Outfit Repeating: Fashion Crime or Absolutely Fine?

If you read fashion blogs at all, you’ll know that “remixing” is a thing now: “remixing” being the practice of taking a particular item of clothing and, you know, wearing it in more than one particular way. So, say you have a pair of jeans. One day you’ll wear them with a blue top, for instance, then another time you might wear them with a green top, or a yellow top. And you might also wear a different pair of shoes with them sometimes, too, if you want to get really wild. Voila! You are a “remixer”, you crazy fashion person, you!

Now, the idea of remixing has been around for a long time now, but not so long that we don’t remember when it used to go by a different name. Yes, way back in the day, when The Fashion Police were young whipper-snappers and this Internet thing was all just fields, “remixing” used to simply be known as “getting dressed”. It wasn’t a FASHUN thing, either: it was just what normal people did, every day. Because, let’s face it, not many people would buy that pair of jeans and think to themselves, “Now that I have this pair of jeans, I’m going to always wear them with this one blue top, and NOTHING ELSE, EVER.” Do they? Do people do that? We suppose some people do, but then again, some people wear pyjamas to collect their kids from school. Moving on…

What we’re trying to say here, is that we sometimes think “remixing” gets made out to be a little more complex than it actually is. But then again, the opposite of remixing – outfit repeating – is also sometimes made out to be much more of an issue than it really is. You’ve probably all seen those news articles in which such-and-such a celebrity is seen wearing the thing more than once, and the word is deemed to have ended. Or read a fashion blog in which the blogger feels they have to apologise for commiting the huge sartorial “crime” of repeating an outfit. We know we have, and we normally think, “What’s the big deal? Isn’t this what everyone does?”

Actually, we think it’s quite refreshing to see someone in the public eye wear something more than once. As with the remixing, that’s what real people do. We buy things and we wear them… and then we wear them again. And again. And, if you’re The Fashion Police, probably againandagainandagain. The alternative, you see, would be buying a completely new outfit every single day in life, and who can afford to do that? (And who has the closet space, come to think of it?)

So repeating items of clothing is just fine by us. And remixing is just what normal people do when they’re getting dressed in the morning. What about repeating the exact same outfit, though? As in, same skirt with the same top and the same shoes, say. Do you think that’s a crime of fashion, readers? Because we’ll be honest: we’ve done it. And we’ll probably do it again. Well, if you’ve happened to put together an outfit you absolutely love, it would be a shame to have to say to yourself, “You know, I really love this outfit of mine, so it’s a shame I’ll never be able to wear it again, because I wouldn’t want people to think I was repeating an outfit!” Wouldn’t it?

Here’s our guilty fashion confession, then: we don’t just repeat individual items of clothing, we sometimes repeat entire outfits. Not constantly, of course. We wouldn’t turn up to work in the same outfit day after day, for instance. And if we’re going out with friends, we’ll probably make a mental note of what we wore so we don’t wear the exact same thing the next time we go out to the same place, with the same friends. But we won’t obsess over it, or feel the need to never be seen in the same thing twice.

What about you? Do you repeat outfits? And if so, how often do you feel it’s appropriate to repeat them? Do you have rough guidelines (No more than once per week, or three times per month, or whatever?) or do you just wear whatever you feel like wearing when you wake up in the morning, regardless of whether or not you’ve worn it before?

28 Comments

  • July 14, 2011

    Heleen

    Is this also about wearing the same thing (same top, same jeans) for two days in a row?

    I often wonder about that.
    When there’s a show on tv and a guy meets his friend and his friend says ‘hey weren’t you wearing that yesterday too?’ as if they say: did you sleep over at your date’s place?

    I mean.. I do that often, wearing an outfit for two days. It doesn’t smell it’s still clean and it saves time thinking about an outfit every day. Plus it also saves on cleaning time.

    But am I alone on this that you should never wear it for two days in a row?

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  • July 14, 2011

    msselfdestruct

    I own (excluding underwear and shoes) like 15 items of clothing altogether, so I constantly wear the same or similar combinations. I don’t think it’s a big deal or anything. And yes, I also sometimes wear the same outfit two days in a row. I don’t think about it, I don’t try to make a statement with my clothing or whatever, I get dressed just to not be naked. I don’t think anyone cares about if I’m wearing the same stuff as last week.

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  • July 14, 2011

    Alexandra

    Regarding what Helen just said, I used to wear the same outfit for 2 days in a row in highschool and I noticed that some of my co-workers also do it nowadays. I don’t do it any more because it gives me the feeling of being the same day again.
    I do repet outfits once in a week or once in a fortnight. It’s a shame not wearing the same outfit again, especially if you feel really good in it, and for a new look you can always change the accessories (the necklace/ earrings) that you wore last time with that outfit, if you remember which ones you wore, of course :).

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  • July 14, 2011

    Daisy

    Obviously I repeat, doesn’t everyone? Sometimes, if I’m really lazy, I’ll wear the same thing two days in a row, but I try to avoid that. Then I’ll hang the outfit away for a few days and wear it again, I just can’t wash all my clothes after wearing them once (and sometimes not even an entire day, either). On top of sometimes wearing the same thing twice (but for example with different shoes), I do have some ‘set’ outfits too: e.g. dresses that I always always always wear with a certain pair of shoes. I don’t see the point, not even for celebrities. It’s only realistic. I love how Kate Middleton actually does repeat dresses and such, and even within a relatively short time span. Yay!

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  • July 14, 2011

    Jeepster

    I just did this earlier this week – I wore a complete outfit I really liked on the weekend, so I brought it out again a few days later to go meet a friend. I’d say twice in a 2-week span is probably my limit, but I don’t think about it much, I just wear whatever feels right on the day 🙂

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  • July 14, 2011

    Nell

    I worry about this. I try and make sure I wear a different outfit each day, but do repeat it within a time span of about a month.

    When I worked in a very formal office, I just didn’t have that many formal clothes, but I did have set outfits that I would wear on different days of the week – it made it easier with the super early start I had – oh, it’s tuesday, I’ll wear xxx outfit, etc.

    Looks like I may be alone in this particular form of OCD though… HA!

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  • July 14, 2011

    Natasha

    I do repeat, within, say, a week. Sometimes it’s whole outfits, sometimes I “remix”. The thing is, I usually wear things twice before I wash them (apart from jeans, I wear them a bit longer), and I don’t like returning things to the closet with clean clothes once they’ve been worn. I have a separate closet for things that have already been worn once, but it’s tiny, and can’t hold for instance a month’s worth of remixing choices. So I wear something, then either repeat tomorrow (although I don’t usually do this if I know I’m going to be seeing the same people again), or put it away in the “contaminated” closet and wear it again in a few days.

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    • July 14, 2011

      Minka

      Yeah, I’m like that too – I have one shelf in my closet for thing I’ve worn once and that need to be worn again soon! 🙂

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    • July 14, 2011

      Ada

      I have a basket for that. Thought I was the only one 🙂

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      • July 18, 2011

        Daisy

        Me too, I don’t like the worn with the clean. 🙂

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  • July 14, 2011

    Minka

    I don’t really wear the same outfit two days in a row simply because I like dressing up and thinking about my outfits too much… 🙂 But I often repeat the same combinations over time, because I only own limited number of accessories and pieces of clothing. Also there are some pieces in my wardrobe that work only in certain combinations – the result of my inability to walk past a good sales rack. 😀

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  • July 14, 2011

    Moni

    I’d say it depends.
    Some items are easier to remix, like some of my tops for example that go as well with black or grey jeans as they do with blue ones. Others only look good with a certain colour of bottoms, so in these cases I tend to wear the same combination again and again (although recently I’ve tried to switch between trousers and skirts of the given colour). I used to own a dungaree skirt that I only ever wore with a navy blue T-shirt, because it just didn’t look good with any other colour.
    I also did wear a certain outfit for an entire week once, but that was back in 5th grade, so it doesn’t really count. 😉
    Generally I like to (re)mix and match my clothes, and with the exception of a prom dress I have never worn an item only once, yet. I mean, I buy my clothes because I want to wear them – so why the hell should I not?!

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  • July 14, 2011

    Theresa

    Sometimes you by a beautiful top and it matches exactly one skirt and one pair of shoes in your closet. So you wear the same outfit more than once. Also, people who are broke college students have a tendency to have limited wardrobe choices, causing repeats, or, worse yet, they are just too busy with school to worry about the fact that they wore the same jeans/shirt/shoe combo last monday. I say, as long as it’s clean, who cares? I think most people don’t even notice.

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  • July 14, 2011

    valleycat1

    I am so amused by the fashion coverage hysterics when, say, the FLOTUS wears a dress again, or a pair of shoes again. Then the next day (it seems) they’re apoplectic at the amount of $ the FLOTUS spends on clothes.

    Of course everyone remixes (back in the day we called it mix-and-match) and has some go-to complete outfits. It’s called real life.

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  • July 14, 2011

    Lili @ Relatable Style

    Oh yes, I repeat outfits! A lot even, and in every sense of the word. I repeat them two (or more if they are clean) days in a row. I repeat them in parts or completely. I even repeat them down to the tiniest detail if I liked them that much. I think it’s ridiculous not to (it’s ok to not want to if you can afford it – just don’t do it because of “what people think”)! Who am I, the Queen? And I bet even she repeats.
    I once read a blog post on some blog I forgot about, and in it the blogger said “I have this really useful tip from Anna Wintour how to make your clothes last longer!” I was interested. She was dead serious: “Wear it twice!!” That was the useful tip from Anna Wintour. Wear it twice. Jeez, I wear my stuff twice in every sense of the word, as well as the repeating of outfits. I don’t necessarily photograph repeat outfits for my blog, unless I happen to come across a scenery so beautiful I can’t resist (hasn’t happened yet). But anyway, repeating outfits is A-OK and the rest is our spoiled western culture cranking out some BS to sell clothes faster 😉

    Relatable Style

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  • July 14, 2011

    maz aka MallyMon

    I never used to wear the same outfit in one week. And would only wear an outfit again if the whole thing had been drycleaned/washed and ironed. When I had a child, she too was subjected to the same way of life. Then I realised that clothes wore out quicker with my method and I wasted a lot of time on laundry. I still prefer to wear a top only once but trousers and skirts – they’re okay to wear again. A favourite whole outfit, yes I’d wear again and again but obviously not without washing/dry cleaning in between each wearing. To be honest, if I had pots of money (fingers crossed…), I really think I’d be tempted to only wear an outfit once unless I really loved it. This I’d prefer to do rather than having a big posh car. I would, of course, recycle wisely and well!

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  • July 14, 2011

    Karlie

    I try not to wear the same thing to the office twice in a weeks time but that really is only for tops. Bottoms get repeated alla the time. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t infact I commented on a office mate’s outfit yesterday. She just looks nice and summary in it. Her comment was she was wearing it once a week until the temp went below 70. Being that we are in North Texas that could be October/November.

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  • July 14, 2011

    Jaynie

    I do the thing where I keep track of what I last wore when I saw my friends, but that’s it. This whole idea of wearing a different thing all of the time is not just silly, it’s extremely wasteful — not just economically but environmentally as well. I know people who have fourteen pairs of jeans so they can wear a different set every day and not have to do the laundry for two weeks. I mean, really?

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  • July 14, 2011

    Kate

    I think everyone repeats outfits. Good heavens, can you imagine buying a clothing item that is not a wedding or prom dress with the intent of wearing it only once? Who has enough money to do that? Gracious.

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  • July 15, 2011

    Kota

    I tend to repeat outfits as well. Since my skin is very sensitive to sunlight, I usually wear a long-sleeved, button top and long pants every day. And, I don’t make a lot of money, so I don’t have an incredible selection either. One thing I do to jazz up what is basically a uniform for me is to use different accessories.

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  • July 15, 2011

    Ashe @ Dramatis Personae

    I’m SO guilty of wearing the same combinations of outfits over and over.. it’s what happens when I love an outfit! I think some fashion bloggers probably do it (and just don’t post on that day).

    But then again, I’ll also wear the same outfit 2 days in a row, but I’ve often said I should have my fashion blogger card revoked…

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  • July 15, 2011

    naiadknight

    I have certain articles of clothing that get pulled out at LEAST once a week: that one pair of buttastic jeans, that white cotton eye maxi dress, that one black t-shirt… I like them, they look good on me, I’ll wear them until they fall apart or get irrevocably stained. I also have certain outfits that make me feel like a goddess or She-Ra. Those outfits see a lot of paly as well. The accessories may change, but the top and bottom. Buttastic jeans with a black button down and knee high combat boots? I’ll wear that even if it’s 105*F out there (which it will be today and I am wearing this outfit.)

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  • July 15, 2011

    Moni

    Just wanted to add:
    Today I’ve been wearing the shoes from ShoeperShoeChallenge 6, the jeans from SSC 22, the T-shirt from SSC 26 and the jacket from SSC 13. All completely unintentional. Why should I combine clothes in only one way? 😉

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  • July 23, 2011

    Tesia Gita

    I don’t do exact outfit for 2 days in a row (unless it’s laundry day crisis) cause it makes me feel funny. But I’m not as rich as to toss a clothes that only worn once. So I guess remixing and try to avoid ‘2 days in a row outfit’ pretty much satisfied me.

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  • August 2, 2011

    Rock Hyrax

    Ah, of course: that’s what the whole clothes-that-are-stuck-together thing is about – saving the wearer the intellectual challenge of “re-mixing”!

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  • […] she is prepared, appropriately garbed, and chic.  You’re almost certain the fashion maven has never worn the same thing twice and everything she owns looks as if it were tailored using her form as the blueprint.   Ever […]

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  • February 1, 2013

    Yoyo

    i need help remixing i can’t do it…..

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  • April 24, 2013

    Claudia

    How is one not to? The year has 365,25 days and som days require more than one outfit. I remix and repeat without giving it a thought, I just make sure to rest worn clothes for 24 hours before putting them on again. Shoes too. This way, natural fibres will spring back and not loose their shape. Some of my things are actually older than a decade and still in good condition.

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