what she hopes to accomplish towards the end of month two.

What first inspired this? 

I work in the fashion industry, which means I’m constantly running around going from one event to another, changing outfits in between. One day, I simply got tired of having the pressure to look different everywhere I went. This is when I thought, “why do I have to choose something new for every event, what if I chose to wear the same thing every time.” Choice doesn’t always have to mean choosing something new, and it has been totally liberating choosing NOT to choose.


When did you first read Marie Kondo’s book? What significance does it have for you now? 

I read it about a year ago when my mom gave it to me and it really came to mind when I was picking out which outfit I would be wearing for so long. Marie Kondo mentions in her book that before getting rid of something you should hold it and really think if it gives you joy. This is what I did when picking an outfit and what I think everyone should do when shopping.


What surprised you the most about wearing the same outfit every day? 

I expected to get a lot of criticism from people for wearing the same thing for so many days. Repeating an outfit has sort of become a taboo in our society—God forbid you wore the same outfit twice, right? Not necessarily! With this project, I learned that people don’t really care about what you’re wearing. 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.


Were there any challenges you faced during the #OneDressToImpress project? 

Two months is a long time and with one more to go, I’m definitely starting to miss wearing other things. I used to match my outfit to my mood every day and now even if I’m feeling lazy or just want a discrete outfit, I don’t have that choice.

Is there another outfit you’d like to try this with? If so, please describe! 

This was a two-month project that I created to make a statement. I think wearing the same vibrant suit for two whole months is impactful enough to bring awareness to conscious consumerism so I won't be continuing it with wearing something else.


How did week one differ from say week three? 

Week one was the most exciting because it was the start of it and people were not really sure about why I was repeating the suit which was kind of funny. I had been planning to do this for a while so it was great to see it all come together. However, it was the week where I had to make myself comfortable with the idea of repeating the same outfit for so long. I wasn’t sure how I would deal with the different weather or how to accessorize it differently.

By week three, I had learned how best adapt my suit to different temperatures, event, etc. and how to play around with accessories to give the suit a different feel every time I wore it.


What do you hope people take away from this? What can be learned? 

Society nowadays has a way of pushing people in fashion to always wear something new and I have learned that this is something that people are very much aware of, but nothing is being done about it. Every time I would share my project with people their response would always be the same- agreeing that there is a lack of conscious consumerism. However, the taboo of repeating outfits is overpowering the will to do something about it. This is why I hope this project inspires others to shop consciously and to let go of the notion that following trends for the sake of social acceptance is not necessary.


What is next for you? 

I have a couple of other projects that I am working on. I am also trying to focus on launching another collection for my brand Point Off View.

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