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How To Get Endless Outfits With Just One Purchase

How To Get Endless Outfits With Just One Purchase

The Summary

Discover why we back buying separates rather than a dress this spring/summer.

The Sustainability

It’s that time of year when a warm day just pops up out of nowhere as a wonderfully welcome surprise. So, naturally Summer outfit planning quickly jumps to the top of our to do list.

But before you ‘add to cart’ faster than you can say ‘perfect summer dress’, here’s a suggestion: find last summer’s clothes and go through them. Not only is this a chance to give your wardrobe a clean out*, it will get you excited for the summer events ahead, and I can guarantee you will rediscover pieces you forgot you even had.

If you have unwanted clothes why not organise a ‘Clothing Clean Up’, by booking a pick-up recycling service, right to your door? It’s high time we fashion lovers look to recycle our pre-loved garments. Why is that wise? Because for every kilo of recycled clothing you divert from landfill, you’ll be preventing 3-4 kilograms of greenhouse gases from polluting the atmosphere.

Make your difference here

Here are my tips on how to create a summer wardrobe that you’ll love without over buying:

  1. Start in your wardrobe. If you didn't wear it last Summer ask yourself why? And if the answer is as simple as you don’t like it then it’s time to say goodbye - Marie Kondo style #sparkjoy. Or, it could be because you didn't have the right piece to go with it. This is how you identify what is missing. And don’t forget to try on the outfits you loved wearing last Summer to make sure you still do.
  2. Pull out all your dresses. Try them on, even the dressy ones, and work out how you can wear them casually and more dressed up. Because you realise in this step that the majority of your existing summer wardrobe is, in fact, already dresses. So another one to add to the collection may not be the answer.
  3. Write a list (a.k.a prioritise what you actually need vs want).
  4. Shopping. Ask yourself the following questions before you buy anything.
  5. Why do I need it? Do I already have it (I know I have fallen victim to buying versions of the same thing)? What am I going to wear it with? How can I wear it in more ways than one?

Follow these steps and you will be guaranteed to be making more meaningful purchases that you will wear now and for seasons to come. And, when it comes to purchasing, focus on buying timeless quality pieces that you won’t have to replace year after year. As we always say at After Eight - buy once, buy well.

The Styling

Purchasing separates such as a linen pant, a maxi or midi skirt or even a matching set means you can wear them in more ways than one - and why I always suggest starting here.
The key is to think about how you can wear them separately with what you already have.

Matching sets, aka co-ords, can solve a summer styling conundrum in one fell swoop – they’re as easy as a dress, but have added impact. And if you plan how to wear the pieces separately with what you already own... voila, you have just bought at least 3 new outfits thus avoiding the last-minute outfit shop that you never wear again. (Don’t worry, we have all done it.)

Be it a feminie printed set from Anaak or a luxe line combo from Bondi Born, it’s time to add the term “co-ord” to your fashion lexicon. See the ones we’re wearing from our favourite sustainable brands this Spring/Summer.

Paris Georgia

Charlotte top and Isla Skirt outfit in all colourways. Emma is wearing below in Marigold three ways


Last season’s Matteau Linen Maxi Skirt and matching Blouse outfit (on Hannah below) is still one of our faves and will be on repeat this summer (yes, outfit repeating is finally trending #sustainablefashion). Their new Ruched Cropped Cami and matching Voluminous Skirt are the perfect pair that can transition from day to evening wear with the change of your shoes and jewellery.

Bondi Born

For the linen lovers, I highly recommend two looks: the Bondi Born Utility pants in black, as pictured on me, and the Universal Top in white, as pictured on Em, or black (available at After Eight in Drop One).

And, finally, from Bondi Born's Resort '21 collection, this 'Ripple' pleated skirt (below) is made from fluid crepe into a floor-sweeping silhouette with a wide waistband. Partner with the matching top as pictured below twice on Em, casually and together for an event-ready look. 

You can shop these Bondi Born pieces in Drop One coming this December.

The joy of separates is you can explore less obvious combinations. Mixing up the fabrics adds an interesting twist to your outfit.

And, don’t forget we’re aiming for a minimum three outfits with one considered purchase - now that’s smart shopping.

Got questions?

We’re always here to help. Just send us an email

We also offer virtual styling service: perfect when you need a little help with your wardrobe or online purchases. Your own personal coach for online shopping from the comfort of your own home.

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