This is how wear important clothing pieces over and over again, like Kate Middleton and Tiffany Haddish
Even royalty repeats outfits.
The Duchess of Cambridge has graced many memorial services, christenings and weddings in designer dresses and coats that she has worn before. And she even attended the royal wedding of her brother-in-law Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on Saturday wearing an off-white Alexander McQueen coat dress that she’s already been photographed in twice before; including daughter Princess Charlotte’s christening in 2015, and to the Queen’s official birthday celebrations in 2016.
Kate wearing a dress she has worn TWICE before. Charlotte's christening and the Queen's birthday. #RoyalWedding
Truly the nicest gesture she could show her now sister-in-law. Absolutely nothing to see here! Focus on the bride! pic.twitter.com/WQ0Vq8QfB0
— Elizabeth Holmes (@EHolmes) May 19, 2018
And she’s passing this on to her regal little ones. Kate Middleton shared her first photo of newborn Prince Louis being cradled by big sis Princess Charlotte this week. And the pic was especially sweet because Louis was wearing the same white crocheted sweater that Charlotte wore in her first official baby photo — and Charlotte was wrapped in a cardigan that previously belonged to big brother Prince George.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share this photograph of Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. The Duchess captured this image of Princess Charlotte with her baby brother on 2 May – Princess Charlotte's third birthday. Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank members of the public for all of the kind messages they have received following the birth of Prince Louis, and for Princess Charlotte's third birthday.
Actress Tiffany Haddish has also unabashedly rocked the same white $4,000 Alexander McQueen dress several times: to the “Girls Trip” premiere in July 2017; while hosting “Saturday Night Live” in November 2017; and to the Oscars in February. “I don’t give a dang about no taboo, I spent a lot of money on this dress,” Haddish said during her “SNL” monologue. “This dress cost way more than my mortgage … Imma wear this dress multiple times. If someone invites me to a bar or bat mitzvah, guess what I’m wearing to it? This Alexander McQueen.”
Going to 5 weddings this year…. gonna pull a Tiffany Haddish and wear the same dress at every one. pic.twitter.com/k9GBCqe2wR
— Danica (@LiveDanica) April 30, 2018
And Marchesa co-designer Georgina Chapman told Vogue in an interview published this week that she envisions her couture $5,000 to $13,000 gowns as “keepsakes,” to be worn “lots of times” — and passed down like heirlooms. “We’re not doing disposable fashion,” she said.
This is something that commoners have been doing forever, of course, but seeing A-listers and a Duchess repeating looks is vindicating for women who wear their favorite pieces over again.
“If Kate Middleton can do it, we all can!” said Cherie Corso, 50, who told Moneyish she spent $3,500 on a white silk Max Mara suit for her second wedding 17 years ago, which she still wears all the time. “I just wore the blouse piece the other day to meet my daughter’s boyfriend — and my daughter even said, ‘Oh mommy, that always looks so good on you!’”
— Samantha Bennett (@SamanthaJBee) December 12, 2013
Plus, these beloved pieces carry a lot of sentimental value. “I truly believe that clothing carries energy,” added Corso, “and we had such a happy day the first time I wore that suit, that now whenever I put it on, I feel good in it. I feel powerful.”
Lauren Manaker, 37, from South Carolina, always smiles whenever she slips on the black silk Elie Tahari dress that her mother bought her when she was 22, which has become her go-to LBD. “I still have sticker shock — it was like $500 — but my mom said it was an investment,” Manaker told Moneyish. “I was finishing grad school, and it was my first grown-up dress. It makes me feel classic and put-together — and it still fits! I wear it to weddings and charity functions, and I just accessorize it differently every time.”
While there was once stigma attached to wearing the same thing on repeat, today’s shoppers are more concerned with sustainability — not to mention practicality. “In Hollywood, no one ever wants to wear the same thing on the red carpet, but they’re not paying for it, and they’re not storing it in their closets. This is how real people live,” celebrity stylist and “The Shopping Diet: Spend Less and Get More” author Phillip Bloch told Moneyish.
So if you’ve found that perfect suit or dress that makes you feel like a million bucks when you put it on — you’re gonna wear it out.
Stephanie Seferian, who voices The Sustainable Minimalists podcast, used to have a closet full of fancy dresses for weddings or other occasions, but soon found herself just wearing the same one or two because they looked and felt the best. “So I got rid of the ones I wasn’t wearing, and I just dress up or down the ones that I like, and accessorize to the occasion,” Seferian, 33, from Boston told Moneyish.
But even as the stigma has lifted, social media has complicated things. Women used to get away with wearing the same dress to many events because they were being seen by different people, and they often weren’t being photographed. But now #OOTD has outed many of them.
Kristin Contino splurged on a $278 black, beaded Betsey Johnson slip dress embroidered with pink flowers 15 years ago for her sorority formal when she was 21. “It made me feel special and grown up … and frankly, it was so out of my budget at the time, there was no way I wasn’t wearing that thing to death!” Contino, now 37, who writes the Royally Broke blog, told Moneyish. “But this was the era before social media, so it’s not like everyone was seeing pictures of me in it.”
But stylist Bloch told Moneyish that you can make social media work for you in rewearing pieces. “Instagram is a great diary of our wardrobes,” he said. “We can go on and see how we wore something last, and make sure we style it differently next time.”
So how do you pull off wearing the same piece repeatedly? First, it needs to be a quality piece that can hold up to being worn a million times, made with stronger stitching and from finer fabrics (cotton, wool, linen or silk, for example) that feel soft and substantial.
You also want to pick something timeless — a classic silhouette (like an A-line or sheath) in a neutral color (black, white, navy, gray, nude) — that will never go out of style. Plus, something simple is more of a canvas for the accessories, so it’s almost forgettable. You can wear that black sheath repeatedly, but with different jewelry, shoes, a hat or a wrap, no one will recognize it as the same dress.
Contino has worn a $50 blue wrap dress from Modcloth for professional photos, baptisms, bridal and baby showers because it is so versatile. “It has three-quarter sleeves so it’s really comfortable year-round, and I can wear it with a denim jacket in spring and fall, with tights and a sweater in the winter, with flip flops in the summer, you name it,” she said. “I know that it looks great on me, it’s comfortable and photographs well, so why reinvent the wheel?”
An evening gown or something in a bold pattern or color on the other hand — like Contino’s beaded Betsey Johnson dress — is harder to repeat because it is so memorable. Bloch suggests spacing it out — maybe only wearing it twice a year, or every other year — and switching up the rest of your look entirely: wear different shoes, different jewelry, carry a different bag, and if your hair was up or down, wear it the opposite way.
And suit pieces or individual pieces are much easier to repeat, because you can mix and match them with other pieces. “I just helped a client pick out this beautiful black Chanel skirt that she will wear forever and ever, and she’ll never get tired of,” he said. “Or, you think you can’t wear your wedding dress again — but what if you take that dress, dye it, and cut it in half? It will be much easier to wear that again as a skirt and a top. You spent a lot of money on that dress, so find a way to repurpose it and get more use out of it.”
This article was originally published on Mary 11, 2018 and has been updated following the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
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