5 Wardrobe Pieces That Can be Worn 5 or More Ways

This is a guest post from Penny Saver from the blog The Saved Quarter. Penny is a frugal mom, making the most of meager means, saving her quarters to save a quarter of her income. She recently took on Project 333 for both her wardrobe and makeup.

When planning my Project 333 wardrobe, I carefully considered each garment and how well it plays with others. A shirt that only matches one skirt has no place in a streamlined, minimalist wardrobe, whereas a more versatile piece that coordinates with more items garners a higher spot on my list. Similarly, garments that could be worn in multiple ways gained a spot over those that only had one option. A number of clever designs are on the market now, and you might find one will fit neatly into your 33 garments and add fun and variety to your outfits. Here are 5 pieces that can each be worn in at least 5 ways.

1. Infinity or Convertible Dress

Available at every price point, from a $995 Donna Karan version to handmade by The Jersey Maid on Etsy for under $100 to a $29.99 Target option, this dress really does have infinite – or at least several hundred – options for wearing it. Tons of videos can be found on YouTube for how to tie this dress (or skirt, depending on how you tie it), which can be formal enough to wear to a wedding or casual enough for a day at the beach. If you have basic sewing skills, you can even make your own following this tutorial.

(These images are from Etsy’s The Jersey Maid. I love how she’s styled it in so many ways, with other garments, to really show off its flexibility!)

2. Cozy Wrap

Another Donna Karan design (by DKNY) that can now be found at any price point, this sweater can be worn in dozens of ways. DKNY even offers an iPhone app for how to wear this sweater! I made a very similar sweater using a Simplicity pattern (also available in plus sizes) in black jersey cotton and have worn it at least a dozen ways. The sweater can be worn as a shirt or as an outer layer, to look like a shawl or scarf, and there’s no wrong way to wear it.

(This image is from DKNY‘s website.)

3. The Uniform Project’s Little Black Dress

This dress is so versatile that The Uniform Project‘s Sheena wore it every day for a full year. Watch her slideshow and be amazed at how many ways she wore it by varying her accessories! It’s reversible – the back can be the front, the front can be the back. It’s tunic length, allowing it to be worn as a shirt or dress. It can be worn open like a vest or closed. Layer it to look like a skirt or wear a skirt on top to use it as a shirt. You can buy it for $110 or, if you sew, you can make your own with their pattern, available for $20.

4. Scarves

I’ve been a fan of scarves for their utilitarian neck-warming feature for a long while, wearing it in the same one or two ways for years. Recently, I found this video on Youtube with 25 ways to wear a scarf and, in addition to being impressed by the clever way the video was made, have started to branch out in my scarf-tying options. I have two scarves in my 33 pieces.

5. Long, single strand,beaded necklace


With a limited number of accessories, it’s nice to have one necklace that can be worn in a number of ways to coordinate with different collars and necklines. A long, single strand of beads can be worn as a long, single strand, or it could be doubled, tripled, and sometimes quadrupled. It can be worn as a belt, as a bracelet, or twisted and looped and layered in various ways for more interesting necklace looks. For a start, check out these 21 ways to wear a 65″ strand of pearls and 12 ways to wear a 72” strand of pearls.
(These images are from the blog Lela Luxe.)
Do you have garments in your 33 that can be worn in multiple ways? Have you found another option that can be worn in 5, 10, or even hundreds of different looks? Please share your favorite closet multitaskers in the comments!
See more from Penny Saver from the blog The Saved Quarter.
If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to Project 333 and connect with me on Twitter. Check out courtneycarver.com for simple inspiration in life and business.


  1. says

    I love the idea of the infinity dress! I LOVE sundresses, and although I’m not necessarily motivated to take part in the 333 project, I am definitely working on simplification of my life and my stuff (biggest challenge: books!).

    Good guest post, Penny!

    • says

      Lauren, the infinity dress is on my sewing list! I have really been enjoying the simplicity of project 333 and wish I’d started sooner! Yesterday, I took a big bag of clothes to the women’s shelter and still have plenty!

  2. hillary says

    Great list! I have a skirt/dress kind of like the infinity dress and I’ve never quite gotten the hang of it, but the pictures you chose have given me a lot of good ideas to try.

    I think this year’s maxi skirt trend is a good one for versatility too. I’m not a huge fan of strapless on my body, but maxi skirts lend themselves to pulling up into a dress, and wearing belted or unbelted. I am going to attach some straps to a couple of my maxi skirts that I can tuck in when I’m wearing them in skirt-version.

    • says

      Hillary, go on YouTube and see how to tie them. There are lots of tutorials to make it easy!

      I like the idea of maxi dresses. I don’t do sleeveless/strapless either, but would wear it under a cardigan. I’m a layering kinda gal!

  3. says

    Awesome post. I have an absolute fascination with multi-wear garments.

    If you are in Australia, also check out local designer Sacha Drake http://www.sachadrake.com.au. She does a multi wear dress called the Ultimate Dress but also some reversible and other multi dress styles. Also on her site is some great advice for what styles suit your figure.

    Aussie shout out, does anyone know where you can buy the DKNY long sleeve cosy in Australia? I might have to put it on my “save up” list.

    Thanks for the great post.

  4. says

    Wow. Both of these dresses are amazing. I have a kind of sarong-style dress which *allegedly* can be worn numerous ways, but a black one would be more versatile.

    Seeing the pattern for the Uniform Project’s dress makes me even more determined to learn to sew!

  5. says

    Ann – I have really enjoyed sewing and encourage you to take it up as a hobby, but don’t start with this dress. It’s kind of fiddly and has a few difficult techniques, so start on something like the Infinity Dress, that only has one seam! :)

  6. courtney says


    Thanks for such a great post! I really appreciate your helpful suggestions and contribution to Project 333.

  7. Nada says

    I am always on the lookout for multiple-purpose items. I love the infinity dress and really want to make one for myself. I had never heard of the Cozy Wrap, but I think I might have to try it! Thanks!

  8. Gretchen says

    Love the ideas – I’ve looked for the pattern for the original Uniform Project dress but can’t seem to find it. Nothing loads when I click to purchase the pattern. Anyone had luck finding it lately?

    • Marcy Drummonds says

      Hey, I have the pattern. I really don’t think I’ll use it- I bought the 2 yards of fabric that it supposedly requires, and it wasn’t enough. I really tried to lay it out in different ways while staying on grain, but it was impossible. I e-mailed the company, and haven’t gotten a reply yet. I told them that they used too much paper in the printing and that the instructions were CRAP. They needlessly repeated pattern pieces and I had to go on their website in order to even find the yardage. I did, however, praise their efforts in having it printed, and tell them that their whole concept was really cool, which I still believe. The dress IS cool, but the whole experience kinda soured me on making my own.
      The instructions ARE crap, but if you are used to sewing, you can probably make it with little trouble. Their hidden placket is what made me even look at the instructions, I’m not used to hidden plackets. And if I really wanted to make it, I’m sure it could be done.
      What this all boils down to is- do you want it? I did cut the pattern, in prep for cutting fabric. Let me know @ marcydrummonds@yahoo.com

  9. Heather says

    I JUST found a covertible top that I fell in love with. I like the idea of convertible clothing. Makes my home life so much simpler, as I tend to wear uniform pieces. I am excited to purchase another one so I have 2 color options. I will have black and red. Can’t wait to see how this all works out.

  10. Alex says

    I don’t get why minimalist(!) community is so amazed by The Uniform Project. Yes, she wore the same dress everyday. Yes, she has fantastic styling skills (I’ll give her that). But there is nothing minimalist or protesting in what she’s doing. There are so many accessories and other pieces of clothing (pants, vests, t-shirts) added to her daily outfit that it defeats the whole purpose. It’s pointless to say how much money and time are invested in searching for those extra pieces and styling them.

  11. says

    That infinity dress is wonderful. I love getting creative with my clothes and that would be the perfect piece or any capsule wardrobe.

  12. says

    My wife uses scarves all the time. She only has like 5 total but the way that she ties them and wears them you would think that she has close to 200. Very good write up here.

  13. says

    Versatile items like this allow people to express themselves in different ways. It shows you that you don’t have to break the bank in filling up a wardrobe or tons of different accessories. Just be creative and don’t be afraid to try new things. Great article.