I don’t remember anyone ever telling me ‘it’s not okay’ to wear clothes more than once but for some reason, I had this idea in my mind that re-wearing the same outfit for events is a mistake. I think perhaps it’s the result of hanging out with the same people who think the same thoughts.
‘I don’t know what to wear!’ or ‘I can’t wear the same white dress because I already wore it once.‘ were some of the things my friends would say before a shopping spree is organized.
I remember a friend of mine saying ‘It’s fine, I can re-wear this again because I haven’t been photographed wearing this yet!’ It seems that as long as there’s no proof or you haven’t been tagged on social media yet, you get a pass for wearing it again for the second time. Seriously, who makes up these rules? That explains why I bought so many clothes, shoes and accessories in the past. A lot of the items I had were cocktail dresses, all worn once and some of them still with tags on for those ‘just in case’ moments and unplanned last minute events. Most of the jobs I’ve had in the past were with companies who didn’t requite a set company uniform to wear so I had the freedom to choose what to wear. I was a little bit better with my work outfits though. I re-wore outfits more than once for work but I always wanted to change up my look so I still ended up buying more work clothes than I really needed.
Here are my top reasons why it’s okay to wear the same outfits more than once:
No one really cares
I used to buy new dresses for every dinner date with my fiance. He always tells me I look great in whatever I wear so it’s not like I felt pressured to always turn up with a new outfit every time we go out. One evening, I wore the same cocktail dress I wore the previous year for our anniversary dinner just to see if he would notice and he did. I asked him if he thought it’s bad to re-wear an outfit and he said something really profound and something I’m so thankful for, ‘No, I think if a dress or outfit looks beautiful on you and you feel good wearing it, it doesn’t matter if it’s cheap, expensive or has been worn 100 times, you should wear it.’ From that point on, it became clear to me that the people who are dearest to us are the people we try to impress the most and because they love and care for us, they don’t actually care about what we wear. Of course, people appreciate our personal style and having new clothes will gain us a lot of compliments but it is important to feel less pressured to show off new outfits all the time. It is more than okay to wear the same dress for many events and if you feel that you really have to look different, just freshen up the look with different accessories or make small alterations to your clothes if you wish to.
You save money
Imagine how much money you would save if you are prepared to wear your clothes more than once instead of buying new pieces every season or every event you need to go to. It’s so much better to also save your money and invest in a few high quality pieces. It’s better to buy a great quality item knowing it will last and you will get a lot of wear out of it. It’s better than buying a cheap dress from the sale rack only to wear it once or in some cases, not at all. Bargains aren’t always the bargains we think they are. Yes, you may have received a 50% discount but have you really saved money on something you will never get the wear out of or have you just wasted your money
You save time
Deciding on what to wear takes so much of our time. Having too many choices can actually backfire and hinder our ability to make decisions. How many times have you looked at your full wardrobe and said to yourself ‘I have nothing to wear!’?What that really means is, ‘I have lots of clothes I don’t want to wear again!’ I know I’m guilty of this sometimes. I feel that the best thing to do is to shift our mindset and really see the true value in being prepared to re-wear outfits. It will save us valuable time better spent hanging out with family and friends.
No one is judging you except you
Since I started wearing the same outfits over and over, I noticed that no one actually said anything. I don’t think anyone even noticed. I used to pay attention on what people are wearing and so I guess I’m actually guilty of being judgemental myself. I didn’t think they were bad or less than me for wearing the same looks or same outfits but I just had this idea that you shouldn’t wear the same sweater two days in row. Like I said, I don’t know where this idea came from or who gave me these stupid thoughts. I now realize that my judgmental attitude just meant that I was judging myself when in actual fact, no one cared about the clothes I was wearing or how often I wore them. People have far better things to worry about than your clothes and if they’re judging you, like I just said about my own internal mindset and feelings in the past, they’re only really judging themselves and that is not your issue, it’s theirs.
It has been reported recently that 235m of unwanted clothes in Britain alone will end up in landfills. It’s a sad fact that many people end up throwing their unwanted garments in the bin. This ‘throwaway’ society is not only harmful to us but harmful for the environment. The best thing you can do if you feel that you must get rid of you clothes because you know you will never wear them again is to donate it to charity or re-sell them on online sites. Failure to properly recycle is harmful to the environment. If you don’t know what to do with your unwanted possessions, search for shoes and clothes banks or you can also approach recycling centres. There are some companies who pay for your clothes based on the weight of each bag you put them in. Re-wearing clothes and refraining from over purchasing when you know you have enough clothes to last you is still the best way. If you really don’t like your clothes, fine, get rid of them but recycling clothes or donating them are still a lot better than dumping them in the bin.
There really is nothing wrong with buying clothes but a few years ago, I made the mistake of focusing on quantity instead of quality. I overspent on cheaper high street pieces and I accumulated so much. I also realize now that I wasn’t making intentional purchases. In the past, I would spend £20 on ill-fitting jeans because I felt like I was getting them at bargain prices. As expected, those jeans ended up being unworn and forgotten about. I used to think to myself, ‘Ah well, I didn’t spend much for those jeans anyway.’ I clearly wasn’t thinking straight back then because I ended up having around 20 pairs of cheap jeans I never wore. So if we do the math and think about how much money I could have saved if I didn’t buy the cheap jeans, assuming that they are around £20 each pair, I could have saved £400 or so.
I still love fashion and I still purchase items. The only difference is that now, my purchases are intentional and I really think about the pieces I buy. Now, I go for quality over quantity. I prefer to have one or two pairs of good quality jeans I am prepared to wear over and over again. I no longer have the same mentality of not wanting to wear an item more than once. I think that the thought is silly and impractical. I believe in mixing and matching pieces to create new outfits but if I must wear the same black suit with a white blouse combo everyday to work then I will happily do so. At the end of the day, we should dress for us and we should wear clothes that make US feel good.
Some people say, ‘New and stylish clothes make me feel confident.’
‘But I think that real confidence comes from within and not our outer appearance. Real confidence is not caring about what people think. Real confidence is being happy with who you are regardless of what you are wearing.’
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