The way Caitlin Kirby sees it, you have to fail to succeed, so she owned her failure by fashioning a garment out of 17 rejection letters and defended her dissertation while wearing it.

Kirby, a doctoral student at Michigan State, took the 17 rejection letters, fanned them, connected them into two rows until she had enough for her skirt. She posted her photo wearing the skirt to Twitter.

The rejections came from her asking for scholarships, applications for conferences and to get her work published in academic journals. She had many more rejections letters than the 17, but that's all she needed for the skirt.

Kirby told the Lansing State Journal:

“The whole process of revisiting those old letters and making that skirt sort of reminded me that you have to apply to a lot of things to succeed. A natural part of the process is to get rejected along the way.”

The good news? In the end Kirby DID receive a grant form the Fulbright Scholarship Fund to further study urban agriculture.