One time wear?

by Franca on 30 March 2012

THE NEW CLOTHING TREND...

I’m taking part in Friend Friday again for a change! The theme today is the phenomenon of only wearing things once. Well, I say phenomenon, but as you will see, I’m going’ to be questioning whether this is really something that happens beyond a few very isolated cases. It seems to be one of those accusations often thrown at bloggers and women in general that has very little basis in reality. I think this accusation is often part of that ‘fashion is frivolous, stop being so vain when there’s real problems in the world’ thing that we bloggers so love to rail against.

The thing that started this discussion off was this article on get off my internets, where the question was ‘where bloggers store all the clothes they keep acquiring?’. The examples given are Anthropologie shopping blogs and ‘famous’ bloggers who get a lot of free stuff. Some of the commenters suggest that some bloggers buy stuff, wear it with the tags on to take photos and then return it. That seems a tiny wee bit mad, but what do I know, I had no idea an Anthro-shopping blog genre even existed! Blogs based on the shopping rather than the wearing/using of things aren’t very interesting to me, but obviously they must be to others.

Another article that touches on one time only wearing is this one by Arash Mazininani, which starts talking about celebrities rewearing (or not) things at events, then moves on to people buying things for going out or an event, and then somehow from there ends up at only wearing said things once. Says Arash:

Women that I know personally, always seem to have this obsession with getting something new when they go out. I know from past conversations that many wouldn’t dream of wearing the same thing twice.

I’m sure does know women like that, but I also have a feeling that there’s a bit of a conflation going on here between only wearing things once for an event where you’ll be noticed and photographed, and only wearing them once full stop. Which really isn’t the same thing.

Hopefully answering the questions it will become clearer what I mean.

1. Are you a one-time wearer?

Nope, course not.What would be the point? I do wonder if anyone is going to say yes to this!

2. Do you feel the need to purchase something new for an evening out or a special event?

I don’t have the kind of nights out that require new clothes any more. Not sure I ever did actually, though I did used to buy stuff with the express intention of wearing it for going out when I was younger. I do like to get something new for really special events sometimes, especially weddings of people I know well. I don’t get something new for every wedding, but for close friends I do, it’s just part of the excitement of them getting ready for the wedding.

That doesn’t mean I don’t re-wear the item afterwards though! I do own a couple of dresses that are too dressy for anything except evening dress situations, but any dresses I buy for weddings from now on will have to be suitable for general evenings out as well.

I think this is kind of the point I was trying to make in the intro, buying something new for an occasion doesn’t mean you will only ever wear it for that occasion.

3. Re-mixing is something a lot of bloggers are proud of being able to accomplish – are you a re-mixing pro or do you shy away from posting items frequently? Why?

Ok, that’s two questions.

Am I a remixing pro? Well, i wouldn’t call it that but yeah, I think so! I am pretty good at making new combinations of outfits with existing clothes – see, for example, my capsule wardrobe challenges. I very very rarely will wear the EXACT same outfit twice, I’ll usually add a little something different, like a scarf or a brooch. I know the contents of my wardrobe really well, and I am OCD enough to remember most of the outfits I wore in the last month, so I do make sure to wear things that haven’t come out for a while, and not to repeat complete outfits. But still, the basic canvas onto which accessories are added will be the same within a short period very frequently.

I’ve actually come to dislike the word remixing more and more. I do have a certain fondness for the term, because (as far as I know) it emerged out of the wardroberemix flickr group, which is how I got into taking outfit pictures and blogging in the first place, but really it just seems a bit meaningless. I mean obviously you will rewear clothes, that is he point of them! With a few exceptions of people in unusual situations, that is what everyone does. It hardly seems worth remarking upon.

On the second question, and this may seem a little contradictory, I don’t usually post very similar outfits on the blog, unless it’s for a capsule wardrobe challenge. I only do one or maximum two outfit posts a week, so I want to make sure I use these for something that is fresh and interesting. It would be different if I posted outfits daily, and I did used to do that for a while, but it’s not the direction I’ve chosen to go in now. So I do try to reflect the width of my wardrobe within the outfits I post, and I don’t repeat items a huge amount within a given period of say 6 months.

(A little exception to this is my new handmade dress, which has been posted twice in short succession here and here, although the actual instances of me wearing it were pretty far apart, and I had initially scheduled the first post for about a month before it actually went out just got overwhelmed with other stuff whicch meant I had to keep pushing it back.)

4. Do you have a clothing budget or are you an impulse buyer?

Neither. I don’t have a budget because I’m not interested in buying things that are either really expensive, or buying a lot of clothes. I have really got to the point now with my wardrobe where I have so many clothes that I actually don’t want to get lots of new stuff, and I won’t buy lots of random stuff from the charity shops any more, even if it’s super cheap, it has to be right. Partly as a result of that I have recently started spending a little more on clothes per item, and buying a bit more good quality and long lasting new. For example, there is a Cos in Brussels and I intend to buy a dress or a jumper from there before I go, I’m just deciding what will be best.

But I still shop well within by means and the thought of handing over large amounts of money for anything still scares me. I am slightly obsessed with financial safety (especially since husband Dave is still in a precarious and woefully underpaid job situation) and always think of money spent on luxury goods as a trade off against money spent on the mortgage. So I don’t need a budget because it’s not in my nature to go overboard.

And as for the impulse buying, no, that’s not me. I think it’s part of the thrifting, vintage shopping approach that you have to have an open mind, so of course I do buy random things sometimes, but generally I just shop when I am going out to shop and I think about things. I’m not the kind of person that nips into town to go to the bank or something and comes back with bags full of stuff. And online shopping, which seems to be such a danger for a lot of people I have no problem resisting. When I do my biannual People Tree order, I always think about it for at least a week, visiting the site multiple times to narrow down my choices.

5. Do you find yourself bored when reading a blog in which clothing items are often remixed and appear frequently?

No, it doesn’t bother me at all when items are repeated. I expect it of people who post daily, and I like seeing what people wear day to day. It’s like knowing a friends wardrobe. That being said, I would notice if people repeated the exact same outfits often. I also don’t find blogs of people with very small wardrobes or that wear a lot of similar items that interesting. I prefer people who look a bit different, and who can add interest to their outfits, even if it goes a bit too far into the realms of crazy, or it’s stuff that I would never personally wear. And that’s not that easy to do with a minimal wardrobe. It’s not that I’m bored as such, it’s just I don’t read blogs for advice on how to dress, it’s more inspiration and new perspectives I look for.

Et voila! What do you think, duckies? Any one time wearers want to come forward? I would love to hear from you!

You can read the rest of the posts on this topic here.

photo source

{ 23 comments }

Style Eyes March 30, 2012 at 6:32 am

Great post, addresses some interesting issues. It was the constant featuring of new outfits that made me to decide to change from being a general fashion blog to an ethical sustainable one, although I have never worn something just once I do think blogging can drive you to buy new clothes. Of course remixing is a much better idea and would love to see much more of it on blogs. Also much more inspiring to see how bloggers can be creative with what they have rather than just keep buying new.

Libby March 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

Love this post! It’s something I’ve been thinking about a bit recently, as I decided only to buy ethical/sustainable clothing this year as a resolution. I’ve been sticking to clothes swaps/second hand shops so far, but now that I’ve gotten a new job I’m definitely going to be making an order at People Tree!
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Nanne March 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

Very well answered, I found it really interesting to read through your answers! You have a slightly different approach to this than some of the others, that’s refreshing!
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Nicole March 30, 2012 at 9:54 am

thank you. i have an idea now for my perfect outfit!.. love this post! amazing!!

Vix March 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm

What a great read! I’ve always assumed everyone wears their clothes until they fall apart or they’ve re-homed them to a friend/eBay buyer. My favourite clothes crop up all the time on my blog with the addition of a new second-hand buy to keep things interesting. x
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Katy March 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm

We talked about this in the FB group a little, but when I worked retail there were several repeat customers who we knew were one-time wear and returners. It was crazy. They had bought the tag gun and everything so they could remove the tag for wearing and then return it. They were pros and we could never pin them with it to confirm that was the case. So crazy. – Katy
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Franca April 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm

So they bought a tag gun? that’s crazy! i would never dare! In fact, I rarely return anything, bout unless I bought it online and it doesn’t fit.

Lorena March 30, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I read about this phenomenon of buying things, going home to photograph them and then returning it the next day. I think it was in a Spanish blog and the store in question was Zara who was beginning to actually “feel” the trend by the uprise in returns in their stores.
I liked reading through your answers as it is an interesting topic and i think that the only people that can actually do this are celebrities. I mean really !
Sure, like to buy new things but since I have had the blog I think about the entire shopping process more. Do I already have a similar one ? is this price correct ? does this suit my lifestyle? do i have a place to store it ? how soon will it fall apart ?
Answering the main question: i REWEAR – as an example, i am wearing today the SAME BLACK tank top I wore yesterday…. Shhhh don’t tell anyone :)
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poet March 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Because I acquire so many things for free and because not all refashions turn out to be huge wearable successes, I do have items in my closet that I’ve only worn once. I just have such a knack for spying freebies, and I just enjoy making stuff so much that I don’t always ask myself if I will actually wear the thing I’m making or snatching up. I also used to make (and sometimes buy) a new ballroom dancing gown for every dancing occasion during my undergraduate years – again, mostly from reclaimed / thrifted / gifted material, so it didn’t kill my budget… but yes, storage was a problem up until recently. I have more space for my clothes now and I hope this improves how often I wear them! Then of course there are the things I wear plenty in real life but don’t show on the blog because I don’t always have time or inspiration to properly remix them.
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Franca April 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I think that’s cool, and I used to be like that. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve found the sheer amount of stuff I had a bit overwhelming, before that I used to love the constant flow of new from the charity shops.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys March 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I have actually worn some things with the tags on two or three times and then returned them… but not for blogging, specifically. I often do this when I can’t quite decide if something is right for me. I know that’s super dodgy, but that’s what I do!

I agree with the majority of your answers… I honestly can’t believe that most people only wear anything once. In fact, I think that’s a marketing conspiracy designed to try to make people “invest” in expensive designer brands. While I actually do like buying items of comparative luxury (I’m talking some independent designers here, not Chanel), the idea that anything you buy at Primark or H&M is by definition a passing trend and will fall apart after one wash is just kind of ridiculous–but it is the logic behind trying to make us buy a $300 coat.
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Franca April 2, 2012 at 6:16 pm

two or three times? wow!

I totally agree with what you’re saying about the presentation of h&M and primark stuff. I have things from h&m that have lasted literally 15 years with regular wear. and I mean literally literally, not in the Jamie Redknapp sense.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys March 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

P.S. The only thing I’ve actually only worn once was my graduation dress. It’s just too fancy and over-the-top. You live, you learn–I was a teenager. ;)
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Franca April 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I think I said this on your blog, I do have an evening dress I got in a charity shop I’ve actually never worn. I try it on maybe once a year and decide it’s too lovely to get rid of, but I’ll probably never wear it.

Terri March 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Your answer to #3 resonated with me. I want to know that I’m right with the world before I splurge on clothing.
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Andi B. Goode March 31, 2012 at 3:07 am

I’d say celebrities wearing things once on the red carpet (which are often gowns made specifically for them for that event by a particular designer) is an entirely different kettle of fish! I’ve been known to be in a mood where I can’t think of anything I want to wear so I will buy something the day before I’m going out but I’ve always worn that item again. And I’m certain there are things I’ve worn once because I tried it on, thought it was great, wore it out and ended up being uncomfortable in some way. I try not to post similar outfits on my blog too much, though, because it gets boring for ME to blog about. Haha.
-Andi x
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Kimberlee March 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm

You’re one of the best remixers around! There’s definitely an issue of bloggers getting free stuff from brands to wear in their outfit posts then some of them try to sell them for the original price like $500! It’s ridiculous.

lisa April 1, 2012 at 5:10 am

What an interesting thing to think about. I have friends that accuse me of never wearing the same thing twice but I think it’s because I don’t see them more than once every week or two. If they saw me everyday, they would know I often wear something 2 days in a row :) I definitely have a shopping bug but satisfy that mostly at the thrift store and incorporate new with old. Good post- something to think about!

Stef April 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I once had a colleague who’d never go out in the same dress twice. She’d buy ridiculously expensive frocks, wear them once, then sell them on eBay. Certainly got me interested in eBay :D
Mind you, she had the spare cash and got a kick out of it, so why not?

Blogging has certainly led to my wearing the same exact outfits less often. Usually I’ll mix it up with different colour tights, a different cardi or scarf, but eventhough my wardrobe is growing I am not a “wardrobe rotator” (yet).

Everybody’s got a hobby, I don’t see how collecting clothes is any more frivolous than collecting cameras, knick knacks or coffee table books. And ouch, I guess three out of four must be okay as well or I am in deep shoot.

Franca April 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I think collecting clothes is way better, if you actually wear them! Though I’m also a recovering collector of standyabouty things, so I can’t talk!

Mode Plus April 2, 2012 at 7:38 am

Hahaha, I don’t think after reading these posts any one-time wearer would want to come out, hein?
I was brought up to wear a piece till it was done, so I kind of kept that habit through the years.
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360 Photography April 2, 2012 at 8:11 am

I’m a one time wearer…of anything my brother gives me. That one-time is to make sure that he sees me wearing whatever it is that he gave me at least once

Jolita April 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Hi, my name is Jolita and might have been a one time wearer. Well….that was quite a few years back. I definitely have a few items in my wardrobe that I bought for an occasion (real or imaginary) and then was hoping to wear it again, but never did as felt like the item is a bit…”too much” perhaps. I had this gorgeous skirt from Reiss, it’s sort of “puffy” so definitely not an everyday wear.

Anyway, later on after moving several flats I realised how many clothes I had that I even forgot about, that I made a decision only to buy clothes if I think I will wear them a lot and not only once or twice:)

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