Wednesday, April 4, 2012

FBFF: One-Time-Use Outfits?

I wear this dress basically...all the time since I got it last February. Works for every season, fits well, and I wear it as often as I think I can get away with it (which ends up being every couple of weeks, primarily because that's my laundry cycle).

I wanted to use last Friday's Fashion Beauty Friend Friday post to jump back in on this whole blogging thing...all is fine, I've just been very busy with work (a lot of projects taking off at full speed, a trip for a week to SXSW with others from my lab, diving into piles and piles of reading before my general exams in June) and home (visiting friends, spending time with family, attempting to maintain some semblance of order in the apartment, whatever it is I do to waste time on the internet). I also definitely intended to post this last week.

But so, FBFF! Today we're looking at something that's come up around magazines/the internet about fashion/style bloggers, the idea that many wear outfits or items of clothing only once. (See Arash's post on the Wear It Once Disease for one of the pieces that sparked this discussion). Since there's a photographic record of their outfits, they apparently can feel pressured not to repeat an outfit. This has certainly been an issue at times for celebrities, with the paparazzi ready to jump on someone for wearing the same thing to multiple events, but is it true of regular people who take and post their own pictures? Or, in the age of social, doesn't everyone have some pressure, when they know the pictures of them at their cousin's wedding will end up on Facebook next to the pictures of the two other events they wore the same outfit to that month? I don't have much knowledge about the "general" opinions of women or style bloggers, but I thought it'd be interesting to explore my own relationship with repeating outfits/single-use outfits.

Basically the same outfit except for the shoes, but from January 2012.

  1. Are you a one-time wearer?
    I'd like to say "no," because I certainly don't buy anything intending to only wear it once. But the reality is that I do end up only wearing some things once (or have only worn them once so far, if I've worn them at all)...for the last couple of years, I'd been doing perhaps too much thrifting, going for a quantity of interesting things. So there are certainly clothing pieces that I've thrifted, worn, and then decided later that I don't really like enough to be worth the closet space. Every so often I try to push myself to wear things that are really languishing in my closet (like in my blazer challenge), and to be honest about getting rid of things I'm really not going to wear again.

    On the other hand, I don't think it's too bad for me to get a very cheap piece at the dollar-a-pound, wear it only once or twice, and then send it back to Goodwill. Almost like a clothing library. Speaking of a clothing library: does such a thing exist anywhere in the US? Because I think it'd be an awesome idea. I know there are rent-a-dress services, but personally I wouldn't pay $50-100 to borrow a dress for a weekend...

  2. Do you feel the need to purchase something new for an evening out or a special event?
    Generally not...I suppose I don't have enough special events or evenings out. If anything, I'm looking for reasons to wear pieces that I thrifted "in case of a special event." On occasion I'll have to buy something new if I don't think my current outfits hold anything appropriate. One example from a couple of years ago: a black-tie gala after the opening night of my group's opera in Monaco. NOT exactly something my closet was prepared for...I had a couple of fancy dresses, but nothing that was going to squish in a suitcase with three weeks worth of clothes and come out alive. Fortunately, the dollar-a-pound came to the rescue with a lovely navy long gown...but would I have gone out and bought something at the department stores if I hadn't found that? Nah, I'd probably have just packed something I already owned that maybe wasn't quite formal enough.

  3. Re-mixing is something a lot of bloggers are proud of being able to accomplish – are you a re-mixing pro or do you shy away from posting items frequently? Why?
    I wouldn't call myself a re-mixing "pro," though I definitely take advantage of my basics and favorite pieces. (Every winter I go through at least one pair of thrifted black boots, from wearing them over and over and over...) However, I don't post outfit shots often enough here that I would want to show too many outfits that look exactly the same. Most of the time I want to share some outfit that I found particularly exciting or fun. If I were a daily outfit blogger, you'd definitely see a bunch of the same things. And then not see a decent proportion of the rest of my closet.

    I've certainly worn this black wrap dress in many ways...

  4. Do you have a clothing budget or are you an impulse buyer?
    As a grad student on a stipend, I keep an overall monthly budget with a pool for basically everything that isn't a fixed monthly bill (food, toiletries, entertainment, clothing, gifts, etc.). I don't subdivide this much more than that, but any clothing I'm buying has to stay within that budget. This definitely means that I consider many of my clothing/shoes/accessories purchases very carefully, especially as I'm comparing them against what else I could fit in my budget for the month with that money. On the other hand, I'm definitely somewhat of an impulse buyer when it comes to thrift stores...I'll go to thrift stores without any particular piece in mind, just to see what's interesting (and will buy something great if I find it and think it's worth the few dollars to me).

  5. Do you find yourself bored when reading a blog in which clothing items are often remixed and appear frequently?

  6. No, I enjoy seeing how someone can take the same piece of clothing and create a variety of different (either subtly different or extremely different) outfits with that. It gives me inspiration on what I can do with clothing items that I normally only wear in one way. Though I admit to have occasionally gotten bored at times when seemingly everyone in the blogosphere was doing some variation on wearing only 30 things for 30 days...less because of the remixing and more because people perhaps tend to choose more straightforward clothing items when they know they have to make a number of outfits out of them.

How about you all? Do you have a closet of tried-and-true workhorse pieces of clothing, things you've only worn once, or somewhere in between? What do you think about one-time-use clothing? If you're interested to see what others have to say, check out the FBFF Roundup!

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