Trying to work out what to wear each day to work can be tricky. And wearing the same thing two days in a row is considered by some a fashion faux pas, but why?
Enter Coreprêt: a non-typical workwear label founded in 2017 by Perth-based Gabrielle Leavesley and Melbourne’s Nessie Croft. Red-velvet robes, denim culottes and back-buttoned blouses – this sustainable label is making officewear great again.
The label's philosophy revolves around reusing and up-cycling; longevity (there’s a mending and on-sell service); and only using suppliers and manufacturers that meet its ethical standards. Head to its website and you’ll see both the womens and menswear collections are divided by day – Monday through to Friday – with an outfit made up of two or three pieces for each day.
“The Monday to Friday concept nods to the idea of a personal uniform; a concept that’s building momentum in the sustainable-fashion industry. It challenges the idea of outfit-repeating and encourages individuals to have a more wholesome and thoughtfully curated wardrobe,” says co-designer Croft.
You don’t have to look far to discover that a “wholesome, thoughtfully curated wardrobe” has become favourable. There’s comfort and ease in dressing similarly everyday, in having a uniform. There’s Steve Jobs with his black mock turtleneck, Anna Wintour and her unchanging bob-and-fringe, and you’ll be flat out trying to find Lady Gaga in anything but a T-shirt and jeans these days (in her documentary Five Foot Two she talks about her shift into pared-back, uniform-style dressing in her day-to-day: “I just want to have a uniform – my uniform should be a black T-shirt, black jeans and black boots.”).
So how does it work exactly? Don’t be scared, this isn’t a situation where you have to buy all the items under a particular “day”, it’s more of an organisational tool helping you to curate a personal daily uniform.
“We're giving consumers a hall pass to outfit-repeat on a weekly basis by suggesting that they should wear the entire Monday outfit on a Monday. Of course it’s totally up to them, each outfit can be broken down and styled into others,” says Croft.
Fabrications are all sustainably sourced, too. Virgin fabric (brand-new materials) are avoided and designer surplus (dead stock) is favoured. Textiles are up-cycled from second-hand shops and some fabrics are sourced via donation. The only exception is the jersey material, and even then it’s organic cotton and locally milled in Melbourne. As a result, the colour palette is left up to fate, really. “The boundaries set by this way of practising means we have to rely on our creativity a lot more in order to achieve our intended aesthetic,” says Croft. Its launch collection, Office Appropriate, involves white cotton shirts with ruffled collars sitting next to a velvet, camel-coloured cropped jacket and a boxy shift dress with a tie neck in cotton-moleskin, which is like a fake suede.
Its recent collection Lunchbox, launched in April. Spy houndstooth blazers, voluminous white blouses and a delightful looking navy number. We’ll take one of each day, thanks.
This article was updated on July 4, 2019. It first appeared on Broadsheet on January 31, 2018. Items may have changed since publication.