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 upcoming collection, Lunchbox, is slated to launch in April (with possible plans to launch a Saturday and Sunday series). So far, we’ve spied houndstooth blazers, voluminous white blouses and a delightful looking navy number. We’ll take one of each day, thanks.