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I saw an interesting statistic recently that 41% of women ages 18-25 felt pressure to wear a different outfit every time they went out. We haven’t talked about repeating outfits at work in a long time — and that statistic honestly blew me away. So let’s discuss!
- Do you feel pressure to wear a different outfit every time you go somewhere?
- If you DO feel pressure, where do you source your clothes? (And what do you do with the clothes once you’ve worn them?)
- If you’re up for repeating outfits, do you have rules, e.g., if you buy the top in three colors, that counts as three different tops even if worn with the same pants… Or if you wear a dress then you try to change your layers and shoes?
- On the flip side, if you love repeating outfits, how many outfits are in your rotation?
- In general, do you buy clothing items with particular outfits in mind?
Do You Feel Pressure To Only Wear New Outfits?
The statistic comes form a 2021 article in The Atlantic on fast fashion, which apparently didn’t even slow down during the pandemic…
Young people, and young women in particular, came to feel an unspoken obligation not to repeat an #outfitoftheday; according to a 2017 poll, 41 percent of women ages 18 to 25 felt pressure to wear a different outfit every time they went out.
I can understand this for the people who are trying to get a following on TikTok or Instagram (although the dirty not-so-secret is that many of those folks do a single photo shoot for like 12 different outfits, then spread the content out). I also suspect that half of those #fitoftheday pictures, taken in front of their closet mirror, are clothes that still have the tags attached.
But for people in real life… I’d love to hear if this is you!
Repeating Outfits at Work / The Work Uniform
The flip side of this — and the advice that many of us got growing up — is that if you like the way something fits, you should consider buying it in multiple colors. Corporate work uniforms have been encouraged, for men especially, because they save time and energy. (Even Zuck in the gray hoodie!)
(Another fun side of this: Compared to influencers, celebrities sometimes dress in uniforms so as to discourage the paparazzi. Jennifer Anniston is the name that comes to mind, but I can’t find a better source than this.)
This can go too far, of course — I once had a boss who wore the same 10 suits on repeat. Not basic suits, mind you, but like a red skirt suit from a mall brand like Kasper. She did look put together, but (and I say this as someone who adored her) some of the clothes kind of smelled. (After all, sometimes dry cleaning just can’t get the smell out!)
Another way the work uniform can look: sticking within a very small color scheme, such as all gray/black or beige/cream. (This is super minimalist! You can also do a business capsule wardrobe, with a broader color scheme but intentionally few pieces.)
Readers, what are your thoughts? Do you repeat outfits at work, or do you strive to have a new outfit every time? What counts as an “outfit” to you — does varying small things like shoe or jewelry change the outfit?
Stock photo via Deposit Photos / grinvalds.