8th November 2012

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Thrifty: Outfit Recycling

Wearing the same outfit twice does not make you a bore, writes Chloe Letcher

I’m sure many people have, at some point, got into the terrible habit of thinking a new outfit is needed for every night out. The extensive social events at university can sometimes result in a looming pressure of what to wear, instead of simply going out and enjoying the night. Let’s face it, how many of us can say we are not guilty of trying to avoid pictures being uploaded that expose us of “Facebook repeating” outfits? However, having to buy multiple new dresses a week is not only unrealistic to bank balances (especially as loans slowly begin to dwindle), but is also unnecessary. Being thrifty by outfit recycling is not something that should be avoided, as even the most stylish of female celebrities do it.

The Duchess of Cambridge (see above) is without a doubt the prime outfit repeater. The responses to her re-wearing items such as this blue jacquard coat dress are mixed. Some praise Kate for her ability to recycle outfits, despite the fact that almost every designer in the world is desperate to dress her. Others have criticised the fact that she has sometimes snubbed wearing a new item, and has instead opted to recycle a piece of her mother’s or sister’s.  However, Kate always has the last laugh; she is the perfect example of how to outfit recycle and she looks great each and every time she does it.


As the Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, it would be hard to believe that Anna Wintour doesn’t have a great selection of high end pieces at her disposable. However, she also rejects the “only-wear-once” rule, as is evident from her recycling this Balenciaga dress. If the Editor-in-Chief can do it…


The Made in Chelsea star has been photographed numerous times wearing this gorgeous coral leather jacket by Carven. With an already established collection for high street brand Lipsy, Millie is not only thrifty, but is incredibly fashion savvy, showing how with a few accessory changes or by wearing a different heel, outfit recycling does not have to be repetitive.

As nice as it is to buy a new outfit, wearing a piece you’ve previously worn is not a bad alternative. It’s easy to make a familiar piece look different, either by adding a belt or some dress jewellery, layering the item up with a biker jacket or blazer, or even doing your hair or makeup differently. And when all else fails, recycling the staple, classic LBD is always a guaranteed success and means that you don’t descend even further into the depths of your overdraft.

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