Do You Buy Duplicates Of Your Favorite Clothes?

do you buy duplicates of your favorite clothes?I thiiiink we’ve talked about this before (possibly in our discussion of shopping habits or in this long ago discussion of what clothes do you buy again and again), but it’s been ages and ages: Do you buy duplicates of your favorite clothes? This can either mean, “Hey, these pants ROCK and I am going to buy them in every color,” to “Man, it stinks that my favorite t-shirt is often in the wash, so I’ll just buy 3 more,” to “I love this dress SO MUCH and if I am ever unable to wear it I will be sad, so I’m going to buy a backup!”

For a long time this was default advice for fashiony people — if you love it, buy duplicates! But in the age of minimalism, do you think that’s still true? If you wear a work uniform or a capsule wardrobe for work, do you like this idea? On the flip side, if you’re in a style rut, do you blame too many similar purchases?

For my $.02, I kind of do tend to buy duplicates of my favorite clothes, and I’ll admit that I sometimes regret it. Right now I think I have four each of my favorite black t-shirts from Everlane (affiliate link) and Lands’ End (which I’m now happy about since I think they stopped selling my preferred slub jersey!). I have two colors of my favorite Hue leggings and an additional one that I bought on sale (with tags still on in case). I have the exact same pair of jeans in two washes. I have multiples of the same sheath dresses. I do this with makeup too — I have the same eyeliner in multiple colors, and I just bought a backup of my favorite splurge-y lipstick because I believe it’s being discontinued. If I like something, I use some of my favorite online shopping apps to watch for sales and then strike.

How about you, readers: Do you buy duplicates of your favorite clothes? Do you buy them OFTEN or only if you see a crazy sale? Have you ever regretted buying a duplicate of something?

Stock photo via Deposit Photos / kopitin

Do you buy duplicates of your favorite clothes for work and beyond? Do you buy duplicates because you love the fit, you worry it will sell out or be discontinued, or to simplify your shopping and work outfits? What other shopping habits do you have for your work wardrobe? Great discussion with the readers.


  1. Amberwitch :

    I have a shelf full of perfume I have bought because it got discontinued a few years ago, and it is the only one I use, and I use perfume every day.
    Other than that, mostly knits because they tend to wear out. Woolford or falke tights, a couple of wool dresses and sweaters in different colours. Funny, now I think about it, the items I have dublicated are usually one red and one brown. I wonder why…
    Generally I always buy the same brands even if not the exact same items; Rockport shoes and boots, Ivan Grundahl clothes of all sorts, and Bitte Kai Rand knits and pants. So they kind of have the same look even when they aren’t exact copies. Ex: I have several asymmetrical black blazers, balloon dresses in different weigths and fabrics..

  2. My mother always taught me to buy duplicates so that’s what I do, especially because it’s rare for me to find an article of clothing that I love and that fits me properly. Most of my work pants are the exact same pant, same with my jeans. I also buy backups of shoes if I really love them, because I tend to wear down shoes quickly.

    • Amberwitch :

      Agreed about back-up shoes. It can be difficult to find shoes that fit, and they do wear out faster than clothes for me.

  3. I try not to let myself buy duplicates. It helps ensure my wardrobe has variety, and it prevents me from overshopping.

  4. Not clothes so much but shoes, yes. Probably because I just don’t care much about shoes and it saves me time and effort.

    PS thanks to those who replied so kindly to my post last week about our dog passing. Your words really helped, and I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    • I missed your original post about losing your pup but sending you kind thoughts. It’s a brutal time, I wish you good memories.

  5. Amberwitch :

    On the other hand, I do hoard clothes – my favorite designer died some years ago, and the new designers don’t have the same aestetic, or use the same fit. So I buy old stuff on sale or used, when I as much as *think* I’ll use it.

    … this is apparently something I am somewhat invested in, I don’t remember commenting twice to the same post…

  6. I always buy duplicates when I love something, because I have a knack for getting hooked on products that are about to be discontinued. From yoga pants to lipstick: if I love it, they’re about to stop making it.

  7. I only rarely buy an ACTUAL duplicate (identical item) but I most definitely buy styles in multiple colors or patterns. That silk button-down that is the unicorn flattering fit? I have it in 4 colors.

  8. CorporateInCarhartt :

    Not sure it counts as exact duplicates, but I have the JCrew Factory boy blazer in every color they make. It’s super versatile and a good value if you get it on sale (which is basically every day). I also have the Calvin Klein Gayle heel in multiple colors. It’s my favorite work shoe. I do sometimes get duplicates in a workhorse color, like black.

    • Eleacouise :

      Have the Stuart Weitzman Chicpump in every color & it’s set as a notification on Ebay where they can still be had affordably. Also the Karina top at Chicos.

  9. I buy duplicates of staples that I know I’ll keep wearing. For example, straight leg jeans aren’t prone to going in and out of style quickly and I have a certain brand and cut that fits me perfectly, so all my jeans are that same brand and cut, with pairs in a few different colors/washes. Same with dress pants- I own black, gray, and navy of the same pair of pants. This also applies to [email protected], tights, and nude tanks- I have specific preferences for each and I stock up when there’s a sale.
    I don’t use a capsule wardrobe as such, but I definitely count on staples to build outfits. It’s easier for me to find cute tops than to find interesting pants, so I use the bottom half as a base and the top half to change it up.

  10. I try not to buy duplicate items. The exception is pants because they’re so hard to find.

    If I buy a duplicate top, my unofficial rule is buy the same style in one color and one neutral.

  11. Yes, if I find a skirt or pants or jeans that fit well and are the length I like (I have long legs so this is a lifelong issue) I buy multiples. I have a casual skirt I wear on most weekends and I have three identical copies!

  12. Curious what everyone’s go-tos are. I have:

    *many of the black spaghetti strap tanks from Brass Plum, inexpensive and I wear under sweaters, button downs, etc.
    *crew neck sweaters from halogen (thin enough and not bulky)
    *certain dresses from MMLF I have in many colors
    *lululemon yoga pants in black – several pairs
    *several plaid button downs from banana in different colors
    *several of the same pair of black shoes from nine west
    *wish I had go-to jeans or black pants…

  13. Yes, I purposefully buy duplicates of items I really like because I’m very picky. I just bought the same tank from Banana Republic in four colors, and I have the Calvin Klein Gayle pumps in three colors. I wouldn’t do this with a very unique item (crazy pattern or color, for example) but for basic pumps or tank tops I love to stock up.

  14. Heh, today I am wearing the same dress I wore yesterday in a different color. (Eshakti vintage knit.) Yesterday I had a blazer with it, and I’m a professor–I won’t see many of the same people. It’s a “throw and go” kinda week.

  15. Candidate :

    Since I sew, I often make the same thing three or more times before I get it out of my system. Once I’ve gotten the pattern to fit right, and know how it all goes together, it’s much easier to make something from the same pattern than to start over! I think that with something in a different color, or a different kind of fabric, is distinct enough that it’s fine to have several of the same cut. After all, no one notices when men wear the same shirt in a different pattern every day. I also find that I sew slowly enough (10-16 F.O.s per year) that my closet is never over-full, between things wearing out or my shape changing, so I don’t worry about being consciously minimal.

    • please share! :

      I would love to know what patterns you like to sew. I knit and weave, and found that I like handsewing enough that someday I dream of sewing a pencil skirt from my own handwoven fabric.

      • I’m all over the place with patterns. I started with Sewaholic, they are drafted for pear shapes, then moved on to Deer & Doe, which are drafted for D cups. Both fit reasonably well with some adjustments. I’ve become more skilled now and I can use Big 4 patterns with confidence (Simplicity, McCalls, Vogue, Butterick – these are the ones stocked by most big craft stores), they typically have enormous amounts of ease which and less detailed instruction, but are less expensive and have a wider variety. I also subscribed to Burda last year, they have a wide variety of pencil skirts.

        If you are on Ravelry for knitting, there are several active sewing groups on the forums!

  16. I have duplicates of my workhorse cardigan – it’s B.B. black merino wool and I live in it in cool weather, so I like to have one available when the other is at the dry cleaners or being aired out the day after wearing. I wear a super comfortable black pointy toe low heel sling back pump year round, multiple times a week. I have it in microfiber, leather, and patent leather. When a super sale occurred last year and they were 75% off, I backed them up three deep on the leather and two extras of each of the others.

  17. So I am realizing my entire wardrobe is full of duplicates. And I only buy different colors if I genuinely love the other colors (which is rare because I am weirdly particular about color). I have 3 pairs of my favorite work shoes. 3 of my favorite work dress (in 2 colors). 2 of my second favorite work dress. My 2 favorite pairs of jeans are the same cut but different color. All of my workout tops and pants are the same (but in different colors). The same underwear. Two different styles of bra. I am simultaneously proud of myself for being such a minimalist genius and embarrassed that I am so boring.

    • +1

      I buy multiples in same colours and different too.

      I prefer consistent not boring. Consistent can be great hence favorites.

      I’m also very color picky.

      I like to think of these as a strong foundation. I still regret not getting more jackets from Austin reed wheb they were good quality abd not hideous. They’ve been trying to sell those current dregs for 3 years now.

  18. Yes! I have the lands end ponte sheath dress in various colors and necklines. Today I am wearing a Talbots blazer that I have in two colors. Im also wearing navy flats that I have a second exact pair of, and another pair in black (Anne Klein cap toe patent).

  19. Yes, and it’s part of why I really like LulaRoe (yeah yeah I know) but I can have ten of the SAME skirt that always fits the same in ten different colors. Plus its stretchiness helps when I’m yoyoing in weight.

  20. Anonymous :

    I will buy the same item, but in different colors.

  21. This is such a great question. I find that as an investment banker with very limited time to shop, I’ve often purchased duplicates when I first find something I like. This means I’ve ended up with a lot of sets of dresses. I always buy them in different colours, and it certainly makes shopping more efficient. However, I find that over time, I get more bored with the clothes and end up using them less. I think the only time I’ve been truly satisfied by buying several duplicates of something is when I buy underwear. Having lots of similar sets makes it easier to pick out something that matches in the morning, and I also do the same for singlets, stockings, and socks.

  22. It’s more even important with a smaller wardrobe, I think – my wardrobe is on the smaller side these days and when I find a perfect shoe, perfect pair of earrings, or perfect sheath dress, I like to have an exact duplicate to either wait in the wings (effectively an insurance policy for losing or ruining a beloved item) or to keep in rotation so that the items don’t wear too quickly.

    The challenge for me is knowing when it’s truly an ideal item that warrants a backup / spare – sometimes I make mistakes and end up passing on both, but more often than not, it buys peace of mind.

    For what it’s worth, I tend to like one color best, so with rare expections (e.g., same sheath dress in black and navy; same pumps in nude and black), I go with exact duplicates of my favorite items.

  23. I buy exact duplicates of basic items that I wear often. Black/white v-neck t-shirt, jeans, nude camisoles, black/gray camisoles…those are a few I can think of in my closet right now. That way if one is in the laundry, I have another one. I buy multiple colors/patterns of the same item sometimes if I like the fit, for example there is a basic J Crew cardigan that I love and I think I have it in 5 or 6 colors.

  24. I have… 10 pairs of my favorite pants. 8 black, 2 navy, and 2 sizes in each color.

  25. I do with staples like jeans and work pants because it’s difficult for me to find a good fit. One time I bought 4 pants in 3 colors. I’m glad I did this now because the store is now out of business!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.