How Often Can You Repeat Clothes And Not Get Caught?

What is the acceptable frequency for repeating outfits? This seems to be a question often raised by women in fashion forums and blogs. Read on to learn about the norm and how you can wear the same pieces without looking repetitive.


The general norm is to not wear the same outfit more than once in 2 weeks which also means you can wear the outfit at the most twice a month. Doesn’t sound too good, does it? With the fast changing seasons & trends and the really small closet spaces, who can afford to buy or stock so much stuff? At the same time you don’t want to be seen as someone who wears the same clothes every other day!


Well, the obvious answer is to mix and match. But it’s not as simple as picking up different things to go together. You can get more bang for your buck by keeping in mind the following tips:


Buy separates

This is really important. Instead of buying complete outfits or a single piece (like a dress) buy separates like blouses, tops, shirts, skirts and trousers. It’s a lot easier to mix pieces and make new outfits than pair dresses with other pieces without making it too obvious. People don’t realize you are wearing the same blouse if you wear it with a different skirt or add a jacket. Even with suits don’t hesitate to break it up and pair each piece with other separates. The formal suit jacket can be worn over your dark wash denim and a feminine blouse for an evening out.



It may not always turn out looking perfect but how else will you know. Let your creative juices flow. Don’t be limited by the catalogue styles or mannequins. If you are creative enough even a single piece like a sleeveless dress can be repeated without anyone realizing. Here are a bunch of ideas:

– You can wear half sleeved top underneath

– You can wear a turtleneck sweater underneath

– You can wear a contrasting cardigan with a belt to cinch the waist

– You can wear jacket and tights for colder weather

– You can wear ruffled or sheer blouse over the dress

– You can wear ruffled or sheer blouse under the dress

– You can wear a wrap top over the dress such that only the skirt of the dress is visible.

The possibilities are mind boggling. You just need to be passionate about it.


Shift focus

You can completely change the look of your outfit by shifting focus from one piece to the other. Even though it sounds complicated it really isn’t and with some practice it will come naturally to you. Here is an example to demonstrate how you can highlight different pieces that make up your wardrobe. The piece that you will be repeating in all the outfits is your red satin blouse.

Scenario 1

You want the focus to be on the blouse – Pair it with brown tweed trousers and keep the accessories minimal by wearing a simple gold chain and small gold earrings.

Scenario 2

You want to show off your amazing teal colored shoe – Teal is a great color to pair with red but if the red is too bold, no one might notice your shoes. So you add a gray pin stripe vest over your red satin blouse such that red is just a pop of color and doesn’t really dominate the upper half. Wear a neutral skirt with nude tights and the teal shoe becomes the focus of your outfit.

Scenario 3

You just bought this oversized olive bag you fell in love with and want it to be the centre of attention – Take the outfit in scenario 2 and switch the grey vest with a cream jacket and the skirt with black straight leg trousers. Your bag stands out like nobody’s business!

Scenario 4

You want the focus to shift to a wide gold belt – switch the cream jacket in scenario 3 with a long black cardigan and cinch the waist with your gold belt. Keep the shoes, bag and jewelry simple so they recede in the background.

Scenario 5

You love chunky jewelry and really want all attention on – wear a dark colored, v-neck, full sleeve sweater over your red satin blouse such that very little of the blouse is visible above the v-neck. Wear bold jewelry in contrasting color (think turquoise) and keep all eyes on it despite the bright red. You can wear a skirt or trouser in any neutral and keep the bag and shoes also simple – preferably neutral.



A simple change in accessory can make a world of difference to the overall look. Don’t pair the outfit with the same accessory every single time. Just like you mix and match separates, mix and match accessories too. A little black dress with formal blazer and leather pumps can work as a formal day outfit. The same dress with rhinestone silver sandals and a glittery clutch sans the jacket will take you to any party. Put on a denim jacket and swap the silver sandals with animal print flats and you are all set for a casual outing with friends. When it comes to the jewelry sets (earrings, necklace and bracelet), break them up as you would a suit and wear them on different occasions – if your top has a bold design near the neck, just wear the bracelet and simple earrings. Adding a necklace would be overkill. If the top is very simple, put on a bold necklace but don’t wear matching ear rings. Think contrast. The key is to avoid being predictable. The more combinations of accessories (jewelry, shoes, bag, jackets) you use in your outfits, the easier it becomes to give it a fresh look every time.

There you go – no more worries about how you can come up with new outfits using limited resources!



  • Buy more of separates instead of dresses
  • Experiment – venture out of your happy place
  • By shifting focus from one item to the other, you can easily repeat pieces without getting noticed
  • Use accessories to dictate the mood of your outfit and to completely transform your appearance


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