One dress for four seasons


Consumer societies are so quick to switch between trends, throwing out the old and bringing in the new. Keeping up with the trends often requires that retailers switch out their clothing products multiple times per week. In fact,11 million dollars worth of clothing is thrown away in the U.S. alone. This rapid production of retail is known as fast fashion, and with the high demand for new trends comes a high demand for workers…cue sweatshops and undignified labor.

This kind of trade is unethical on many levels, being that it illegally employs thousands of workers and contributes to their poor quality of life, while also polluting the air and promoting the cycling through of cotton and other goods (not to mention the expense of keeping up with the style changes). This is why, as individuals who want to see positive progress for our world, it is our job to slow down and show that we support slow fashion.

One way of doing so is by adopting a capsule wardrobe, or by reusing the very clothes in your closet to create a variety of different outfits.

Take a look at how I took on the challenge of using just one dress to create twenty different outfits that span across all four seasons (five outfits per season). I’d also like to give a special thanks to my roommate for serving as our beautiful model!


Spring is the best season to bring out those vibrant colors and mixed patterns, which makes dressing up a neutral dress so much fun! Throw on a bright shirt or shoes, layer with a cardigan or another dress (so cute, right?!), or add those fun accessories to switch up your outfits.


Summer’s warmth makes it so easy to trade out single pieces that actually change the whole outfit, while still keeping it light and simple! Going to a ball game? Add a sporty hat and jacket! Casual day around town? Tie a flannel around your waist and call it good! Got a hot date? Dress it up with some cute heels and they’ll be impressed by your simple beauty!


It can get a bit breezy in the fall, and that’s why sweaters, jackets, beanies, and even tights are the perfect things to dress you up while keeping you warm! You can find a look that’s perfect for your night out at the concert or your commute to work, and you’ll be turning heads either way!


Winter means sweaters galore! Ponchos and scarves are a great way to keep you warm and give you that style flair you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to throw on a long sleeve and some leggings underneath, and then pull those boots up over the top. It’s cute and practical!

It’s just one dress, but see how far you can stretch it! That’s twenty different shopping trips you’ve eliminated, and thus the proactive choice to reduce buying into fast fashion. It may seem daunting to put so many different outfits together with just one base dress, but trust me (the college student on a tight budget) all it takes is a quick shoe change, or adding a sweater on top to change the game. Now I’m excited for each season to roll around so I can wear these outfits and showcase just how fun and empowering slow fashion can be!

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About the Author

Emily James.png

Emily James is currently a junior at Azusa Pacific University, pursuing an English degree with a concentration in Writing. She has big plans to travel and see the vibrant colors of the world, and to write of the marginalized and unheard people she meets along her nomad journey (Dressember is fitting!). When she is not in class or working as an elementary reading and writing tutor, she loves to rock climb, hike, read, and watch romance movies with the girls.