Why Andrea Smith is wearing the same dress every day for a month.

Video by Mamamia

If you run into Andrea Smith any time this month, you might notice something very familiar about her. Or more, specifically what she’s wearing.

The fashion blogger is breaking the cardinal (and rather ridiculous) fashion rule of wearing the same outfit twice, and for a very good cause. In fact, she’ll be wearing the same navy dress not twice, not even 10 times but 31 times, as part of Frocktober, an initiative to raise money and awareness of ovarian cancer.

Last year, Smith took on the challenge of wearing 31 dresses over 31 days but took a different approach this time.

“People were supportive, but there were a few raised eyebrows over owning and wearing 31 dresses! This year I wanted to take on a bigger challenge and try a more minimalistic approach,” she tells Mamamia.

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“Those who know me well would likely describe me as a retail enthusiast (read: shopaholic) so sticking to just one thing all month is a bit different to my normal approach to daily style.”

The dress in question is the ‘Amelia’ dress by Aussie designer Leina Broughton, who developed the versatile dress especially after Smith pitched them the one dress, 31 days challenge.

Image: Andrea Smith/Sublime Finds

"It's the ultimate versatile frock; it's reversible, machine wash, no iron, endlessly comfortable plus has the added bonus of being designed and made in Australia," she says.

The team gifted Smith the dress to wear and also donated $500 to the Frocktober campaign.

Smith says the secret to making the dress feel new everyday is simple - accessories.

"I’m mixing up all of my accessories – shoes, belts, jewellery, bags, hats, jackets, layering, hair and makeup. Having a navy base colour has been fantastic – it goes with nearly everything," she says. (See her looks so far. Post continues after gallery.)

And she's managed to make it appropriate for all occasions, including an engagement party, weekends, work, beach races "and everything in between".

The biggest surprise? She's not entirely sick of the dress yet.

"There is a little ‘frock fatigue’ setting in, but I am also seeing the wisdom of the tech giants like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs who wear the same thing every day to cut down on decision making," she says.

"I’m realising there’s more ways I want to style the dress than days left in the challenge! I thought styling one dress differently every day for a month would be a challenge, but the more time passes, the more ideas come to mind.

It's also something she'll keep in mind once the challenge has ended.

"I am looking forward to a bit more variety but have a new perspective on how much you need in your wardrobe to dress for different occasions and express yourself in different ways. It’s been great to take on a styling challenge and doing some good for the OCRF at the same time," she says.

"Wearing the Amelia dress (which you can buy here) all month has also reinforced my belief in investing in good quality, versatile pieces. You don’t need a big wardrobe to look and feel great every day."

The most common question Smith gets asked is how she avoids the dress getting dirty. For practical reasons, "There are two (identical) dresses and an intense washing regime!" she says.

"I have very supportive people around me. My workmates were especially interested in my washing regime, I joked that I’d wash in return for donations! They have been very generous."

With just one week to go, Smith has already smashed her $2,000 goal.

"I raised $1,700 last year and was hoping to make it to $2,000 this year but we’ve already passed $3,200! I’ve been overwhelmed by people’s generosity. It’s clearly a cause close to many people’s hearts," she says.

With vague symptoms, no early detection test and common late diagnosis, ovarian cancer desperately requires more research.

"My mum had a brush with breast cancer two years ago – she was diagnosed after a routine mammogram, they found the cancer very early, removed it and she’s okay," Smith tells Mamamia.

"I’ve thought many times during Frocktober how lucky my mum was to have the benefit of early detection, which so often is not the case for women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

"Funds raised during Frocktober help the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation to continue their much needed work to develop an early detection test and help save women’s lives."

You can donate to Andrea's campaign here or follow her fashion adventures on her blog Sublime Finds.

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