No Buy Support Wardrobe Challenge: 1 Piece, Casual & Fancy


What better time to showcase that a single item can handle both casual and fancy than travelling? Since I was going up to my parents’ for a weekend, I made it a point to only bring one dress with me and do some different looks with it. This means that you’re getting three coords in this post instead of just two, just to be a little bit extra. And let’s be honest, both of those casual coords were put together using not only the dress as a starting point, but also trying to reduce my “too good for laundry, not good enough to be put back into the wardrobe” pile. If that’s not the definition of casual, then you out there are doing casual in a very fancy way!

Friday: Casual

| Chrysanthemum’s Concerto The First Semester JSK | The Seamstress of Bloomsbury Jive blouse | Amavel cardigan | offbrand tights, shoes, and barrette |

The weekend started with working from home and then travelling. As such the coord is on the very simple side as far as accessories go (there is only the barrette clip at the back of my head). Yet looking back at the pictures, it doesn’t feel overly simplified. The crochet-esque texture of the cardigan adds a lot of visual interest, while the pops of a lighted colour lift what would otherwise be a pretty dark look. Overall, whilst this isn’t a look that I could write forever about, I like it a lot, it was cute as well as comfortable, and it’s certainly far from boring.

Saturday: Fancy

| Chrysanthemum’s Concerto The First Semester JSK | Innocent World Rose Lace Millefeuille bolero | AatP Lace-Up Ribbon OTKs | Cutie Creator headbow | Rose of Sharon brooches | offbrand blouses and shoes |

The toss up between a selfie from Newby Hall's library and my Mum's balcony was a hard pick.

Gotta wear flowers to a flower show.

You would’ve seen a rough (very rough) collage of this in an earlier blog post when it was still in planning stages. Though of the looks featured there, this one was the most ready to go and the final version hasn’t so much had any changes as just two minor tweaks.

Is this the most OTT coord possible with this dress? No, probably not. However, this is the level of fancy that this dress pulls off very comfortably. Moreover, it’s fancy enough to feel special for going out to a flower show at a stately home, whilst remaining practical enough for walking around said show in early autumn. It certainly garnered a sizable handful of compliments from other attendees and staff. What makes it fancy in my opinion is the amount of detail added between relatively few pieces: the textural differences between the mesh blouse and smooth fabrics of the dress and the bolero; the layers of lace added by the bolero; patterned legwear; the brooches; a more prominent headpiece which also adds another texture through the velvet fabric…

And in case the photos above aren’t conveying that quite clearly enough (which let’s face it, with the dim light in that room the collage isn’t the clearest), here are some shots from the flower show itself which are a bit clearer and more colour-accurate.

Cinderella's flowery/pumpkin-y carriage was all that a girl could wish for.

Caught in the act, lolita edition.

Sunday: Casual

| Chrysanthemum’s Concerto The First Semester JSK | Angelic Pretty Logo Embroidered Turtleneck cutsew | offbrand socks, shoes, barrette, and brooch |

Back to comfortable and casual coords, but this time with a bit more colour introduced to it. While the first look was casual in terms of colour palette and making up the difference in detail with some textures, the second casual look is pretty bare on textures and fuller on interesting colours. Sadly the brooch isn’t the most visible item there, you can just about make it out to fill out the emptier space across my neckline. Though my favourite element here are probably the socks, which tie that red turtleneck into the whole coord instead of making it seem randomly plucked out of thin air (or in this case, my “too good for laundry” pile). It is arguably the most casual of the three here, the first one could pass for a low-key meetup, whereas this one is a bit closer to the “I have to be clothed for the supermarket” kind of casual.

As a firm believer in buying things that are as versatile as you need them to be (and in my case, the need is fairly strong), I am always making things multitask. Sure, not every single main piece out there is meant to be super fancy or super casual, which is equally important to recognise. With enough effort, it’s possible to force them into the opposite boxes, but that’s more a case of proving a point for the sake of it. Still, a good majority of my main pieces can handle being dressed up and down in equal measures. Like the introduction says, travelling is a pretty extreme way of showcasing that, though also one of the most realistic by virtue of only being able to bring so much. At least to me it felt a more accurate representation of a dress being worn both casually and in a fancy way as opposed to putting outfits purely to meet the prompt. After all, isn’t the point of the no buy challenge to help us actually wear what we own?


  1. Oh I really like the range of coords here! Very good work ^__^

    1. Thank you! This is a more versatile dress than it may appear, especially since I only have one green pair of shoes and a couple of green accessories to use, so it's reassuring that even with those limitations I can get a decent range out of a handful of items.


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