I was at a wedding the other day and met a woman, Sam. I introduced myself because her fabulous outfit, a riot of turquoise and blue, needed a compliment. She just wore it so well. At the end of the night, after a few glasses of bubbles and my bumbling attempts at the ‘Bus Stop’ dance later, we were chatting and realised that we would be going to the same party in a few weeks. Sam said, “I’m trying to decide what to wear to the party.” To which, I responded, “You have to wear the same outfit. It’s perfect.”
Hearing her ask the question made me realise how often I have had the same worry about needing to wear a different outfit to functions, even though I have something that makes me happy when I wear it. Oh, no, shock horror someone might see me in the same outfit and think I don’t own any other clothes. What is wrong with me wearing something I love over and over again? It would be much easier, cheaper and better for the environment if I just wore one party get up to death rather than buy several I wasn’t so excited about just so I was not seen wearing the same thing, by whoever it is that says we shouldn’t.
There are times when putting an outfit together feels like a creative outlet, but for me, they’re few and far between. So the old fashioned approach of wearing your Sunday best or the same outfit again and again would work really well for me.
This phobia of wearing the same thing twice must come from somewhere. Yet, Anna Wintour, ruler supreme at US Vogue, doesn’t seem to worry. I doubt she wears the same thing twice, but she could and I wouldn’t notice. It all looks the same to me. This means that while she has been busy filling thousands of fashion pages with so many different things, she ultimately wears the same thing (in concept) over and over again, because it’s what she feels good in.
Now, I am not suggesting for a moment that we should all run around it snazzy suits and black shades, but I am still trying to get a handle on this ‘wear it once and discard it’ mentality. In my case it was more ‘wear it once and try and remember who saw you’. Yup, I feel silly seeing those thoughts in black and white.
In a former life I worked in the beauty industry and I remember attending a perfume sales training session. The perfume lady explained how they had moved their sales approach away from encouraging customers to be loyal to a signature fragrance to recommending people have a wardrobe of fragrances to express their every mood. Even I could calculate that someone who owned a collection of perfume bought more bottles than someone who only buys one when the previous one has run out.
After that I decided I liked the idea of a signature fragrance. In whimsical moments I imagine my nearest and dearest thinking of me when they smell a tuberose, the scent I have worn for the last decade. Well, I can pretend.
The ‘can’t wear it twice’ rule smells of a similar type of campaign to me. It makes me want to rethink how I buy clothes. I want less in there but love more. My weakness is a bargain. Why buy one five dollar dress, when I can get two for seven even if I don’t like them that much? Not a great way to help the environment, considering the most environmentally friendly thing we can do is buy less.
No more, my new and improved wardrobe approach means I can only buy clothes that make me happy, so I can wear them to death, mend them and wear them some more.
Yes, indeed, wear it again Sam.