University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
School of Architecture College of Design


Versatility can add options and variety to basic fashion pieces. A versatile simple length of cloth can
be a decorative or utilitarian accessory worn over the head, draped around the shoulders, or tied
around the neck. It can also become a garment when wrapped around the body as a sari or sarong.
The “Little Black Dress” is another item that offers wardrobe versatility. The same garment can
transform from day to night depending on what is worn with it and can be dressed up or down – the
result will be entirely different if it is worn with a denim jacket and motorcycle boots versus a beaded
jacket and stiletto booties.

There are more complex approaches to versatile clothing as well. Some garments are purposely
designed with multiple pieces that can be worn in various ways, but an even newer concept is
transformable clothing such as a jacket that transforms into a dress.

❚ Serving multiple needs with multiple looks
❚ Selecting interchangeable clothing pieces for multiple combinations
❚ Adding accessories to change the look of an ensemble, providing a different focal point
to achieve the wearer’s goals
❚ Altering a garment’s orientation to the body through fasteners that change the look of
an ensemble
❚ Garments that actually transform from one garment into another

Contact Information

Goldstein Museum of Design

364 McNeal Hall,

1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-624-7434 |

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