I doubt that I am the only one here, but I used to have such an irrational fear of repeating outfits. Every morning after my shower I experienced the same mental gymnastics looking into my wardrobe trying to pick an outfit that no one had seen me in before, or at least if they had it had been a while. If I couldn't find a new way to style an item I was hitting the shops so as to avoid repeating an outfit.
According to a Barnardo's survey, the average fashion purchase is worn just seven times. Plenty won't even make it past a single night out or weeks holiday. According to the survey Brits will spend an average of £79.76 on an outfit for a wedding only to never wear it again, meaning that Brits are spending nearly £800 million on single-use wedding outfits alone, while an estimated £140 million ends up in landfill each year.
There is a few reasons that lead to this however one of the biggest is cultural pressure. Influencers can be seen in a new outfit on every instagram post, almost like the clothes dissolve as soon as the photo is posted. TV presenters wear a different outfit for every single broadcast and no one stops to question how mental that is, and so we shop and shop.
Now no matter who we are, we bring pieces into our wardrobe because we love them - we are head over heels for the colour, we adore the style and love the way we feel in them. That being said I have found myself buying pieces for a particular night out or event and then retiring them to my wardrobe only to come out a couple of times before leaving my ownership.
In a time that seems to be a turning point for fashion, with the true cost of fast fashion coming to light, there is no better time than now to change your habits. As time goes on I have definitely found myself looking to make more sustainable purchases when it comes to fashion and this year I have decided to spend my money on clothes that are going to last. Looking to make purchases on pieces that are a bit more classic. Pieces that I can bring out of the closet year after year that will never go out of style.
Now that doesn't mean I won't purchase the occasional trend piece, or outfit for a special occasion however it means that before buying I will be looking into the longevity of those pieces and whether I will rewear them. Fashion is an industry with an enormous waste and extending the life a pieces by only nine months could reduce its carbon, waste and water footprint by 20 to 30%.
Apart from sustainability there are some other reasons as to why you should be repeating your outfits. Rewearing outfits is a means to discover and express your own personal style.
My thoughts when I first buy a piece are the same as when I put it on for the 10th or 20th time - I am excited to wear it. The culture of one wear items as seen on celebrities and influencers instagrams (mentioned above) have taken away the excitement in our own wardrobes.
If you want to wear something all the time it means that you have made the right choice in purchasing an item of clothing. If you feel your best in certain pieces of clothing then why shouldn't you wear them again and again. The truth is you don't need to work hard to get your cost per wear down, if you already enjoy wearing the piece of clothing. This process will come more naturally to pieces that are more versatile and more "you."
I guess what I am trying to say is, wear that dress you feel amazing in again tomorrow for work, throw on that cozy knitted jumper you love every night this week and style those amazing shoes you bought last year this season and play with your personal style. Fashion is fun and full of joy - so lets give our favourite clothes the life they deserve, and actually wear them.
How do you feel about outfit repeating? Do you think social media has an impact on how you see wearing clothes over and over? Let me know - KD