I once went the entire school year without repeating an outfit. Since retiring, I do repeats of my casual outfits quite often, but not so often that I’m bored with my wardrobe.

Karie, I remember the endless variety you conjured from your closet! You also sewed some things, which I think does help a lot...

And Roberta, Jenni -- I'm as hungry for compliments as the next person and enjoy them! But I don't think repeat outfits reduce them, at least not in my world. Keep in mind, though, that it's been a long long time since I worked in an office with the same people every day. When teaching in person I do see some of the same people each day, but not only the same people.

I think people in my life might notice a repeat outfit...but they probably notice more that I am dressed in a way that strikes them as fashionable or very "me." And I become known as "that" person -- the one who always looks like she made some kind of effort. And although neither of you said this outright, I think you, and several others have implied it -- when we take care with our dress, a certain subset of people in our lives will come to expect it of us and appreciate it in us and we'll become known as the "fashionable" ones.

I'm not sure that uniform dressing makes that impossible, though. It just has to be signature uniform dressing, as with my long ago colleague. (I also happen to think this will not work unless the look is intentional and current, but I might be wrong.)

Though I take Isabel's point. To some degree, this is gendered. Harder for women to wear a "uniform" and be considered fashionable. Maybe less so now than back then -- I'm not sure.

People definitely don't notice if you repeat an item, unless they are real fashionistas themselves (in which case, isn't it grand when they notice?) or unless the item is exceptionally distinctive. The same red sweater can be remixed a dozen times without anyone thinking, oh, she's wearing that darn red sweater again. All the more so if we are talking about black pants.

But -- to take a different example -- what about a wild conversational print? Or even a subtle one?

I would say I repeat but Stylebook tracking says otherwise. It is probably because there is always some little detail that is different, like different shoes, or bag or scarf or layering top. I don’t do it on purpose but my wardrobe is very mix and match that is easy to switch one or more items in an outfit. Less so in summer or in my lounge wear, because if there are only 2-3 items in an outfit there are more chances to repeat it, but in winter with all the layers, coats and accessories, combinations seem endless.
I don’t think people notice if somebody is repeating, and I was shocked when I overheard conversation between male colleagues where they were discussing female colleague and how she repeats her outfits all the time.

Wow, late to the party, as usual. I used to change it up a lot, as was in front of classes or groups. Very conscious of looking put-together classic but colorful. Part of the work persona. Lot like Suz, actually.
Within that, though, I always have a uniform. As someone said, column A and column B. Part of that was packing for a lot of work travel across borders, it needed to coordinate and not carry any particular regional connotations.
Retired, different version, increasingly informal, but same types of items over a few temperature and formality graduations. What does the day look like? And grab the appropriate calibrated pieces.
After I heard the words, laundry bottleneck, HERE, laughed and became a bit more of a duplicator. Am extremely fussy about dirty clothes or stains, so a lot of stuff gets washed to death. Especially in summer.
I like wovens on top, and will not wear knits on top or bottom for any outing where I am not being physically active. Looks so sloppy on me.
Canadian Tuxedo in rigid denims is now often my friend, and I only change that up with colorful shoes or accessories. Why mess with a good thing?

I’m wondering if occupations influence our decisions on when, and how, we repeat? Certainly working in an office setting in a fashion-related industry (The Devil Wears Prada!) is a far cry from working in IT or healthcare. Even within an occupation, there can be a wide variation—elementary school teachers dress differently than teachers in the upper grades. Maybe it’s easier to get away with repeating outfits when your job prioritizes other features in your clothing—durability, protection, invisibility, modesty, sanitation, functionality, etc.

Everything Suz and OliveGreen wrote resonates with my experience of being constantly in front of different age groups who noticed what I wore but who were supposedly not there to look at my clothes. Never repeating an outfit would have required more expense and effort than I was willing to devote to my clothes. My wardrobe goals were to look appropriate, clean (thus avoiding the dreaded dubious hygiene teacher look), and possibly a bit current. Repeating was expected because showing too much interest in fashion was a tricky issue given the multitude of audiences—parents, colleagues, school officials, adolescents, business people—I could encounter in a single day. As a young female teacher, my fashion choices had to be carefully considered.

Oh sure Gaylene, you make a great point! I have a very sedentary job, that is remote/WFH. Maybe that is why I feel OK with repeating as often as I do? The only time I “see” coworkers is via video calls. I have to be ready for impromptu calls as well as scheduled calls, so I can’t just roll out of bed and begin work.

That said, my base is almost always the same formula, often the same piece in a week. Since I am at my desk all day, I don’t think it matters, really.

I do change shoes and jacket daily, since I still do the kids’ school run after my work day has started and their activity things in the evenings. Maybe it seems like my clothes are different enough to others when out in the wild?

I repeat my outfits. I have my favourites, and I wear them a lot. I might change the jewellery, but everything else stays the same. When I was working, I probably switched things around.

Gaylene, yes. I’m sure than various occupational and environmental norms help drive these habits. I’ve been in “creative” work for 30 years now in one capacity or another, and whether it was book publishing, interior design, etc, i felt quite conscious of my outfit choices every day. However, even before then, I liked variety, shopping, and exploring my style, as far back as grade school. I never ever liked the idea of a uniform (the one job I had that required a uniform, as a front desk agent in a luxury hotel, I was lucky enough to receive a quick promotion that meant I could wear blazers and trousers/skirt instead!), so yeah, I have no desire to wear one now!

I repeat. Especially in the summer with dresses. I try to change up jewelry and footwear. A dress is basically one and done so that’s how I treat it. In this summer heat I try to have a great variety of dresses. Fall and winter I try a little harder not to repeat.

I now have my 6 weeks worth capsules for all the year and so only repeat the exact same outfit 2-3x/capsule. But, I will repeat outfits next few (or even more) seasons(years), too- with only some minor tweakings, like new 1 new refreshed main piece of clothing or new accessories (shoes, bags, scarves). How does that sound?