Sunday, March 16, 2014

Would you wear a “special occasion” dress twice?

So here’s the deal.  I’m not a big shopper; in fact, my natural tendency is to avoid shopping for clothes as much as possible.  With my niece’s Bat Mitzvah rapidly approaching, I feel the usual societal pressure to buy a new dress for the party.  But, I’m thinking of (gasp!) re-wearing the EXACT same dress I wore to her sister’s Bat Mitzvah party two years ago, which I, incidentally had also worn at my own daughter’s Bat Mitzvah party two years before that.   

Why is it considered taboo for a woman to wear the same outfit to more than one special occasion?  Men, in general do not feel the same pressure, and many regularly re-wear the same suits for special occasions, without mentally going over the who-might-be-there list, to make sure they are not committing a fashion faux pas. 

In the great mantra of sustainability, reduce, reuse, recycle, reduce comes first.   How many dresses do we need?  Especially for those of us who are not fans of shopping, how did we get to a point where we feel compelled to consume more goods rather than reuse and reduce simultaneously?

In an interesting post, Nadia Eghbal, writes about her experiment wearing one outfit for an entire year.

I’d love to read your thoughts on this!

(This post was also shared on Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop and Frugal Thursday.)


  1. I am not even ashamed to say that I always wear the same outfit for special occasions because I only have one. Ignoring that it was taboo probably helped me go through the years in a blissful state. I should have never read this blog! :-)

  2. I’m so glad you did read this blog! Maybe fewer people have been “indoctrinated” with this taboo than I realized. It makes it easier to reject it knowing there are others doing the same.

  3. Yes , I have worn the same outfit on several occasions. I also rented my wedding dress. This was a great decision as I have no storage place and would have given the dress away if I would have bought it.

    1. Renting is a great way to go. I wish this were even more readily available.

  4. Hi Lisa,
    Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking post on the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Blog Hop. I can totally relate to your rationale. I used to love to "shop til I dropped" and just had to have a new outfit for every occasion, now I realize the wastefulness of that behavior, as well as the need to rethink what types of textiles I wear (are they safe, sustainable, non-toxic?) and I simply wear a few good basics most of the time. I have a couple of go-to dresses that I recycle for special occasions. I can dress them up with a shawl or jewelry if need be.


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