It’s okay to wear something twice!

It’s Saturday night. You’ve got a party to go to. You’re staring at your closet, trying to decide what to wear. The problem? No, it’s not that you have nothing to wear. You have plenty to wear! Plenty of lovely, well-cut clothes, that make your eyes pop and are totally in right now. The problem is that you’ve worn it all before. If you wear any of it again tonight, you will become an Outfit Repeater? A heinous fashion crime…or it is?

Celebrities have a lot to answer for. Then again, so do we, by pouncing on them whenever they have the nerve to wear the same shoes or top or headband three times in a row. I don’t know if it is just the constant presence of celebrities in never-worn-twice outfits that has fostered this fear of being an Outfit Repeater, but as you stand in front of your wardrobe panicking, I want you to take a deep breath, and listen to what I’m about to tell you.

It is ok to be an Outfit Repeater. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, wanting to wear something that you love and looks great on you again and again and again is a natural and basic human instinct! This is especially true for students and people who don’t have the money (or the time) to be going out and buying a new outfit every time someone decides to have a party.

Celebrities are fortunate enough to at least have the money or connections to be able to buy or borrow a new dress for every occasion. Hey, if I was invited to the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the S.A.Gs AND the Oscars, I would find four different dresses too! The life of an average person also has important events – like weddings, important birthdays, graduation ceremonies – and sometimes you definitely feel the pressure to have something fresh and new for every occasion. However, if Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge (nee Middleton) can recycle past outfits and still be hailed as a style icon, SO CAN WE! The trick to Outfit Repeating revolves around three things – 1) who will be at the event, 2) what accessories you have and 3) what the dress code is.

The principle behind the first point is this: Of the people at the party, who has seen the outfit you are wearing before? If majority haven’t, you are good to go! Another good idea is to look at how long it has been since the last time you wore the outfit – if it isn’t in recent memory, don’t feel guilty about wearing it again. It is important to remember that the person paying the most attention to your outfit is probably you (as harsh as that sounds), because you spent time and effort picking it out. It doesn’t mean that every other single person at the party paid the same amount of attention to the outfit, and will remember it from the last time you wore it – chances are, they may not remember I at all.

The second point is also fairly self-explanatory – accessories are just as important as the clothes you wear. If you are big on jewellery you probably have a huge collection of pieces that fit with a certain outfit. Even something as simple as changing the pair of earrings you wear with an outfit can transform your look from full to only partial repetition. Shoes are also a good way to change the look of an outfit (as every sales assistant will tell you, you can dress something up or down just by changing shoes. Except for a ball gown, obviously), and handbags and headbands also fall into that category.

Lastly, dress code is vitally important. Unless you are a person who goes to a lot of formal affairs, 9 times out of 10 you are going to have more clothes suited to your average weekend party or night on the town than a full-blown formal regalia. This means that for a casual event, you have more options to mix and match with, and less of a chance of looking exactly the same every time. A favourite blouse can go with jeans or a skirt. Formal affairs are slightly more difficult, but if you apply things one and two, you can rock the same outfit without worrying about looking exactly the same each time. Another tip is to buy a few timeless pieces that always seem to be in fashion, so you can get as much wear out of them as possible. Maybe after a while you’ll even start to hear something along the lines of “You’re wearing your blue dress! You always look amazing in that thing!”

Overall, my message is DON’T BE AFRAID TO OUTFIT REPEAT. If you totally rock a fire engine red dress, that flowery blouse, or a cute pair of high waisted shorts, why not wear it again? There is nothing wrong with being known as the cute girl in the red dress.