Celebrities wearing outfits we’ve already seen them in shouldn’t make the headlines – it’s not like most people -pear in brand new fashions every day.
But a recent surge in celebrities wearing recognizably recycled looks is an example of the unique moment style that has found itself on social media after years of rising popularity of fast fashion and the nagging, ubiquitous call for the next best thing.
“We are currently experiencing an exciting moment in fashion where it is suddenly less about what you wear and how it looks on you and more about the statement of your clothes,” says Bella Gerard, fashion and lifestyle editor at StyleCaster opposite USA TODAY.
Fashion statements from celebrities can say a lot these days: They can support an emerging brand or highlight a sustainable clothing line, says Gerard. You can also tell a compelling story that is specific to the star in question.
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The royal standard: Duchess Kate, Duchess Meghan repeat with one goal
Duchess Kate and Prince William came to Williams’ Earthshot Prize opening ceremony last month and both wore outfits that big royals fans had seen them in before.
Kate wore an evergreen bespoke Alexander McQueen gown that she wore to a BAFTA event in 2011, while William chose a dark turtleneck and green velvet suit jacket that he wore to the 2019 Centerpoint Gala. The occasion was all about environmental sustainability, so recycling past looks was a natural addition.
“It automatically takes the focus off the clothes and puts it on the engagement,” says fashion journalist Elizabeth Holmes, author of HRH: So Many Thoughts On Royal Style. “(Kate does this) at a time when she wants to minimize the fashion discussion right now and focus on the cause or the commitment or whatever she’s doing there. I think she chooses her iterates very carefully, and I do think it’s really that clever. ”
The British royal family – women in particular – have all eyes on their daily fashion choices, from matching Queen Elizabeth II’s skirt suits and hats to the fashion blogs overseeing every single outfit Kate and Duchess Meghan wear. Members of the monarchy walk a fine line between glamorous looks that allow fans to identify with them. What could be more obvious than choosing something that is already in the closet?
More:Prince William and Duchess Kate choose sustainable fashion for the Earthshot Prize 2021
“You have to look smart and thrifty,” says Holmes. So it’s “handy to wear outfits again, but it also serves a really important purpose in the discussion around them because everyone questions everything Kate and Megan do.
Prince William’s repeated formal attire is particularly noteworthy given the double standards for male and female celebrities. William, Prince Harry, or their father, Prince Charles, can wear a black or navy suit dozen of times without anyone noticing, but when a woman wears something out of her wardrobe it is remarkable – and leaves female stars with a “burden of presentation” “. “As Holmes describes it.
“If you can repeat this look and get more than a moment on your ROI, go for it,” adds Holmes.
What we can learn from Tiffany Haddish and her “dress that always gives”
If anyone has had a return on investment, it’s Tiffany Haddish.
When the comedian and actress was still up and coming, she attended the premiere of her film “Girls Trip” in a white Alexander McQueen dress in 2017, but felt that she hadn’t worn the more than 4,000 dollar designer dress enough. So she wore it again. And again.
‘The dress that keeps giving’:Tiffany Haddish is wearing her famous McQueen dress again
So it followed her to her Saturday Night Live hosting gig in 2017, the 2018 Academy Awards, the 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards, and a 2019 -pearance on David Letterman’s Netflix show “My Next Guest” and the cover of People magazine this year.
“My whole team said to me, ‘Tiffany, you can’t wear this dress at SNL. It is taboo to wear it twice, ‘”said Haddish during her“ SNL ”monologue. “And I said, ‘I don’t care about taboos. I spent a lot of money on this dress. It cost a lot more than my mortgage.’ “
Gerard notes that the comedian, who is recycling her look, was “quite a joke” but also spoke about Haddish’s “practical values”.
“I think it can be fun. I think it can be extremely powerful. Both can be true, ”agrees Holmes. “The way she shot it was entertaining, but it was also a real statement. … We talk a lot about how fun it is and … the glamorous side of it. But logistically it is expensive (and) it is time-consuming. ”
Angelina Jolie, Brooke Shields and the cross-generational Rewear
Other stars invite their children to take part in these unforgettable fashion moments. Angelina Jolie and Brooke Shields both went viral for sharing previous dresses on the red carpet with their daughters for big moments.
Last month, Jolie took several of her children to various red carpets for her new “Eternals” movie. At a premiere, daughter Shiloh Jolie-Pitt borrowed a black and white Dior dress that her mother originally wore in 2019 for a press conference on “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”. On another, Zahara Jolie-Pitt wore the same vintage silver Elie Saab couture gown her mother wore at the 2014 Academy Awards.
Brooke Shields also went viral in the summer after her daughter Rowan Henchy attended the prom in the red str -less dress Shields wore to the 1998 Golden Globes.
More:Angelina Jolie’s daughter Shiloh borrows mom’s Dior dress for the London “Eternals” premiere
“Why not use it as a kind of treasure chest when dressing your children?” Holmes says. “When you have the resources to have it tailored and cleaned, and all the logistical elements… that’s such a nice thing. These are special pieces and beautiful pieces and they deserve to see the light of day again. ”
What can these moments teach us about the future of sustainable fashion?
The trend for celebrities to wear something once and the rise of fast fashion go hand in hand, says Holmes. In the last 10 or 15 years, stars have increasingly borrowed clothes from designers for special events in order to -pear again and again in new styles at events.
“It became part of the Hollywood fashion scene where more is more and new things are better,” adds Holmes. “And that has been reflected in consumer buying patterns.”
The rise of social media has only fueled the “new is better” mentality. In the age of Instagram influencers and Gen-Z fashion that rules TikTok, the trend cycle has accelerated at a “terrifying pace,” Gerard notes – one that is not sustainable for the environment or our wallets.
“Right now, an increasing obsession with sustainability is leading buyers to turn to sustainable and environmentally friendly brands,” says Gerard. “Unfortunately, buying excess clothing from these brands is hardly sustainable.”
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But as much as social media has fueled celebrity fast fashion habits, it also proves that audiences have a huge -petite for talking about repetition, which can also affect consumer habits.
“Seeing big celebrities become outfit repeaters could seriously change the way we see our own closets,” says Gerard.
Holmes adds, “I want to celebrate repetitions better because I absolutely have to admit that sometimes I am (dis -pointed with) a repetition. (Reps) can be just as exciting. … I think it takes a lot of work from us to reverse and unlearn the fast fashion mindset. ”