Encore Ensembles: Why You Should Be Shamelessly Hitting Replay On Your Favorite Outfits
Hello, and welcome to part 1 of my seminar, Small Ways That You Too Can Help The Environment, Without Actually Having To Put In Any Effort, where I get you hella stoked on something you probably already do, but are rarely excited about: outfit repeating. [cue bass-heavy music and confetti cannons].
But seriously folks, I’m not writing this in hopes to help you up the number on how many different ways you can style your favorite denim. What I’m suggesting here is radically ditching the idea that a stunner look should never be seen on you twice. Because, likely you’ve got more than a couple aces outfits packed away in your wardrobe that you wouldn’t dare press replay on. Not in the same year anyway, or at a similar event perhaps? If the thought of being tagged in too many summer party photos, or wedding snapshots, wearing the same dress, hat, and shoe combination has you feeling some type of way, this article is for you.
If the thought of being tagged in too many summer party photos, or wedding snapshots, wearing the same dress, hat, and shoe combination has you feeling some type of way, this article is for you.
I remember Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad once stating that she didn’t understand why anyone would wear the same outfit over again, when they could wear something new everyday. Coming from a wealthy Italian fashion blogger, this is not only privileged logic, it’s a harmful one with environmental issues considered.
Fast fashion is catering to our hunger for continuously fresh looks. When we can buy a dress for $20, the likelihood of us turning up in a hot new style every saturday night is incredibly high, just as the probability of us holding onto said dress for an extended amount of time becomes incredibly low. When we purchase clothing with little investment, both financial and emotional, we create a false demand for products that will ultimately go to waste.
There is no such thing as single-use fashion, unless you count the short lived (but why?) paper dresses of the 1960’s. You know that. I know that. So why are we subjecting the beloved ensembles in our wardrobe to a crunchy no double-dip logic?
Ask yourself, who are you dressing up for?
A huge issue that comes up for me in the pressure to not repeat a look too many times, is the idea that I am automatically tossed into a performance role when I’m done up. Some days I’m totally cool with being photographed on the street or having heads turn when I enter a room– I’d be lying if I said I didn’t expect it on occasion! But is this my main motivation when I pull on a look? Rarely.
Yet, repeating certain looks continues to send the “what will people think” idea racing through my head. I find myself afraid that, like a circus act, running a good look a few too times too many will result in metaphorical tomatoes being thrown. I guess I fear appearing uninspired, played out, or somehow disadvantaged to those I might encounter.
I find myself afraid that, like a circus act, running a good look a few too times too many will result in metaphorical tomatoes being thrown.
It’s not until I remove the notion that my dress up might be available for public comment, that I begin to move past these insecurities. While I may be on display, I dress for myself first and foremost, and when we dress purely with ourselves in mind, we ditch the pressure of coming up with a new act every night.
Rejecting the status symbol.
Nothing feels fancier than new duds, right? Okay, what I really mean is nothing feels fancier than being able to outdress everyone in the room with a killer look that even your best bud has yet to see. Hello? Few things say “status” like never wearing the same thing twice. Red carpet culture is where I’m directing the blame here, but you dear reader are not a Kardashian, nor do you have lending privilege from every design house that uses the descriptor “haute” unironically.
Bass line point: don’t rest your dress-up motives solely on outdoing everyone around you, and you might in turn start getting a little more wear out of last year’s “investment pieces”(read more about combatting unhealthy competition here).
Be your own Bart Simpson.
If Bart Simpson entered a room wearing a tux, you’d do a double take– and not just because, what are the odds of a cartoon walking into a room? We all love a character, but how many of us are we willing to BE a character? Personally, I love being a character. To me, it means that people’s expectations of me rely on the guarantee of me showing up in my true form every dang time, and just like The Simpsons, my “reruns” are guaranteed to be better than my “new episodes”.
If cartoon characters can look epic in their go-to get-up every week, what’s stopping us from becoming our own caricatures? And don’t even get me started on superhero uniforms, which now that I wrote all that, probably would have made for a more empowering metaphor...
Stick to your guns.
If the shoe fits, wear it. Literally. How much time do you waste on average trying desperately to find new ways to remix your wardrobe, when you can list off over a week’s worth of ensembles that you already feel fantastic in? Repeating looks only works when the focus is on outfits that make you feel like a million bucks.
Here’s an idea: make a note of those outfits, wear ‘em often, and stop trying to squeeze into never-before-seen get-ups that don’t even jive with your vibe.
It’s 2019. Everything’s been done. In the name of sustainable habits, for the love of god, let’s all stop vying for new material, and instead, start planning for our next sartorial encore.