Twelve school years of my life was spent in plaid. Plaid jumpers then plaid skirts. Polo shirts in the fall and spring were traded for pressed (thank you mother) white button downs with sweater vests and at times a ridiculous cross-over button Girl Scout-like navy tie. Other than tag days (you could wear whatever you please) once a month, the biggest school clothing shopping decision of the year were the shoes on your feet. How was one to express their individuality? The girls found ways around it of course...makeup, jewelery, accessories, the latest LL Bean backpack pattern. I always remember being fond of a head band Mom made for me in 3rd grade. She had hot glued pieces of candy corn on a black headband for me. I was the talk of the home room the entire month of October.
These days, I'm embarrassed to say I hate to wear anything twice. But there's a girl, Sheena Matheiken, who has gone the opposite route. As the Founder of the Uniform Project, Sheena is wearing one dress every day of one year all in the name of charity and sustainable fashion. This gal has seven identical black dresses, one for every day of the week, and is seeing just how far she can push the creative envelope with diversification of the outfit.
Each day she posts a picture of herself. And each day, she looks quite different. She works the outfit with different accessories and layers which she claims to purchase from eBay and Etsy.com . You can view all of the photos which includes shopping information on where to buy all of her add-on wardrobe items.
Charity is her first motive for the project. Sheena is asking for donations for the duration of the year that will benefit Akanksha Foundation, a grassroots charity based in Mumbai, whose contributions go to fund uniforms and other school expenses for children in the slums of India. Sustainability is her second motive, which is to stop consuming and reusing. The dress was designed with the help of Eliza Starbuck, and is wearable year-round. This short-sleeve, button-down dress can be worn backwards and also as a long cardigan.
Sheena has raised over $14,000 since she began this project in May 2009. I'm looking forward to watching her remix the dress for the next six month. Who knew the power of a dress?