One-time Use Outfits – an FBFF post

A number of magazines and blogs have mentioned lately the one-time use phenomenon. Apparently, style bloggers have gotten a bad reputation for wearing items only once to showcase on their blogs and then never wearing them again. And it isn’t just those of us who have blogs. Celebrities are often pegged with this and we probably each know someone who cannot stand the thought of wearing something more than once. (For another article on this read Arash’s post on the Wear It Once Disease.)

Anyone who is a regular reader of ModlyChic can certainly attest to the fact that I am not a one-time-use girl. Heck, I have a sporadic series called Frequent Flyer that showcases the different ways I’ve worn the same item – the coral dress, the boyfriend blazer, etc… And I’m not alone in that. I’ve featured other bloggers in the series too such as Dress With Courage and Dwelling and Telling. Still, I can see how style bloggers can gain a reputation for being one-time users. If anyone is like me, I don’t post a picture of an outfit that I wore the exact same way. There are other times when pictures don’t turn out thanks to lighting, personal timing, whatever… So some outfits aren’t captured and therefore there are likely to be a few things that look like they have only made one brief appearance in my life.

I figured this was the perfect topic for an FBFF post. So here goes…

1. Are you a one-time wearer? No. Not at all. Its my personal philosophy to not purchase or own anything that cannot be worn multiple ways for a variety of occasions. (Ok I admit that I did wear the dress my sister picked out for her bridesmaids only once. But seriously who re-wears those awful creations more than on the day of? Lucky you, if you managed to get a re-wearable dress.)

2. Do you feel the need to purchase something new for an evening out or a special event? Sure, sometimes I do. I worry about what I’m wearing to an event like a blogger conference or one of my BostonBloggers social mixers. Sometimes I’ll purchase something new, but more often I try to shop my closet and find ways of working with what I have. OtherĀ  times I’ll start with something I own and add a new accessory or accent to make it more unique and original. And to be honest, I very rarely buy something entirely new for a bog event.

3. Re-mixing is something a lot of bloggers are proud of being able to accomplish – are you a re-mixing pro or do you shy away from posting items frequently? Why? I don’t know about being a pro. I’ll leave that title to Kendi. But I do remix frequently. I don’t have a large closet and I certainly don’t have an endless budget. I like to remix and try new combinations. Anybody can buy something new from the store for an event. It takes a little more creativity to look through what you have and see a new look in the old purchases. I like that challenge. I like standing in my closet and looking at whats before me and thinking of all the different combinations I could make. Sometimes they flop, other times I love them. It’s all a bit of a game.

4. Do you have a clothing budget or are you an impulse buyer? I try to stick to a bit of a budget. But as my mother will attest, I am not very good at that. I’ve gotten better over the last 9 months. Still I’m not usually an impulse clothing buyer. Impulse coffee – now that is a whole other matter. I try to look at my closet at the beginning of each season and take inventory. I make a list of things I need to replace, items I’d like to add to freshen up my wardrobe and a few wish-list items. From there the shopping begins. Sometimes I do it all at once. Other times I linger, window shopping until I find pieces I adore.

5. Do you find yourself bored when reading a blog in which clothing items are often remixed and appear frequently? Not at all. I like reading a blog and noticing something re-worn. For me it is like a puzzle and it’s reassuring to see that other bloggers are also budget-conscience. Plus, there will always be those couple items that you just love and feel the need to put on often. Those should make frequent appearances on your blog since they make frequent appearances in your life.

Fess up! What is the one-time-use item sitting in your closet right now? Can you think of a way to wear it in the next 3 months?


Katy Rose
Filed In: FBFF , Friend Friday

36 thoughts on “One-time Use Outfits – an FBFF post

  1. Sarah

    I have one time use items that were experiments–that odd top from a thrift store, those pants I might figure out how to wear again–but they never last in the closet if they are not a success. Part of what keeps things in my wardrobe is that they have multiple uses and that I actually make use of them all. I just did a recap of the last year’s outfits and was quite pleased to see how the same pieces were reworked in many different ways because it reinforced that this is the goal of my wardrobe.

    Although I did not participate in this FBFF, this was a great topic, Katy!
    Sarah recently posted..Check Out My Mane

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  3. Lauren

    I love these questions! This was a really fun post to do. It was cool to go back through my outfit posts and take inventory of what’s made numerous appearances. I too am proud of being able to rewear pieces. Although, I must admit… I’m not an impulse coffee buyer… But I AM a Reese’s impulse buyer. :)

    Thanks for hosting! Had a lot of fun with this one!


  4. Nanne

    Great FBFF questions this week, I had fun answering the questions! With the exeption of my wedding dress I’m happy to say that there are not many items in my wardrobe that have been worn just one time. There’s this beautiful dark blue shift dress that is a bit too tight at the moment, and a lovely nude sequin top that just has a too boxy shape for me. Hopefully I’ll make both items work, one way or the other!

    Have a great weekend, Katy!
    Nanne recently posted..FBFF – The One-Time Use Phenomenon

  5. Sylvia

    I tend to get bored with wearing the same outfit so I do a lot of remixing. My blog has helped with that as I certainly don’t want to show the same outfit multiple times. But I usually only post outfit posts once (sometimes twice) a week, so it’s easy to find new looks and combinations. Still it will be clear to all my readers what my favorite item is. My white sailor pants are just so versatile that you can do everything with them. As you say it is far more challenging and creative to remix. Bloggers that can do that in a smart way are far more interesting than the ones who just have new outfits all the time.
    Sylvia recently posted..Do you remix your clothes? (and other questions!)

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  7. Alex Elizabeth

    I do have a black sequined tank top about a month old that I actually haven’t worn yet. I rarely do things like that, but I think it’s a little too flashy for day, even with a cardigan. I usually go right from work to after-work activities, so I just haven’t had an opportunity to wear it yet.

    I should take a closet inventory this spring. I’m terrible at replacing things (even basics) so 1/4 of my closet is always ragged.

  8. Bethie the Boo

    I liked this topic and I like even more that I’m not the only one who’ll repeat wearing things!

    I have a bridesmaid’s dress I was always going to have shortened into a sundress so I could wear it again, I just might do that!
    Bethie the Boo recently posted..FBFF – Mix it up

  9. Bre Dale

    This is my fave post of yours yet! Love this idea! We should team up with a monthly FBFF post or something! Love it! I try to wear things over and over unless it’s a special occasion/ formal dress myself. I like to buy pieces that are versatile.

  10. Pingback: Fashion Beauty Friend Friday: One-time or Re-use Outfits | For Those About To Shop

  11. Pingback: Friend Friday: Once is not enough | Fashion advice from The Closet Coach

  12. Nnenna

    Oh, I’m definitely not a one-time wearer either! But you’re right, I see how it can appear that way because some pieces of clothing have only made it on to the blog once. Since I only do outfit posts about once a week now (if I’m lucky), you’re really not seeing most of what I wear, so I think it would definitely give a different impressions if I did daily outfit posts.
    Nnenna recently posted..Correspondence Club: March 2012

  13. Melissa

    Thanks for the post and topics. I wear my watch everyday- I actually just started doing this.

  14. Deanna U -

    I refuse to wear something only once. I will purchase something for a special occasion or event, but it will be used again for another down the road!

    It might make sense to many people who have the money to splurge or celebrities who get clothing sent to them free of charge, but I will not break bread on something to use one time. I love the concept of remixing styles, especially accessories and solid colored items.
    Deanna U – recently posted..Pampers Partners with Olympic Athlete Kerri Walsh To Support Team USA! {Giveaway}

  15. No Guilt Fashion

    Great topic Katy, and fab answers too. I was actually just looking at my bridesmaid’s dress for my sister’s wedding in July. I’m glad I got a dress that I will wear again. I did have a casual wedding, but I’ve worn my dress a few times. Each time I remember walking down the aisle to marry my best friend.
    No Guilt Fashion recently posted..Friend Friday: Once Upon A Wear

  16. Mallory

    I think one-time use outfits are not only impractical for most people they’re borderline unethical in a world already plagued by too much STUFF. It’s the same with most fast-fashion in general. I think it’s true that most fashion bloggers probably just don’t take pictures of the outfits when they wear them almost the same way twice… I mean, I wear a bunch of things again and again but if I’ve posted that look once before I’m not going to photograph it again the 2nd, 3rd, 4th time… so maybe blogging just creates sort of an altered reality since we don’t see the people wearing those same outfits again and again, even though they probably do??

    I also love what No Guilt Fashion said above about bridesmaids / wedding dresses that you can wear more than once. I think I want to do separates, a corset & a skirt, in PINK when I get married so that I can wear the pieces again. I hate the thought of spending a bunch of money and then wearing something only once.
    Mallory recently posted..Miss Malaprop Spring 2012 Pinterest Contest

  17. anne the SpyGirl

    Katy, a fantastic topic and excellent questions. I went through all my posts (interesting in itself for other reasons) and ticked how many times I had sketched or photographed a top, jacket, skirt, dress or pants. So, as you say at the top, not every outfit every day has been documented. It was revealing to discover which looks/ garments I deemed worthy of sharing publicly.

    I have a “single wear” garment that I bought last year – a grey leather corselet, made by Zoe Hong – that I WISH I could wear more. I wore it to my art show reception last year and many of my (not so fashion-conscious) gallery-mates thought I was wearing it for medical reasons! It’s frustratingly hard to get into – only laces up the front, needs a back zipper – but I haven’t given up on it yet! Maybe the next opening in April???

    Fun facts about my “single wear” wedding dress, that I wore in 1979: my great aunt wore it in 1932 and her great grandmother wore it in 1860!
    anne the SpyGirl recently posted..Fashion Beauty Friend Friday – Something Old, Something New

  18. Kristin

    I, like Shelley, have some shoes that are in the one-time wear category. Sadly. Only because of comfort/fit issues, I assure you. I don’t think I own any clothing that I’ve only worn once…and it amazes me that people do that (or can afford to!).
    Kristin recently posted..Blooming Blog iPad2 Giveaway!

  19. Elly

    Great questions this week (well, last week), Katy! Sorry I’m running late to the party. :)

    I definitely have things that need to get reworn, especially shoes…I’m guilty of buying pretty shoes at the thrift store and not ending up finding an appropriate occasion for fancy high heels!
    Elly recently posted..FBFF: One-Time-Use Outfits?

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