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Why I like repeating outfits

purple floral prom dress

summer outfit: purple floral prom dress

purple floral 50s style prom dress

This is another one of those outfits I almost didn’t bother photographing.

For one thing, I wore this dress exactly the same way (By which I mean, “with exactly the same shoes”. Well, there’s not a whole lot of “styling” required with a dress like this, is there? Like, if I was writing a ‘How to wear this dress’ kind of post about it, I’d basically just have to say: “Put on the dress. Congratulations! You are now wearing the dress!”) the last time I blogged about it, and for another, the dress is a year old now, and I know it sometimes just annoys people when bloggers wear clothes they can’t go and buy.

I’ll be honest: despite everything I said last week about how my capsule wardrobe has reduced my need to shopshopshop, the recent spate of warm weather DID make me feel like I NEEDED some new clothes – purely because there’s only so many times I can wear the same dress, in the same way, before people will just be all, “WE GET IT, AMBER:  YOU HAVE A DRESS! Now shut up and tell us something we DON’T know!” Fashion blogging is like that, though: it’s really easy to convince yourself that you have to keep on buying new clothes, just for the sake of creating blog content, and it’s also easy to think that when you DO re-wear something, you have to style it in a completely different way, or you’re somehow letting the side down.

(And, I mean, I know it’s not the done thing to say it, but you can’t earn commission on clothes that are a year old now, can you? I can’t be the only blogger who occasionally gets emails from affiliate networks , urging me to link to more items, can I?)

When I first started taking outfit photos, I really bought into those ideas. I thought I had to be wearing something completely different in every post, and that I should be “experimenting” and “mixing it up” more, so that when I did repeat an item, no one would notice. I’d put on an outfit, and then think, “Wait: I wore these shoes with this skirt LAST time I blogged about it: I better wear something different this time!” And then I’d go and change into a pair of shoes that didn’t look as good, but which were, at least different. Which is crazy, right? I mean, in real life, people don’t even THINK about that kind of thing. (Or DO they?) And the harder I tried to “remix” things just for the sake it, the less comfortable I felt. It was like wearing a costume, as opposed to just getting dressed, and that’s not really me.

The fact is, I like repeating outfits. I like the way these shoes look with this dress, and I don’t really see the point of switching them for something I might not like quite as much, just so I could say I “remixed” them. Also: when there are purple flowers on your dress, and purple flowers in the backdrop, that HAS to be a win, right? Even when the outfit is one you’ve worn a dozen times before…

purple floral prom style dress
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ASOS dress (similar shape, different colour) ; Christian Louboutin shoes; Tory Burch bracelet*

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  • Anna Nuttall
    June 20, 2016

    Does that mean Amber you’re doing a Duchess of Cambridge and recycling an outfit! Sorry I couldn’t resist as it just annoys me whenever I see a headline on DOC about her wearing the same outfit twice. Surely no sane person would ever wear a dress more then once. Do you know what I mean?
    Anyway that dress is gorgeous and it purple! (I have a purple obsession with clothes – the same way you have a green obsessions). Amber you look lovely. xx

  • The Other Emma
    June 20, 2016

    Love this dress on you, when it looks so great with certain things why would you want to change it up just to be “different”?? I don’t get that, I never really got it tbh. I know a girl who used go out and spend a fortune every week on new clothes to wear out at the weekend because she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the same thing twice. Not just cheap and cheerful stuff either, it was always Karen Millen / Coast / etc (Not designer either but when you’re only wearing something once it add up!)

  • maria
    June 20, 2016

    I’m all for repeating an outfit; if I discover a combo that works well and I like, I will wear it ad nauseam. And moreover, if I really like, say, black trousers + pois sweater + black ballet flats, I will repeat the outfit changing just the shoes, pairing it with a different pair of shoes… And that’s the extent of ‘mix&matching’ I usually do for my favourite outfits.
    I don’t have a huuuge wardrobe, but I have various groups of clothes that go well with each other; like, circle skirts go well with some shoes, some tops look better with trousers, and so on.
    I know that in theory half of the internet swears by minimalist capsule collections, where every piece goes with everything else and there are no ‘closet orphans’. But I prefer a larger wardrobe, so there’s that, lol.

  • Susana
    June 20, 2016

    Thank you for writing this post! I have oftened wondered if there was a real pressure on bloggers (or a pressure they put on themselves) to constantly buy buy buy and review new items.

    I find it strange when bloggers write a rave review about an item, only to sell it a week later as “brand new! Only worn for a few hours” it usually makes me think what’s wrong with the dress/skirt/top? Maybe the review wasn’t truthful? It must not be as awesome as she wrote on her blogpost if it’s already being resold??? It seems that a blog of what girls wear, which is usually items on repeat, wouldn’t make for a very good blog, or a profitable one. Right?

  • Dana
    June 20, 2016

    I totally repeat outfits…especially dresses! And I agree; why change shoes if they don’t look as good. As a personal stylist, I help my clients put together capsules, but don’t chart an outfit if it’s only so-so, just for the sake of another outfit. It would be different, Amber, if you were a blogger who only photographed herself without any commentary whatsoever. Readers most likely wouldn’t come back, but you’re always educational and delightful to boot!

  • CiCi Marie
    June 21, 2016

    Agree with the person above who says it’s weird when bloggers wear something and the next day they’re selling it – I really only try to review things I’ll like and can picture wearing more than once. I’d much rather the honesty of seeing things more than once – because yes that’s how real life works! I’m always posting outfits with years old things in them, I feel bad it frustrates people who want to buy the item but it’s how I dress – I don’t wear 352 entirely brand new outfits a year!

  • Rotem
    June 21, 2016

    This outfit is perfect! Definitely worth repeating.
    I repeat outfits a lot, because when things go well together there’s no point in changing anything, it’s there? (If it ain’t broke etc). However, I do feel the need to mix things up occasionally, even if only to reassure myself that I CAN where this skirt with other tops, instead of always going for the same one. It also prevents the feeling of “I have nothing to wear”, in my opinion.

  • Ghalia
    June 21, 2016

    Absolutely gorgeous dress, & you’re right, it looks great with those shoes! I did read the first post you shared this dress with, and I didn’t at all mind seeing it again!

  • Trona
    June 21, 2016

    such a beautiful dress. One of my favourite things to do now when reading your posts is seeing if I can spot the location. It’s so nice to see local shots rather than posh areas in London all the time x

  • Steph
    June 21, 2016

    Ha, my outfit posts are THE WORST in that respect, because I pride myself on being a bargain hunter, meaning it is very rare I buy items brand new from the shops, more likely that I’ve managed to track them down on eBay or scored them in an end of season sale. I love shopping, waaaaaay too much in fact, but I just don’t have the funds to buy new outfits every other week, there are just too many other things that money is needed for these days (being grown up sucks, doesn’t it!). To be frank, your repeating of outfits and pieces is one of the reasons I’m still reading – you are real! I’m not here to shop (though you inspire plenty of my purchases!) I’m here because I love your writing and your excellent photo’s provide endless styling ideas. I mean, those glossy fashion blogs that link straight to a ‘shop my wardrobe’ page, where lo and behold, everything is brand new, are all very beautiful and aspirational and I pop by to look at the lovely photos now and then and maybe even click through and buy if the price is right, but I don’t really read those blogs. Because it just isn’t realistic for the average person, is it? The blogs I read are written by people I feel akin to, and real people wear the same dress for years on end because they fell in love with it at first sight and it makes them feel amazing. I will happily read ‘where to buy’ type posts, but I’m far more likely to enjoy a post about why a certain skirt is special to you or the story behind a pair of shoes you treasure because it’s relatable, it’s you we come for Amber, not just what is in your shopping basket! x

    • Susana
      June 22, 2016

      Yes yes and more yes!!! Most stores I find have a “this years versuon” or will bring back an item every other season. If most people are patient, they can buy that item the blogger posted about. It’s just a matter of waiting or getting this season’s version of that old dress/skirt/top etc.

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Why I like repeating outfits