I'm on Power Repeat, always. I have a small(ish) wardrobe; I love every element in it. When it comes to building outfits, I do use a little bit of mix/match, but for a work setting, I've felt most comfortable finding 4 outfits I feel great about +2 I feel mostly great about, and putting them on rotation. It's so easy getting dressed, when I'm choosing "the dark grey one" or "the grey and black one" (ha, I do love my grey).

I live where there are seasons, so I don't tire of my wardrobe. before the beginning of a season I start thinking of what will be this year's favorite outfits, and what new items I'll add to stay excited about my choices.

I am definitely an outfit repeater - sometimes the same base outfit in winter months. I have found myself changing the underpinnings, but pulling on the same 2 pants and 2 pullover sweaters in the same week.

Summer months bring a bit more variety in the specific pieces, just to accommodate frequent laundry cycles, but since tracking wears, I notice that the formula rarely changes.

I like to mix things up. Even with a dress I will change the tights, shoes, accessories and layering. I enjoy the process of creating a new ensemble

I don't know if any non-repeaters will return here, but I am curious -- for those who worry about others seeing you again in the same outfit, (and I know that does not include all non-repeaters), what are you worried they might be thinking?

My goodness. Why *wouldn't* you repeat outfits?

Almost word for word what Isabel said. Back when I used an app to track my wears, it allowed you to save outfits. I discovered I almost never exactly repeated. Even if the core pieces were the same, I tweaked shoes or accessories on a subsequent wearing. I think I'm more likely to repeat in the summer when there's less opportunity for remixing with toppers and scarves and such.

I repeat outfits that are 100% the same! And with the same friends and clients sometimes too! I enjoy it.

@ Suz - I was a ‘repeater’ when I was in the workforce, and I was conscious of falling into a pattern of having a systemic rotation that I had to shake-up so that clients I saw on Mondays didn’t always see the same outfit! Otherwise, I didn’t think much about repeating or what co-workers thought. I know we did take notice of what fellow worker’s wore and we did ‘talk fashion’ when I was in a small office of 12-15 worker’s, but interestingly enough not so much when I was in head office with over 1 thousand.

Part of the reason I’ve been musing this idea is hearing a radio article and reading a couple of references to folks adopting a uniform or outfit formula to avoid ‘decision fatigue’ that they encounter in other parts of their life. Obama’s grey suits and Steve Jobs black turtleneck and jeans are oft cited examples.

Ah! The psychology of clothes is so fun!

Suz, i can’t speak for everyone, but early in my career I was concerned that people would think -but I worked in fashion back then. So even when I would repeat I made sure that there wasn’t a pattern, ie if it’s Tuesday she’s wearing the blue pants/red blazer…

EmptyS, nothing wrong with repeating. Lol I’m one or those people who eats the same thing for lunch every work day, because I like it, it’s easy and requires no decision making….so I guess that gives me more bandwidth to make decisions on what I’m wearing.

Decision fatigue is 100% my reasoning for repeating, I bet! I wonder if I repeat more often in weeks that I feel overwhelmed... I suspect that I do. Or maybe I am just lazy

I like to think that l wear a wide variety of outfits but my outfit tracker tells me otherwise!I think that l get comfortable with certain clothes for certain activities and given that l tend to repeat activities,l repeat the outfits for those activities.As you said accessories are an easy way to stick with the same formula but add in a bit of variety.

If you mean two days in a row , or same outfit within a week etc….no, I don’t do that except at home . But if you mean in the bigger picture , and where one wears the same blouse with the same jeans every time ……of course I repeat . Why not ? Back a million years ago when I worked in fashion in an actual office setting , I didn’t wear the same outfit more than once or twice a month . Kind of stupid now , but I was young and desperately insecure . Now I’m old and don’t care what anyone thinks about what I wear and how often .

I was thinking about decision fatigue after I posted as well - when I went to the office 4-5 days a week, and had a busy after work schedule with younger kids, I definitely needed easy outfit formulas. Now that I go twice a week, and have a lot more free time, playing with my outfits is a joy as The Cat mentioned. It’s also a factor that I currently go to my workplace gym early in the AM, so I pack my outfit the night before to change into. I’m not a morning person so it was never super fun for me to play in the morning. I also have a little more time to play with my hair and makeup - and a whole change room to myself, not shared with teenage daughters All these factors make it fun right now. If I get stressed for time/energy it will be one of the first things to go.

Suz as a non-repeater mostly at work or socially, I really wasn’t worried about what people thought if I repeated an outfit, I just really love all the variety and combinations that I can create with a fairly large, classic 4 seasons mix and match wardrobe.

As I mentioned before, I started to repeat occasionally at work because I didn’t want people to think that all I ever did was shop for clothes.

I’m back to tell y’all about these two teachers I had as a child. They wore the same garments every day. The French teacher, a turquoise dress. That was probably acquired in the 70s. The History teacher, grey pants and a green shirt in winter and an orange one in summer. They looked to be from the 50s. The History teacher, his clothes were shiny with washing and had a rent or two. Particularly a thing of askance. I think as students, what we were afraid of was… decrepitude and poor hygiene. Children of course are wicked mean, but I must say it made the future a thing of trepidation. No, honestly, it made the present disturbing.

I will say the History teacher was British, possibly a veteran of WWII when I think about it now. It would explain a lot.

If you’re a heavy heavy repeater like my teachers were, I think if they had stuck to the classic classic uniform … blue blazer and button down shirt uniformity … the garments would have been less … freakish?

Suz, this is sort of a backwards answer to your question “What do you think people are thinking when you repeat an outfit?”

Several decades ago when I was a young, junior-high teacher, I noticed my class giggling every morning when I walked through the door of my classroom. When I finally got up enough nerve to ask them what was going on, a sheepish volunteer told me that they all had their favourite outfits and, if that outfit appeared, it was a “win” for those students. If a favourite outfit showed up on a test day, it was double luck for those students who had chosen it. After learning that bit of information, it seemed only fair to not repeat on test days.

It was also hard to accept my minuscule wardrobe would warrant that kind of interest until I realized that all of other teachers in the school were at least a couple of decades older than I was at the time. As a young teacher who was interested in current fashion, I was a novelty. The realization that my students closely inspected (and commented on) every aspect of my appearance stayed with me throughout my teaching career. ”Wear whatever you want” is certainly a good catchphrase, but I also think many situations require a more delicate balance of dressing for oneself and dressing for others.

But I have to contrast: My grandma had a uniform. The exact same dress pattern run up in different materials. By contrast, she was extremely elegant and dignified. My cousin and I each took a dress of hers. I suspect it’s a uniform we’d both like to move to one day.

ETA: Gaylene, my student days of minute observation of teachers have certainly stayed with me(!)

Gaylene, Rachylou, as you both mentioned about students. maybe my desire to not repeat may also stem from one particular Biology teacher back in 1970s, who constantly wore, without fail the same mint green polyester-double knit leisure suit everyday of that semester. I don’t know if he had a couple of these or what, but there was some body odor problems going on there.

As well, for many years I was stuck wearing uniforms for many of my jobs and I would have loved to have had the freedom to wear my own choice of clothing.

I don’t repeat the same outfit two days in a row even if no one sees me. For example, I have 3 winter “uniforms” I wear in the mornings to the pool. I rotate them. I feel clothes needs to have some time to air out. Same with shoes. 

I definitely repeated my outfits when I worked 5 days a week from the office. I wore the exactly same outfit maybe once a month and reshuffled the rest. When I rebuilt my wardrobe I limited my color palette  so all the items could play well with each other. I try to take more creative approach now when I’m in the office twice a week. 

I repeat often. If I’m not seeing the same people (besides my husband) I will even occasionally wear the same outfit 2 days in a row.

Maybe I should add, I don’t repeat the same outfit within the same week…. I don’t have any issue with doing that, it’s simply because I like variety. Probably once every few weeks I wear certain favorites. I save these as collections in Finds.

I will say that I avoid repeating combinations or certain very distinctive items when I'm attending some event in which I'll see the same people I saw at the last event of that sort -- stuff like art openings. Especially if people will be taking photos. I realized last year that pics of me on social media around the holidays were in the same sequin top for like four years running. I opted to pass along that top, as it was never a perfect fit on my hips and I was a little tired of seeing it in photos.

When something works, I wait a week or two and then repeat. I also vary the days something is worn and keep photo records for a month or so. Certain items seem to work together well and when I ignore that and try to be creative, I can come up with some weird combos. Taking an outfit photo is a must for me.

Oh, this is fascinating -- thank you so much, those who replied. I see a pattern with many of us remembering what teachers wore (for good or ill!) and I have several similar stories of my own.

In answer to your question, Gaylene, I don't think people much notice what I'm wearing. But of course, that's silly, because they do notice -- I get lots of compliments on my outfits. Including from my students. I don't think last year's group had contests related to my outfits but they certainly had favourites and would say things like, "Oh, yay, she's wearing the red jacket and mask today!"

Dee and Kkards, I can definitely understand why you wouldn't want to wear the exact same outfit to work on every Tuesday (for example). I would not do that, either. In fact, I distinctly remember standing in front of the closet last year and trying to reconstruct the previous week's outfits so I wouldn't..But I would repeat the same outfit randomly and did wear the same thing with the same group a bunch of times.

Ditto to what Janet said, also. I have been guilty of the same thing -- wearing the exact same outfit to holiday events a few years in a row, and it speaks to the importance of beefing up or carefully editing the dress up capsule, especially if some items aren't fitting right any more...

I had those teachers, too, who wore the same thing all the time. I wondered about it -- I mean, a teacher's salary is not grand but it does allow for a couple of shirts and trousers, surely. Like Rachylou, I wondered about hygiene. But also like she says, kids can be so mean! For all we know, this teacher had identical shirts and pants for seven days.

Still in the realm of teaching, I had a colleague (male) who was one of the most stylish people I've ever known -- he only wore a uniform. He has white hair (though his skin was still young -- he was probably in his late 40s or early 50s; I was in my early 30s). Anyway -- he wore white shirts (different styles but all white and always white), black trousers (again, different styles, but black), and black jackets. He looked impeccable and amazing every day. And often wore the exact same outfit -- but this was clearly a signature style.

The decision fatigue mention is interesting. One tends to see it often in men : Presidents, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg...and they're lauded for it. Women are not.

In the mid 80"s I took a business trip with a man that held the same position that I did for the same company. It was a 10 day trip. I brought a suitcase. He brought a large briefcase. Two additional clean shirts, some t shirts, shorts, underwear, a pair of slides. ( he told me ) The blazer, pants and shirt he was wearing. This never would have flown for a woman.

Imitation (of myself) is the highest form of flattery. I love to wear outfits worth repeating.

Suz, you have really made me stop and THINK. I got a lot of pleasure out of feeling that people at work liked to see what I was wearing. That I was occasionally called a fashionista, or complimented on my personal style. It made me feel creative. And I liked to show that I had gotten new things, too. That I wasn't just wearing the same old stuff forever.

But as to what other people might be thinking if I repeated an outfit? I never looked at that too closely. Perhaps I just wanted them to think, she looks fresh and colorful and a little different from the everyday. As if anyone would notice that I was wearing the same red sweater they saw me in a month earlier, it's ridiculous when I think about it!

We're all wired so differently.

Back to make a small comment on the decision fatigue motivation for choosing a uniform or repeating successful outfits. When I thought about that, I felt that perhaps my never repeating is based on memory fatigue, either not remembering or not caring if I remember the combinations in various outfits.I see most of my clothes as mix and match, or at least the casual everyday wear of jeans, shirts, tees, cardigan and pullover sweaters. Somehow the colors are almost all compatible, so I pick one from column A, column B, etc. until I have clothes on that appealed to me at the moment.

I never chose outfits this way when I worked. Retired people who have become artists like me might, but it would be fun to find out.

I am loving this thread too. I also get complimented at work about outfits and especially shoes ( at least one patient has said they wonder before they come in which shoes I would wear today!) but the staff don’t compliment as much, perhaps because I repeat quite a lot? Especially since I am trying to wear everything a lot.
I do think my vanity will possibly suffer when I eventually retire…

I rarely repeat, but it does happen. And honestly, I have too many pairs of black pants and black dresses that I'm not sure most people would even recognize it as something different from the last. But I like variety, and as I've been rebuilding my wardrobe, I find myself more drawn to skirts because I can combine them in more ways than dresses. But as far as rewearing a dress, I absolutely do that. I just try to vary the tights, shoes, topper, accessories, coat, etc.