To repeat or not to repeat? That is the question isn’t it?

Each day we face the issue of what to wear. For some it’s a simple choice, for others it is crucial time spent figuring out what the day’s outfit might represent.

I recently saw an article, where none other than Kim Kardashian was scrutinised for yet again wearing the same nude latex dress. Why is there this social expectation, this pressure that we cannot wear the same outfit- not twice in row, not in the same week and for the ‘elite’, not even in the same lifetime?

Kim Kardashian West wearing three variations of the latex dress designed by Atsuko Kudo.

Kim Kardashian West wearing three variations of the latex dress designed by Atsuko Kudo.

Magazine headlines are reading ‘It Looked So Nice, They Wore It Twice’ and ‘Stylish Starlets Caught Outfit Repeating’, where they analyse every article of the individual’s look in absolute disbelief, passing them off as fashion criminals. They are manipulating this negative perception that wearing the same outfit is Plain Jane kind of wrong.

We have all fallen for it though- the notion that we can and should not wear the same outfit more than once. Our bank accounts dwindle in an effort to not fall victim to outfit repeating, but for every item we buy, what happens to it?

In this day and age, the life cycle of a garment is so fast; if you blink you might miss it. Fashion has become this cheap and replaceable reality. With globalisation came the ability to create clothing that was affordable and accessible to the masses, whilst dismissing quality and to a degree, ethics.

WRAP, Waste & Resources Action Programme, is an organisation committed to accelerating the move to a more sustainable economy by helping communities, businesses and individuals reduce waste and use resources in a more efficient way. They have discovered that the average person owns £1800.00 (US$2800.00) worth of clothing. Now let’s say that each household has on average, 2.3 people. This means that there is £4000.00 (US$6331.00) of clothing per household. Of that £4000.00, 30% had not been worn throughout the past year, the majority not being worn because it no longer fits, but 46% of people stated it was because of wear and tear. These staggering figures demonstrate the quality of clothing that is being mass produced and fed to consumers.

So when we no longer fit into last summer’s Topshop dress, we don’t think of donating and obviously we don’t try to fit into it again. When that dress, is falling apart at the seams, we don’t think to mend it or think of alternative ways to reuse that fabric. And more importantly when something just isn’t on trend anymore we just forget about it, until the day we decide to throw it away.

Vivienne Westwood Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear - an example of how we can repeat styles, motifs and designs and still remain high end.

Vivienne Westwood Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear – an example of how we can repeat styles, motifs and designs and still remain high end.

Yves Saint Laurent infamously stated ‘Fashions fade, style is eternal.’ This quote is forever relevant. With fashion, particular that of the fast variety, we start to believe that the constant changing of fashion seasons and styles is what defines style, but it really isn’t. Style is your own personal twist and your personality shining through. So if that dress you wore yesterday, last weekend or last month made you feel fabulous and on top of the world, then I say repeat repeat repeat repeat.

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