Buying Multiples… from a Designer Collaboration

Buying Multiples... from a Designer Collaboration | Corporette Can you justify having multiples of the same kind of dress? Does the answer change if it’s from a “designer collaboration” (popularized by Target but seen at a lot of different budget-friendly stores)? Reader J wonders, particularly with respect to the recent Banana Republic/Issa collaboration:

I kind of went wild and bought a bunch of the “royal engagement” style Issa wrap dresses (royal blue, turquoise, deep purple, aubergine). As you know, these are classic looking dresses made of 100% silk … plus I love them. Can I justify having multiples of these dresses?

For those who don’t know, Issa is a fairly high end brand with dresses that normally retail for $400-$850 (sold at stores like ShopBop and Saks; The Outnet actually has a bunch on sale right now for $200+); they recently did a “collaboration” with Banana Republic where some of Issa’s designs, manufactured and sold by BR, retail for $50-$140. I have a few thoughts on this, but I’m curious to hear what the readers say…

1) If you buy something you like, that fits you well, buy multiples of it (or at least set up a price alert to stalk it when it goes on sale). I’ve done this with t-shirts, sweaters, blazers, pants, lingerie, shoes, even purses.  I’ve occasionally even bought the exact same color and size again because I liked it so much and wanted a spare.

2) That said, you want to be a bit careful with the ever popular “designer collaboration” — — not only are the pieces often very recognizable as budget-friendly choices (particularly prints), the pieces aren’t really renowned for their quality either.  I tried on a few of the BR/Issa dresses when they came out — they do have recognizable details, but I think in a solid color Reader J is probably in the clear.

3) But now with THAT said, I’d suggest that Reader J (if it isn’t already too late) focus on ONE of the dresses she bought recently, and keep the others, tags on, waiting in her closet, at least until the first dress has gone through the laundry cycle a few times. This will allow Reader J to gauge the quality compared to the price she paid, decide if she wants to return them (or return them to stalk a sale and pay a lower price).  Once she’s decided what she’s keeping, I’d try to put some space between dress wearings — certainly never all in the same week! — and, were it me, I’d even try to keep at least one (if not two) of the four dresses she bought unworn for some period of time — a few months, half a year, whenever.  Then, they’ll be a nice way to liven up her wardrobe when the other dresses start to feel overworn.  Of course there are down sides to this also — she could gain or lose weight, or decide she hates the style, or her job situation could change in a way where she has less of a chance to wear the dresses… but I’d probably take those risks.

Readers, would you buy multiple dresses from a designer collaboration?  Have you bought multiple recognizable dresses in general (e.g., DvF wrap dresses)?  What items do you most like to buy in multiples?


  1. I have 4 of The Skirt, plus I think 3 of the Halogen woven ones. I also have the same Halogen slacks in 2 colors. I have 4 pair of Karmen pumps. So yes I think if you find something you like that fits you well it’s perfectly fine to buy all the colors!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have The Skirt in TEN colors, plus the woven one in about five. And the same Frye boots in three colors. I could go on…

      If I could afford DVF wrap dresses (other than the one I scored at the consignment store) I’d have multiples of them for sure.

      • What is “The Skirt”? It must be amazing, but I googled it and couldn’t find a concrete answer.

        • just Karen :

          Halogen’s seamed pencil skirt has a cult following on this website for being a pencil skirt friendly to curvy and straight figures, though some recent seasonal redesigns have made it less popular for the curvy audience I believe (and by curvy vs. straight I mean those with more or less difference between their waists and hips, not necessarily a reflection of size).

        • Halogen seamed pencil skirt. I’m always worried I’ll be kicked off this site because it doesn’t fit me correctly :).

        • Halogen Seamed pencil skirt at Nordstrom
          It used to be the go-to for all pear-shaped/hour-glass shaped r e t t e s. But then they changed the design a couple of times, so there is some debate about what shapes it is best for now. (the new design doesn’t work for my pear-shape) It is comfy and available in multiple colors every season, so anyone looking for comfy, basic pencil skirts in fun colors rather than neutrals, their worth a try-on at nordstrom.

          • Ah, OK thanks everyone! I actually own it in black. Mine is a knit and I’m not at all happy with how it’s pilled over the past two years. Do they offer it in a better fabric or am I just bad at maintaining my clothing?

      • I too am a Frye-addict….I have two colors of two different designs. However, Fryes last for years and with a good cobbler will look as good as new each season.

    • I have The Skirt in at least 8 colors. And wear it at least once a week. It’s the only thing I’ve ever really bought multiples of. But then it seems to be the most perfect skirt ever made.

  2. Divaliscious11 :

    I have done that with certain pieces – the Suzi Chin for Maggie Boutique wrap dress comes to mind…easy work wear.

    If it works as an easy, uniform type piece, go for it. I have a friend who does this with halo dresses and DVF….

    • DC Darling :

      Pants are my exception. I own the BR sloan fit slim ankle pant in 4 colors and the Express editor pants in 5. If I find pants that fits my butt, thighs, waist, is comfortable, and looks professional I’ll buy them all. Everything else I hesitate to buy multiples of, especially dresses since they seem to be easily recognized as “oh I loved the green version you wore the other day”. Pants are much less noticeable.

      • I’d buy multiple dresses, just space out when I wear them.

      • Totally agree on pants – well-fitting pants that I don’t need to have tailored are the holy grail. I, too, have the Sloan pants in 4 colors (black, gray, khaki, and a darker tan/gold) and Gap slim fit ankle pants in black, khaki, and black with white squares. I also have two pairs of Loft Modern Skinny jeans and might buy another pair.

    • likewise with the Jones/Anne Klein cap sleeve swing dress. perfect for the office (west coast environmental consulting), perfect fit for hourglass, and very well made. I space out the colors/patterns, and limit myself to 1x week (2 if I do a solid one day and a pattern another day).

      • AttiredAttorney :

        Wow, I had never seen this dress before! Glowing five star reviews across the board? I think I might be purchasing.

        Actually, Kat, this would be a great topic for a post! What are the clothing items or shoes that you loved so much, you bought multiples?

  3. I definitely do this with staples (cashmere sweaters, ponte knit skirts, button downs) but I would be a little wary of doing it w/ a really recognizable or trendy piece.

    Not sure if this “designer collaboration” falls into that category. I’ve pretty much steered clear of that whole scene since I heard about people arguing for the last Missoni for Target pillow.

  4. S in Chicago :

    I have a ton of multiples. The more I think on it, the more I think I have a problem. I own a Calvin Klein wrap dress in two prints and a solid (sold in two sizes), my favorite Athleta hoodie in three colors, The Skirt in four colors, my favorite BR blazer in two colors, my favorite GAP blazer in two colors and a print, my favorite target blazer in two colors, my favorite Halogen blazer in three colors, and my favorite LOFT blazer in three colors. (I don’t think I own a casual blazer that isn’t a multiple!) Probably worse still is that I gained back a bit of weight and my favorite dress from LOFT didn’t fit the best, so I bought the next size up in the same color and an additional color. That said, these items all have highest rotation in my wardrobe. I have many other things that I hardly ever wear. I think it comes down to that I really like the fit and style. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t have so many!). It also makes it a lot easier to get dressed sometimes. For example, I know that my favorite LOFT dress will “work” well with either of the BR blazers. I also think since most of these are solid colors that it isn’t limiting the same way a bunch of prints might be.

    There also is something to fit driving things. The CK wrap dress is awesome. I always get compliments and there is no fuss over whether it’s too clingy or too low or any other problems I often find with other wrap styles. I just can’t find other styles that fit nearly as well. And it’s also machine washable. Quite honestly, I would buy more if I came across. Go with what you like, you know.

    • I am like you. I like to dress very conservative, which often mean’s alot of Ann Klein and even some Calvin Klein, but not to flashy. That allow’s me to buy multipel’s of the same skirt so that if I get food stain’s on one, I can swap in another. Also, b/c I have been looseing weight, I have multiple sizes of the same skirt, one in size 4, one in size 2, and one in size 0 –which is still unworn. FOOEY!, but I hope to get into the size 0 by New Year’s!!! YAY!!! I have to stay away from the turkey gravy this Thank’sgiving with Mom! Or I will let Rosa eat all of it with the kid’s eateing the stuffing.

      Willem called me at home on the cell; I told him he could use my land line, just not to use the land line at work b/c Lynn is starteing to think I actualey have a life outside of work. Dateing guy’s from a restrunt who grope me or others who just want sex with me is NOT the kind of life I am lookeing for. I want a guy who is proud of me and who respects me even if I do NOT have sex with him, but if he is all that abel to provide for me and our children, and then I would have sex with him. It realy is NOT a dificult proposition, but guy’s just want to wham bam thank you maam and move on. That is why I do NOT want to get started with Harold. I am sure he would like to see me WITHOUT my clotheing on, have his way, then take off afterward’s if I let him. FOOEY on that. He is a skater, and I do NOT think he is even workeing. Beside’s he is way to young for me, and being related to the manageing partner is NOT something I need in my life. FOOEY!

    • I’ve drunk the cool-aid. I recently bought three colors of a Lands’ End dress because the cut was unusually flattering on me. I think the colors are different enough that I will never be deciding between two of them for a particular occasion. (The hot pink looks very beachy while the black looks good for date-night.) I would have been hesitant to try this experiment if it hadn’t been pretty inexpensive though.

      • I have two too, and I want more. 5 new ponte dresses in all. How do you space them as to avoid a “Uniform”?

        • I don’t really get the concern about ‘a uniform’. Most folks won’t even notice. The ones that do will give you points for knowing yourself and being confident in your choices.

          On Kat’s advice, I’m not so convinced about keeping aside multiples as spares. Lots of stuff deteriorates in storage, including expensive leather products, and inexpensive trendy pieces are best enjoyed while they are having their moment (speaking as someone who’s worn the same 4 Uniqlo tunics every free weekend this last past summer).

    • If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I have:

      – Thirteen J Crew Jackie cardigans (and two matching shells)
      – Six J Crew double-serge wool No 2 pencil skirts
      – Seven Calvin Klein suiting skirts, two of which match…
      – Two Calvin Klein suit jackets, which also match…
      – Two pairs of Calvin Klein suiting pants
      – About 16 shells across only 3-4 different styles
      – Fourteen of the same GAP camisole (I bought ~18 in about 2003, still have most of them)
      – Two J Crew Tippi cardigans
      – Two BR merino wool cardigans
      – …. etc. There are probably less than a dozen pieces in my closet that I only own one of.

      • Oh, and when my favorite work shoes looked like they were being discontinued I went to 3 different DSWs and bought 10 pairs, in 4 different colors/textures.

        • AnonMouse :

          AMEN, sister. It makes me sad when the perfect work shoes start disappearing, so I went and bought multiples of two colors.

          I always wish after the fact that I could replicate jeans/sweaters/sweatshirts/shirts/anything, so…. now I’m finally learning, and I buy multiples. It makes me feel less stressed out about things falling apart. :D

      • DC Darling :

        Y’know, the more I think about it, I’d rather keep the multiple quality items I own than keep experimenting with new stuff. Too often I’ve spent too much on something that I find out is crap quality later. Either because it shrinks, stretches, pills, stains easily, etc etc. I think a post about what quality items we all keep coming back to would be great. AT pumps, the skirt, etc

  5. I have two different styles of Gap cords that I buy in crazy multiples. One style I own in 5 colors, and the other I own in 3 colors, and fully intend to buy additional colors as soon as they offer another sale that applies to cords. I work in a very casual office with almost exclusively dudes, and I will admit that in the fall and winter I wear them about every day of the work week and probably once a weekend, too… I think they fit me great, have some fun and classic colors, and the price is right that if I wear them out or ruin them, I’m not upset.

    Other than that, I also buy J Crew perfect tees in bulk in a variety of colors when I get bored with the colors I have.

  6. If the answer to this is “no,” I’m not even about to tell you how many DvF wrap dresses are in my closet.

  7. Diana Barry :

    I buy multiples of more basic stuff, not dresses. I have several Boden wrap tops, J Crew suits (grey/black/navy, although from different years), J Crew #2 pencil skirts, and a few Tippi sweaters and cardigans.

  8. Abby Lockhart :

    For me, the question lies in what you are trying to accomplish with your wardrobe. If you are trying to present fashionista with a big budget to those you see regularly, skip the multiples. In fact, skip the designer collaborations, too. Someone who cares will notice eventually. But if you are just trying to look kempt and appropriate in a given situation, in flattering and well-fitted clothes, buy all the multiples you want when you find something that works for you. If you want to limit the time you spend thinking about wardrobe all around, buy only multiples, focus on keeping your weight steady, and shop every three years.

    • anonymama :

      I think the “uniform” type thing is something that most men have down for their work wear, and makes a lot of sense for women who just don’t have the inclination/bandwidth to spend much effort picking out clothes. Like Hillary’s infamous pantsuits in every color of the rainbow. There was some article about Obama describing how he basically wears exactly the same thing every day because it is one more decision off his plate, since he has so many other things to think about. And I could see how in a work situation, wearing variations on a similar look every day can mean people thinking/talking about what you are doing rather than what you are wearing. Your outfits would certainly be less interesting/exciting, and if you really enjoy putting looks together maybe it’s not for you, but for the average person on the average morning it seems like it would be more efficient.

      • I have recently started to do this, and treat my office wardrobe as a black/gray base uniform, with colors thrown in here and there to lighten it up. I have a lot going on (AKA 14 month old baby), so it’s worth the extra money to me to have plenty of options that I know will fit and work together available in my closet. Most of my multiples are pants or undershirts, so things that are not easily recognized.

        • Govt Atty :

          Agreed about bandwith. While I don’t do multiples (afraid of having multiple items that turn out to be awful), I don’t own many clothes but they are higher quality or pieces I *love*, to reduce time picking out an outfit. Baby helped me get to this point. It’s my way of being busy without being a frump.

      • AnonMouse :

        “who just don’t have the inclination/bandwidth to spend much effort picking out clothes”

        YES. This. This this this.

  9. Miz Swizz :

    I don’t have the attention span for multiples. I used to buy quite a few but then I’d get sick of one piece, which would mean I was actually sick of 6 t-shirts or 3 pairs of pants. I like my wardrobe much more now that I have very few duplicate items though it makes it harder to build because I don’t just grab a bunch of something I like that fits me.

    • Anonymous :

      This is me as well. Also, while I may love a certain dress, if I want to wear that dress, I’ll just wear that dress. I don’t need multiples of them. I like having lots of different styles in my closet.

      The only thing that I can think of that I have multiples of are the J. Crew silk/cotton blend boyshirts in different prints. I think I have three prints of those. And Equipment silk blouses. I have quite a few of those, but they are awesome and silk button ups are a staple to me.

  10. Interview tips? :

    I have multiple pairs of Clarks shoes. For some styles it’s about comfort. For another, it’s about a certain look, I have 3 pairs in different colors of a heeled shoe they had a while ago that had a very unique vintage-y look.

    TJ: Need tips to prep for an interview I have this week. I already know that I should expect technical questions related to the position but other than that I’m blank. On my part, I’ve done some research on the organization and the product line the successful candidate will be working on. Salary expectations were briefly mentioned in the 1st round. I expect it may come up again in the next and I’m unsure about how to respond. Most advice I have read says to not commit/agree to anything unless a written offer is in hand. I know I may be jumping the gun here but I just want to make sure I go in as prepared as possible. What other questions should I expect? Is it that bad if one does not wear a suit? Not currently in a position to buy a suit. I have some nice blazers and a nice pair of pants(black), ideas for tops? Any other interviewing tips you can give would be helpful.

    • I’m wearing a new pair of the Clarks wedges today – they are so awesomely comfortable!

    • BigLaw Refugee :

      Re interview clothes: if you can’t wear a suit, I’d try to wear a simple top in the same color as your pants. That will make the ensemble look more suit-like.

      My advice for interviews is to figure out a few qualities that you think make you a good candidate, and examples to support them. Then look for ways to bring up those points in the interview. Actually practice at home, thinking of questions you might be asked that could allow you to make your points. Not all interviewers are good at eliciting the most relevant info, so be proactive – focus more on what you want to say than on the specific question they are asking, if it’s a generic rather than technical question. One way to work these things in is if they ask you what questions you have, ask what qualities the company is looking for in the person who fills the position. Then you can respond with your sound bites to show that you have those qualities.

  11. Am I crazy? I love a lot of the dresses in this collaboration, but none of them appear to be 100% silk…

    • Wildkitten :

      According to BR they are mostly 100% Rayon.

    • You are not crazy. I bought a purple one and it’s not silk at all. It perfectly fills a wardrobe hole, but I will be surprised if it lasts more than one season, even with hand washing and drying flat. It is also a b*tch to iron.

    • I don’t see them online anymore, but as I recall, they weren’t described as silk. I would have bought one if they were.

    • Issa WannaBuy :

      I hope the answer is no because I just bought two. I’m looking forward to wearing them on vacation, out to dinner, and maybe even to a wedding or two. Maybe it’ll be less noticeable that I’m wearing collab dresses if I stick to wearing them when I’m out of the country.

    • Nope, Rayon. I bought the purple one on sale, plus used a reward card and its so worth it. Totally comfy, washed it on gentle and its held up and ironed just fine.

    • I think the original question was about the main line Issa dresses, which are silk, not the BR collaboration, which is synthetic.

  12. I have 3 dobbin dresses and 4 halogen skirts… and probably at least two of a bunch of things in my closet. I also dress fairly monochromatically, so a lot of the stuff might as well be the same (ie black cardigan..).

    TJ: Does anybody else have a problem with tights and breathability? I love to wear skirts more than pants, but obviously need tights in the winter. The only thing is that I feel like I am noticeably not as “fresh” when I wear tights (sorry, a lil tmi). This morning I had a (very) brief (and not serious) thought that I could cut holes in them to allow for more ventilation (but then also thought that I could probably purchase them that way if I shopped at the right stores – HA).
    ANYWAY. Commiseration? Advice? All the things that you guys are always so good at collectively knowing?

    • My mom does, she wears the crotchless kind from Victoria’s Secret. I kind of wish I didn’t know this.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I think this happens more often than we’d like to admit. You could go with stockings/thin socks and a garter belt. The fancier places do sell long ones with short straps that won’t show, and real garter belts, with 6-10 straps, not the LGP Time ones, are surprisingly comfortable, easy to wear, and often double as shapewear. They’re not as cute and flirty as the 100 percent lace, black and red cheetah print ones you buy from mall stores that are meant to be ripped right off, but they work really well, and gentlemen friends tend to love the vintage pinup vibe. If you want links, I can post them after work (definitely not looking that up on my work computer). Otherwise, just keep a pack of fresh wipes in your purse!

      • another Kat :

        Please post links! Not the OP but also interested.

      • Marks and Spencer in the UK has a lot of actually functional garter belts and “hold-ups” (that’s what the Brits call thigh-highs. They ship the US. British women often wear real garter belts every day. (I found this racy when I lived there, but it’s totally normal, apparently.)

        While ordering from M&S, get some of their tights–they are amazing awesome last forever.

    • Perhaps wear a pantyliner and change it a few times a day?

    • Definitely wear 100% cotton undies underneath.

  13. I have multiples of The Skirt and DVF dresses, plus an ever-growing collection of LK Bennett Zahara wedges. If I find something that fits my needs, fits me, and is the right price, I will buy it in other colors or patterns. It is basically granimals for the professional woman!

    • Sorry for my ignorance – but what is The Skirt?

      • Don’t be sorry, it’s an inside term. A few of us answered the same question above, the Halogen Seamed Pencil Skirt at Nordies

  14. Job advice needed. I graduated law school in 2011 and clerked for a year in a bankruptcy court. I could not find a bankruptcy position then so I accepted a position in another practice area a year ago. I am a first year associate there. No credit for clerkship and no promotion yet.

    When I clerked, the managing partner of a local firm’s bankruptcy group came to our court twice a week and we spoke often. I also knew him during law school. After my clerkship, he endorsed me on linked in. I never applied for a position with his firm because his office was an hour from where I lived. I now live 10 minutes away and would love to work for him.

    Question: do I email and ask to have lunch for advice on getting back into bankruptcy? Or just send a letter of interest asking whether he has a need for an associate and include a resume? By email or snail mail?

    Would I be a first year, second year, or third year associate?

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Email in the morning thread for more responses. I would email him and tell him you’re now close by and you’d love to catch up and have lunch in the next couple of weeks. Provide him with your availability in the next 2-3 weeks and ask him when he’s available. Some firms give credit for a clerk ship and some don’t – negotiate negotiate. If your current position is litigation based, some of your experience may translate. Emphasize that and if they won’t consider you as a 3rd year, ask to be considered as a 2nd year with a review in 6 months. But first get the job. If your question about associate year is more so you know what jobs to apply to, apply to all the job you would accept if offered (within reason) – sometimes people say they want 3-4 year but they don’t get good candidates and hire a 2nd year.

    • BigLaw Refugee :

      Definitely describe your goal as seeking advice on how to get back into bankruptcy. If his firm has a need and he likes you, he can bring it up, but he also probably knows others who may be hiring. He’s more likely to talk to you if he doesn’t feel the pressure of “please give me a job.” That said, be prepared to casually work into the conversation why you’re excited about bankruptcy, how your current experience has prepared you for it, etc., so he can use that info to promote you to partners at his firm or his other contacts. I’ve had informational interviews turn into job interviews; I’m a big fan of them.

  15. TO Lawyer :

    I have multiples of j.crew no.2 pencil in wool (3 different colours). And this is embarrassing to admit but the aritzia silk blouses I always sing the praises of – I have 5 and yet if they release any other colours that I like, they are automatically in my wardrobe. I may end up with a wardrobe that is basically one item in 15 colours.

    I try not to do that with dresses but if I end up finding the holy grail of work dresses, I might buy it in every iteration.

    • I also have multiples of the jcrew no 2 wool pencil skirt. And I did find my holy grail work dress a few years back at Boden (elbow sleeves, wool, boatneck, kneelength) and bought it in every color. No shame.

    • fellow aritzia lover :

      So with you on the aritzia silk blouses… when you take into consideration color and sleeve length I definitely have at more multiples than I care to think about.

  16. Maddie Ross :

    I’m pretty sure I have The Skirt in just about every color ever made. I also have multiples of the same seasonless wool suit from Talbots (three colors, multiple pieces in each color), and multiples of some of my basic work shoes (the Ann Taylor perfect pump and Cole Haan heels). Oh, and definitely multiples of the same v-neck t-shirt from Old Navy. To me, these are such basics, buying in several colors seems fine. I probably wouldn’t buy anything embellished or trendy in multiples.

  17. Aqualover :

    Ugh. Just a PSA. Banana Republic has deleted several of my reviews which included details of their declining quality. Such a disappointment. Considering shopping elsewhere from now on for that reason alone.

    PS Bad reviews were on their jade Martin fit pants and burgundy Hacking jacket.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree that their quality has completely gone downhill. That’s awful that they deleted your comments!

  18. i’m not really a big fan of the designer collaborations in general; i rarely see even one style/color combo i like, let alone multiples. that being said, i have no qualms about buying multiples of things i do like – even if they’re recognizable. i have a large enough wardrobe that it wouldn’t be very noticeable at all, though. i’m a big fan of buying multiples of things that i like and fit well, although a lot of these multiples aren’t for workwear. every time i see a new color/pattern of those mossimo boyfriend t-shirts at target, i pick one up. i’m afraid to count how many i have, but it’s at least two dozen. whenever i find a dress silhouette at target i like, i’ll buy it in whatever colors i like, although sometimes i wait for clearance prices to buy multiples.

    as far as multiples for workwear goes, i have several of those academy blazers from the gap – a petite blazer that fits well off the rack?? again, waited for clearance prices to stock up. i’m pretty sure the majority of my button-front shirts are the same style from express, but bought in different seasons so i’m not sure how much that counts as “multiples.”

  19. I always kick myself afterwards when I find something I like and that fits me well, and I haven’t bought more than one of it, in different colours.
    Jeans with the perfect fit,
    Dress that fit perfectly,
    Clarks boots that I have worn for four-five seasons (and thus aren’t available in the same fit any more.)
    Coat with perfect fit that I have worn for four seasons…

    Just buying another in a different colour might have been useful.

  20. what is the price alert Kat mentions in item 1 of her response?

  21. I have the JCrew Factory Tippi knockoff in green, grey, purple, cobalt, and mint. #cantstopwontstop

  22. jcrwe #2 double serge wool in 3 colors, jcrew jackie cardigan in 5 colors, tory burch revas in multiple colors. But same goes for cut of pants/dresses. I have multiple faux wrap dresses in different brands, but the cut just suits me. I think that if you find an item that you like –and it’s part of your “uniform” of work outfits then go for it. Nothing is worse than having that item get worn out and not being able to replace it.

  23. I have two of the Banana Republic Gemma wrap dresses, one in black and one in a sage color they no longer carry. They come in the tall size I need, they look great on my pear shape, and they wash well. I try not to wear them to work in close succession, though. I bought the sage one first, then realized the black would be handy for travel. And funerals. And traveling to funerals. Sorry to sound glum, but I’ve had to travel to two funerals in the last year, and a black dress that you can just throw in your suitcase is a boon at such moments.

  24. I have the same cardigan in two colors and wish I had bought a second one in charcoal because it goes with everything. I’ve just about worn it out.

  25. This is a really helpful post. I’d love to know what people buy multiples of! A uniform-style wardrobe is my dream.

    • As an example, I have multiples of Calvin Klein belted cowl neck dresses (navy, black, grey, purple) – I wear them with different blazers or sweaters, which may obscure the fact that they are multiples, but they work really well for me. Good advice from Kat above – for these purchases, I had one dress that I wore regularly, and when other colors cropped up at Ross, I realized that I should scoop them up because they were so versatile. Also, if I find a perfect black leather belt, silver earrings, or black pumps, I will definitely pick up a spare (if possible, on sale) as an insurance policy.

  26. I. Love. Multiples.

    There is a wrap dress from JCP that was actually featured a few Fridays ago, and I have it in 3 prints becuase it frequently goes on sale for $30 and is machine washable. I also have a basic cotton cami from Old Navy in probably 10 colors. I only have The Skirt in black, but will be building that collection as other colors go on sale.

  27. I am surprised how many people buy multiples! I think I would get bored. I do have two of the Skirt and just bought a second of the No. 2 skirt (but the first is part of a suit). But that is it. Even shoes, I will buy a slightly different style from the same brand before I buy an exact dupe in a different color (I have several pairs of ferragamos).

  28. thanks for the awesome response. to clarify, i actually didn’t buy the BR-Issa dresses … i bought the 100% silk issa dresses from the outnet (still got amazing prices — the most expensive was still more than half off). in my mind, quality isn’t the issue for the original. my question was more specifically how people felt about multiples of the same dress (assuming a good level of quality).

  29. I have soooo many multiples. The Skirt in 5 colors; a Vince Camuto blazer in 2; a Halogen wool v-neck cardigan in 3; the mod.lusive ruched-sleeve cardigan in 6; LOFT bootcut cords in 2; Classiques Entier shells–2 different styles in 2 and 3 colors each, respectively; the list goes on. If I find a great basic, it’s not at all uncommon for me to get 2-3 colors so long as some variation of my signature colors are in stock. This tactic has rarely failed me, and when it has, it’s usually been because I somehow justified an item that was probably too embellished to be purchased in multiples in the first place. But basics? I doubt that anyone notices that I’m wearing duplicates, but even if they do, I don’t really care. I’m too happy enjoying that perfectly fitted tee that I have in 4 colors.

  30. Generally, considering buying the same item again, in different colors especially, I think if you really like the style, if it fits you well, and when this is a style that will last for longer than one season, and you have plenty of opportunities to wear it … then go for it. I don’t buy multiples often, but not because I don’t want to, but it’s rare for me to find twice the same item in my size when I found one that fits all the criteria I mentioned above. But when I do spot it, I’m always considering it.

    Regarding buying multiple pieces of a designer collaboration collection … I think Kat is spot on here, that you have to consider those pieces do often come with a print or in a style that makes them easy to recognize. I think it wouldn’t bother everyone. I’m in the camp of those who do not want their clothes to be easily identified, I don’t like it when someone can guess at one glance at my dress from what brand it is (regardless of brand and designer collaboration), so I don’t like wearing pieces that are easy to spot. Pieces from designer collaboration often ends up being very popular. I still remember the Karl Lagerfield H&M collaboration and those pieces were sold out in a few days because the collection was so popular. Added to the situation that the clothes are easy to recognize, it might happen more often you stumble into a woman wearing the same dress as you. I really don’t like it, but it’s nothing rational here, it’s just a sort of unreasonable discomfort I feel whenever I see a woman wearing the same dress/shoes as I. However that needn’t bother everyone, and if it doesn’t bother you, I think there’s no problem here.

  31. I have sooo many multiples. The Skirt in 5 colors, the mod.lusive ruched-sleeve cardigan in 6, LOFT cords in 2, etc. My personal rule of thumb is to buy multiples only in items that are basic enough to not stand out (e.g. no major embellishments, asymmetrical hems, etc.). I stick with a pretty standard color scheme, too–blacks, grays, blues, and greens. My multiples have rarely failed me, and when they have, it’s because I justified something that was too embellished for me to buy multiples of it in the first place. As for my basics, I doubt anyone notices or cares. And if they do, it doesn’t bother me…. I’m too happy enjoying my perfectly fitted tee in 4 colors.

  32. Anonymous :

    i don’t see that the original asker meant a designer collaboration. i think she was giving context for which issa dress she meant. she even specifies that she is talking about the silk dress. i don’t see anywhere in her comments that she meant the banana republic dress!

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