Two years ago, when I started working at Preview, I tend to always end my Sunday evenings with a ritual: It starts with me spending a good hour in front of my closet, looking at the clothes I have, and planning my outfits for the coming week. So yes, in a nutshell, I guess I'm someone you can call an outfit worrier.
I love fashion and all its worldly glory—the luxe fabric, the designer craftsmanship, the colors, the embellishments, and everything else in between. That was partly the reason why I used to mind how people perceived me, which was an unhealthy mindset that justified my love for clothes. Because of this, I internally condemned myself whenever I included a repeated outfit into my new roster of ensembles for the new week. I didn't want to be labeled as an outfit repeater. In my head, that translated to lazy dressing, which goes against every grain of my fashion-loving self.
But after a year into the working force, I couldn't keep up with my ritual anymore. I became busier over time and felt drained at the end of every week. I thought I'd rather spend my Sunday evening slowing down to mentally prepare myself for the week ahead. And while I still planned my outfits, it has evolved into a different thought process altogether.
It became a nightly agenda that involved asking myself where I'll be throughout the week, whom I'll be seeing, and what I'll be doing that day. Before I knew it, I have done the unthinkable: I started recycling outfits! As I noticed my change of habit and disposition, I began to wonder, have I indeed become a lazy dresser?
The answer is no. This fashion terror was a short-lived one as I realized a few valuable things while on my sartorial journey:
1. Just because celebrities rarely repeat outfits does not mean you shouldn't either.
Being in the biz, learning the concept of "pullouts" changed everything. These celebs, while in comparison still have larger closets than mine, seldom recycle outfits because their stylists choose and provide their clothes for them. For these stars whose lives are chronicled daily by the papparazzi, it only makes sense for them to avoid being photographed in the same outfit each time. This leads me to my second point...
2. Who's going to see me in this look, anyway?
If I put together an outfit that I like, I make sure to give it the mileage it deserves. It may sound shallow, but I want as many people as possible to see me slay my look. I figured the number of times I wore that particular outfit doesn't matter; however, the number of people who've seen and appreciated it does.
3. Mind the public posts.
Perhaps the trickiest part is if the outfit makes its way onto your (or someone else's) social media accounts. Once it's been Instagrammed, it's history. But that doesn't mean you can't recycle your clothes. Just space out your posts a bit, yes?
4. Restyle and rewear.
There's a simple solution to expertly repeating your clothes: The key is to style the pieces differently. Here's where fashion truly gets more fun and exciting. You get to flex your creative muscles and think of new ways to wear your clothes. And oh, don't underestimate the power of accessorizing! It makes such a difference.
5. Wear what works for you.
Let's abandon the idea that repeating clothes should be something to be ashamed of. They're made to be washed and reworn, anyway. You wouldn't purchase an article of clothing only to waste its cost-per-wear value, right? (Especially if it was worth $$$.) That said, I learned to live by a more mature and practical sartorial rule: Keep wearing what you love. Besides, there's always this boost of confidence we get whenever we wear an outfit that we already know works for us. And that, ladies, is the most important thing.
In sum, there's no need to implode your closet with single-use clothing. Repeating outfits is a normal thing to do, and you shouldn't feel compelled to trivialize the maximum potential of your clothes. Not to mention, hoarding clothes has a negative impact on our environment.
There is, however, one rule you need to follow: Feel free to repeat your outfit for only as long as hygiene allows.