Why Outfit Repeating Is The New Cool

6 mins

It’s time to ditch our ‘more is more’ obsession and embrace outfit repeating, the latest fashion trend that’s good for us and the planet

Are you reluctant to wear the same outfit more than once?  Do you feel pressure to keep up with the latest weekly fashion trends, and fear you couldn’t possibly be caught outfit repeating because you already posted a picture of it on Instagram? If so, you’re not alone. We live in an era where social media positively encourages us to make way for newness 365 days a year.

In a culture shaped by fast fashion, one of the biggest modern-day sins one can commit it seems,  is to wear the same outfit more than once because in our current climate of online content creation, there lies an underlying acceptance that purchased clothes should only be worn once. Shockingly, a study by Barnardos UK –  a charity dedicated to caring for vulnerable children via reselling second hand clothes – showed that on average, items of clothing are worn just seven times before they’re discarded. 

While experts predict that the world’s population will swell to 8.5 billion by 2030 if we don’t change our consumption habits, the world will collectively buy 63 per cent more clothing going from 62 million tons a year to 102 million.

So it’s good news that outfit repeating is being embraced by fashionistas and celebrities alike. Thanks to the likes of Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Cate Blanchett outfit repeating is probably the coolest thing to do right now.

Kate Middleton wearing a striped top and suit with Prince William.
Celebrities such as Kate Middleton are ensuring outfit repeating is the new cool

After all, when you find an outfit you love, why not wear it more than once?

What is outfit repeating?

Outfit repeating is wearing the same outfit over and over again, but making it feel fresh and new each time.  It’s a sustainable way to style yourself and helps get the most out of your wardrobe without buying anything new.  Did you know – wearing your existing outfits/clothes 50 times instead of 5, reduces carbon emissions by 400 per cent per item, per year. 

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But outfit repeating is not only cool for the planet; it’s cool for your wallet too.  Investing in higher quality clothes that you’ll wear time and again, saves you money because the cost per wear is much lower. Put simply, it’s a win-win.

When we succumb to the pressure to constantly maintain an updated wardrobe, the fashion industry achieves its aim of selling us more products and making a greater profit.  Embracing outfit repeating is a great way to resist the capitalist ideology that more is more.

If you want to free yourself from thoughtless purchases and live out a conscious wardrobe where outfit repeating is the name of the game, then here are 8 reasons to help you understand why you should get on board.

It saves money.

Fast fashion brands launch up to 52 micro-seasons each year.  Keeping up with that kind of newness is expensive (and stressful!).  By building a capsule wardrobe, with stylish and timeless basics that you can wear from season to season will save you money in the long run.

It saves time.

Keeping a few staple pieces and outfits that you love in your wardrobe which you get excited to wear, makes getting dressed so much easier.  We are constantly making decisions on a daily basis – some easier than others.  Wearing the same thing repeatedly saves you time and your decision-making power. 

woman outfit repeating with a polka dotted skirt but different jacket

It’s better for the planet.

Rewearing your existing clothes in your wardrobe reduces their carbon footprint and keeps them out of landfills.  Fast fashion has made us view clothes as disposable.  Think twice about getting rid of your clothes.  About 85 per cent of unwanted textiles in North America end up in landfills.  Amidst a sea of constantly updated fast fashion, rewearing the same items time and time again is one of the most revolutionary actions you can take.

It gives you confidence.

What you wear projects a message to the world about what you think of yourself.  When you wear what you love and feel best in, you radiate more confidence – why wouldn’t you want to do this everyday?

It makes you feel better.

For many of us, a trip to our wardrobe can influence how we feel.  Seeing clothes you no longer fit into can trigger frustration.  Seeing clothes hanging with the price tags still attached can trigger guilt.  Seeing clothes inherited from a loved one who has passed away can trigger sadness.  You want to feel happy when you peer into your wardrobe each day.  Owning and seeing repeatable outfits you love fills you with joy and can set a positive tone for the day.

It’s ‘in’ fashion.

Just ask Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, Kate Moss, Cate Blanchett, Gwyneth Paltrow, Keira Knightley and Hailey Beiber to name but a few, who wear their favourite items on repeat.  There was a time, when a celebrity wore something on the red carpet, you never saw them or anyone else, ever wear it again.  However with a shift towards more sustainable fashion, many celebs have now become red carpet outfit repeaters.

It allows you to be creative.

Outfit repeating allows you to change up your looks by cleverly accessorizing with different shoes, bags and jewellery.  Your favourite grey blazer can take on a whole new and different vibe by adding a black waist belt to give it a cinched-in look.  Tie your shirt in a new way – for example a ‘French tuck’, or roll up your jeans for a cropped look.

It’s No Big Deal.

If you’re worried about someone noticing you in the same thing twice – then don’t!  Chances are your friend/peer/co-worker/family/boss probably doesn’t remember that maxi dress you wore last week anyway.  And if they do – it’s no big deal! Remember, outfit repeating is very on-trend right now and very cool.

When you find that perfect outfit – hold onto it and cherish it.  Wear it often with pride knowing you are doing the best for the planet plus your wallet.

Remember, a repeat outfit is really just a well-earned encore.

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