Purchasing multiples of a wardrobe item is something we tend to do with wardrobe basics, which are items like panties, bras, camisoles, thermals, socks, sleepwear, loungewear, hosiery, and workout wear. I have several multiples of these items in rotation at once, which makes things easy to replenish.
Personally, I’ve also found it effective to purchase multiples across items other than wardrobe basics. When I find a fabulous item that works seamlessly well with the rest of my wardrobe, and budget permitting, I purchase multiples of that item across an assortment of colours. There is something about the uniformity and repetition of the item weaving through my look that I find appealing. The repetition strengthens my signature style. It’s a time and energy saver, and a low-risk wardrobe addition. If something works well, milk it.
I sometimes purchase multiples of an item in one go, but more often I add the rest during sale time. If the items are an ongoing repeat style by a well-known brand, I add additional colours season after season. This is particularly true of footwear, where I am very set in my ways.
I seldom wear all the colours of an item with equal frequency. I’m fine with that because wardrobe items don’t need to work equally hard, and I enjoy having options. Also, most of the items I buy in multiples are simple Modern Classics, despite their bright colour. This gives them a little more wardrobe longevity, and I don’t tire of the silhouette.
Here are some examples from my current wardrobe.
1. Banana Republic Ribbed Sweater
I have this item across five colours because it’s very easy to pair with my assortment of trendy jeans, skirts, and dressy bottoms. It layers well under toppers, looks good with scarves and pearls, has a fab structured welt, and the gently fluid fit is versatile and flattering.
2. Banana Republic Essential Leather Sneakers
I got the white with the pink soles two years ago. They fit well, go the distance for my urban walking lifestyle, and I adore their refined vibe. They were such a hit that at sale time a year later I added the citron pair (a signature colour for my style.) Recently, I was looking for a simple pair of clean and crisp white sneakers to replace a battered wardrobe essential. It was an easy decision to simply add them in white. Tried, tested, and on sale. A no-brainer. I wear the pink and citron equally, and the white will soon become workhorses too.
3. ECCO Soft 7 Sneakers
With strategically placed cushioning insoles, I was able to make these sneakers perfectly fit my low-volume feet. My word, they are extremely comfortable, so much so that I duplicated the blush for at-home-only shoes. The wardrobe essentials were instant workhorses, so I got the white and citron the next year. I added the orange after that, and the light blue last. The blush, white and citron are worn the most frequently, and the light blue next. The orange are the least worn. The citron and blush pair are old, a bit battered, and will need to be retired next year.
4: Furla Handbags
Handbags are my favourite wardrobe item, and a practical necessity for my style because I walk almost everywhere and need my stuff with me at all times. I have many handbags and most of them are Furlas. I have been collecting them for years, and steadily add more colours to the assortment. I have three styles of Furla handbags across multiple colours. The citron is the most frequently used, the rest are used equally and seasonally across the year.
5. Commes des Garcon PLAY Cotton Button-Up Shirt
I’m a shirt gal because it’s a slam dunk for my body type, and a crisp, polished way to wear a simple and versatile top. Dressier than a T-shirt, but not as dressy as a blouse. I waited a long time to add these to my wardrobe because they are pricey. I saved up, and splurged on these impeccably made Japanese shirts. I am absolutely thrilled with them. I got the white first and the striped blue later. I suspect I will wear both equally.
6. Hobbs Hackness Wool Jacket
I eventually passed on my old Smthye blazers because I never wore them. They were shades of grey, overly structured, and no longer sparked joy. I need blazers that allow me to move more freely when I’m running errands on foot with Yorkie Sam in tow, and soon Yorkie Jo too. So instead I reached for my more comfortable playful Boden blazers, and the green Hobbs blazer shown here. The shorter length of the Hobbs blazer is something I really enjoy because proportions look better to my eye with the roomier and high-waisted bottoms I’m wearing. The fit and quality are exceptional too. Colourful blazers work better for my style than neutral ones, so at sale time six months later I added the red. I wear both frequently.
7. Banana Republic Super Soft Crew Neck Sweater
Last year I added the turquoise pullover to my knitwear capsule because its cropped and welted style works well with my range of wider and high-rise jeans and pants. Adding turquoise to my wardrobe was a style goal so that was an easy addition. I loved the fit and feel of the sweater so I added one in my signature colour at a greatly reduced price later. I wear both equally.
8. Boden Westmoreland Sweater
I bought the turquoise one first to fulfill a style goal. You can’t see it clearly from the stock photo, but it has a very pretty lantern sleeve that layers unexpectedly well under coats and jackets. It also has a very neat neckline and isn’t too long in the length. Because I also had to replenish a navy pullover wardrobe essential that year, it was easy to simply add one in navy too. I wear the turquoise more than the navy because I LOVE the colour.
9. Banana Republic Pointy-Toe Robin Ballet Flat
I adore the look of dainty ballet flats but it’s hard to find a comfortable pair that stay on my feet. I stumbled across the watermelon pair that worked unexpectedly well on deep discount five years ago, and couldn’t believe my luck. I got the red a few months later on even deeper discount. I walk a lot, and am hard on my shoes so they’re a bit beaten up. But I cannot give up these highly elusive items yet. I wear the watermelon a little more often than the dark red.
10. Franco Sarto Jolette Penny Loafer
I enjoy the look of a classic and refined penny loafer as much as a pretty ballet flat, so when I found a comfortable white pair that fit well, I bought the red and blush pairs shortly afterwards. The white are a wardrobe essential, and the most frequently worn. And this is my second pair in the white. The red is worn next frequently and then the blush, which is why they are in better shape than the white.
11. Sylver BIG Polka Dot Scarves
I bought these in a boutique in the Netherlands over the course of three years. I got the cream polka dots first, and it’s a workhorse. It creates a fab complement with my cream boots and hi-tops. Polka dots are my thing, so I got the green the next year, but didn’t wear it that much. I got the navy the year after that, and it became an instant workhorse. The good news is that the green scarf is an almost exact match with my new avocado Hobbs jacket, giving it a new lease of life.
12. Wallaroo Petite Victoria Sun Hat
My small head is hard to fit, and usually, I need to shop in the children’s department for headgear. But I found this great packable sunhat for small heads and bought the classic tan first. I rather fancied the look of a white straw hat for my beach and pool capsule, so instead of looking for one, I simply duplicated the same hat in white.
I hadn’t thought about it until I wrote this post, but my style seems to do well with multiples of the same item across an assortment of colours. This surprised me, as I hadn’t thought of myself as a buyer of multiples. I guess it’s a way of creating simplicity, discipline, and familiarity across the explosion of colour, pattern, and silhouette in my wardrobe. Duplicates are easy, tried-and-tested options, and a way to milk the benefits of something that has already earned its place in your wardrobe.
Over to you. Do you purchase multiples of items across colours? Or are you all about the power of one?