I sometimes purchase the same item in multiple colours, because if an item works well, I milk it. There is something about the uniformity and repetition of the item weaving through my look that I find appealing. It’s also a time and energy saver, and usually a low-risk wardrobe addition. The strategy works well until one of the colours doesn’t hold up as well as the others. It could be a quality issue, or with footwear, it’s often a comfort issue.

For example, I have three pairs of the same Banana Republic Essential leather sneakers. I bought the white with the pink soles three years ago. They were extremely comfortable from their first wear, so a year later I bought the citron. They aren’t quite as comfortable because the leather is slightly less soft in the different colour. But they are comfortable and I wear them a lot.

A year after that, I needed to replace a basic pair of wardrobe essential white sneakers, and bought the same pair in white, thinking they would be as comfy as the original pair with the pink soles. They weren’t. After a couple of wears, the white kept rubbing my heels despite the addition of Moleskin and Body Glide. They were also a little shorter in exactly the same size. These were not fit issues I noticed when I tried them on before committing to them. I eventually passed on the white pair because I couldn’t make them sufficiently comfortable.

The lesson here is that the same item in a different colour can fit quite differently. Especially when the items are bought a year or two apart like these sneakers. The manufacturer of an item can change, and so can the fabric, which alters the fit. I need to be more careful about this, and maybe purchase my multiples in the same season — budget permitting — when fits might be more consistent. That said, I’ve been purchasing the same style of ECCO Soft 7 sneakers for years across multiple colours, and the fits are perfectly consistent and equally comfortable year after year. I guess ECCO has a much stricter quality control team, and the items are probably produced by the same manufacturer. That helps.

When I love a pair of blue jeans, I sometimes look to see if they have the same style in white. When they do, I try the white pair too. Often the white jeans don’t fit as well as the blue because the fabric is a little different. The lengths can vary too. Inconsistent fits across the same item in multiple colours can be annoying. As far as you can, check how well items fit before you commit to multiple colours. Sometimes, one colour will fit better than the others.