One of the reasons why I started this blog was to get creative with the clothes that I owned already. But, the age of social media has fueled a culture of consumption, where people feel pressured to buy more and more articles of clothing since they feel they have to wear clothing only once after posting pictures of themselves on Instagram.
In the blogging community in general, it does seem to be somewhat of a taboo to repeat clothing. So, it was refreshing to read an article in The New York Times calling actress, Tiffany Haddish a fashion role model for wearing the same $4,000 Alexander McQueen white dress, that she paid for herself, on four different occasions (read article here)
For me personally, I repeat my clothes because my closet is curated. I don’t own a room full of clothes so I have to make the best of the clothes that I already have, so I’m not buying new clothes constantly. Honestly, I enjoy shopping my own closet to rediscover favorites such as this vintage 1970s Ah! Austin Hill green gingham skirt (last worn here). For Spring Summer 2019, it is all about the button front skirt making this gingham skirt feel very current. The best part of repeating clothing is that since an individual’s style, closet or perspective is ever changing, it can get to be fun to add a new spin to old clothes, so it looks different each time. For this shoot, I put my skirt together with a navy Commes des Garcons PLAY striped shirt that goes with everything, a silver Moschino heart skinny belt and my Aeyde Freya Ankle Boots. (last worn here). Most people worry that people will remember what they wear if they repeat clothes but if you make an effort to style it a different way, they won’t remember. Another reason to keep clothing is that it can be great to take part in a trend the second time around. Therefore, it is advisable to hold onto special pieces of clothes, shoes, or bags. you never know, you won’t have to spend any money buying into the trend since you already have it. These days trends don’t necessarily take fifteen years or more before they come back again the second time around.
Repeating clothes in a way sort of keeps us accountable to our planet. When we throw away clothes, most of the time it ends up in landfills, and we keep on buying new clothing all the time, the overconsumption leads to unethical job practices in third world countries where these clothing are mass produced.
Another great thing about repeating clothes, is for the memories, when we keep our clothes long enough to wear over again and again. We create memories in them and have stories to tell about that time. Cloth is powerful, that is why sometimes you remember certain parts of your life good or bad based on the clothes we wore during that period. For me, I have a dress that I cherish and could never get rid of because it reminds me of a particular moment. Honestly, I’m itching to wear it again. Although, it would be impossible to re-create the same memory, the dress still fits thirteen years later so, why wouldn’t I hopefully try to create a different memory in the same dress. You may ask, well, how do I find clothes that I am able to keep long enough to repeat. I wouldn’t say that the only answer is to invest in a few quality pieces that would not fall apart after two washes, that’s part of it but a better answer is to find those unique pieces that give you joy as well as suit your personal style that you can pair easily with the other items of clothing that you already own, that way when you find a special item of clothing, you then cherish it. I have found special things through Thrift and vintage shopping, For new dresses, I ask myself, is this quirky (different) enough, is it timeless, is it trendy and is it something that can be worn in twenty years, can it be worn with all of the other items of clothes that I own already, honestly that’s how I buy new clothes and built my little closet over the last fifteen years. I can attest that all of the items I can currently wear today.
The case for repeating clothes is basically a call for slow fashion, to help us buy less, think more about our purchases, invest in clothing that may hold up a little bit better, treasure and re-wear what we already owe.