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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Dream Of The Day When It's OK To Wear Our Clothing More Than Once

In the news today (and yes, it must be a slow news day), Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge was seen parading about in (gasp!) the same dress that she wore a year ago.

My God.

The horror.

What is the monarchy coming to when royalty can parade about in such a fashion? And we're no better than that across the pond, here. Michelle Obama can frequently be seen wearing not only repeated fashions, but clothing bought at discount retailers. It's an outrage! It's a scandal! It''s....

It's refreshing.

I'll be the first to admit that I just don't "get" fashion most of the time. My wardrobe doesn't vary much from year to year, other than the addition of a piece or two. I don't understand the need for handbags as an accessory rather than a utility, and shoes are useless to me if they make me feel like someone pounded my toes or heels with a ballpeen hammer.

Most of all, I don't understand the waste. How can a politician - or a politician's wife - convince me that they're "just like the rest of us" when they can't be seen in the same dress twice? I'm sure this rule doesn't apply to men - after all, who can tell if they're wearing the same suit? They change up the tie, or add a new pocket square and suddenly, they're fresh and new. But put a celebrity woman in the same dress at two different red carpet events, and they're ridiculed. Derided. Denigrated.

Every "normal" woman I know has at least one outfit she can wear that makes her feel like a million bucks. The skirt fits just right or the pants flatter her exactly the way she wants or the blouse has that certain cut to it that makes her waist look minimal and her bust look optimal. And we all try to get our money out of it, too. We'll wear it a few times - never to the same annual event, but we do wear it elsewhere and our girlfriends say "Oh, I've always loved that dress on you!"

And of course, that's part of why we wear it.

Why is that such a huge fashion crime? Especially for those in the public eye due to their bloodline or their politics - these are people who should be comfortable wearing a gorgeous outfit (and being photographed in it) more than once. Just like the rest of us.

I remember reading a story about Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, to those of you who aren't as geeky as me) bamboozling the paparazzi (I just wanted to use that phrase, forgive me) by wearing the same outfit day after day as he left the theatre where he was starring in Equus, thereby rendering most of their pictures worthless since they'd never be able to prove they were current.

I think it's high time other celebrities hopped on the multi-use outfit bandwagon. Aren't they always complaining about the paparazzi? If they wore the same Vera Wang or Stella McCartney every day, the pictures wouldn't be worth taking, would they? Save the new dress for the Oscars, or for inauguration day. Wear the regular clothes the rest of the time, and put them in a rotation, just like the rest of us not-as-fiscally-fortunate schmucks.

I may not look like a million bucks, but at least nobody's hiding in the bushes with a camera waiting for me to have a wardrobe malfunction. And that's a good thing, because I have kids who spill stuff, and I'm middle-aged enough that the occasional violent sneeze can be troublesome if I'm racing home to get to the bathroom.

I'll never be glamorous enough to be a star, even with better clothes. I just don't have it in me, I guess. What do you think? Is it so wrong for a celeb to wear the same thing twice? Why?

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