DISCUSSION: Do you repeat outfits?

Kanye West repeats an outfit on two read carpets

Last week, I came across the picture above. Kanye west is spotted wearing the same outfit for two red carpet events. Readers of the website (where the pic was posted) commented on the superstar’s choice. Some thought he has too much money to repeat outfits, especially to red carpet events. The picture got me thinking, “Since when did we become a society who didn’t recycle our wardrobes?”

Jay-Z loves his “Jesus is Lord” shirt by Givenchy

The term, ‘fashion recycling’ is not new. As regular people, we do it monthly. How many times have you brought a new dress and wished you could wear it again because it made you feel so special?

Did social networks kill our love for rocking our fave outfits? I have a tumblr account, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and an actual blog – google my name and you’ll see various pictures of me around the ‘net. With all the social networks that help us document our lives, it does becomes increasingly difficult to be a fashion recycle-er. At events, my friends will often say, “Don’t take my picture and put it on Facebook (or twitter or instagram) because I want to wear this outfit again.”

Me, at Nashville Fashion Week 2012

For me, this fact becomes evident when Nashville’s fashion season starts. During Nashville Fashion Week, I plan to wear various memorable outfits for the whole week. I always end up wearing something that I fall in love with! The outfit above is one of my faves from Nashville Fashion Week 2012. Wearing a memorable outfit is an issue because . . . people remember it. But is that a bad thing? If you pulled off the look, and you got compliments, why not do it again?

I asked one of my friend and designer, Charles Lord if he repeats/recycles outfits: “I do recycle pieces, but not entire looks unless I am IN LOVE with the entire look. And even then, I try to space it out considerably if its a special evening look.” I agree with his statement. The key to repeating an outfit is spacing it out. Let people forget that you had that look. The beauty of being a regular person is that paparrazi is not stalking you, you don’t have to impress a legion of fans so you can take more liberty in how you repeat your wardrobe.

Charles, a frequent thrift shopper, went on to add, “The beauty of shopping thrift though is I don’t feel bad about not repeating something often because I paid a $1 or $5 for it, so if i only wear it 3 times, its OK. And if i feel the need to go buy new shirts for work, say, even though I have only wore the ones I have once or twice, its OK, because the new shirt will only be a dollar.” Now that’s something to consider, if you paid alot of money for something, does that denote how often you’ll wear it?

Kate Middleton is known for repeating outfits

Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton are familiar with the concept. The ladies, both wives of important political figures, repeat outfits in an effort to encourage social responsibility. Michelle Obama goes far to make sure she wears mostly American designers and dresses her girls in retail. Shocking! World leaders can repeat outfits, but we (regular citizens) take issue with the concept? Hmm, who are we trying to impress?

Michelle Obama recycles outfits for events

If you choose to repeat, what’s the best way? Well, like Michelle, you can add or remove various elements. In the fist picture she had her hair pulled back, added a cardigan, and a brooch. In the second photo, she downplayed the dress and kept it simple. Easy!

Tell me – do you repeat or recycle outfits? Let me know in the comment box!

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