quick (fashion) questions: what do you buy over and over, and why?

calvin klein denim jacket
(one of my obsessions, of which i have multiples: denim jackets!)

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what do you find yourself purchasing (clothing/accessories, etc.) over and over, and why?

are there certain items that you have multiples of in your closet?

what characteristics do they have?

what do those pieces mean to you? i.e., what do those items symbolize or represent to you, if anything?

do you wear these collected items, and keep them in heavy rotation, or do they just sit there, unworn?

29 comments

  1. Helen

    cardigans! i have so many cardigans. they are so practical. not fashion, but i also can’t help but buy barry m nail varnishes.

  2. Sal

    White button-downs and black shoes. The shoes run the gamut from boots and pumps to sandals, booties, and trendy styles. And I know I buy them because black has been my default for SO LONG and I’m only just realizing that I should branch out! The button downs I collected for ages because every style guide in the world said you HAD to have one, but they sat unworn for years before I figured out how to implement them. And yet, I kept on buying …

  3. vanessa. e.

    longsleeved black tops!! as boring as that item is, it’s a wardrobe staple. under dresses, under sweaters, or alone with jeans or a fancy skirt! I have simple ones from h+m and target and dressier ones with subtle detail for a variation. I cannot stop buying them and that’s ok because they are always worn. 🙂

  4. ambika

    It is really difficult for me to say ‘no’ to a cardigan. Cropped, long, whatever, I wear them constantly over tees in winter when work/home are too cold to be bare-sleeved and as coats in summer when it’s unexpectedly cool outside. I have 2 sweaters in my whole wardrobe and it’s pretty much because cardigans fill in that gap for me.

  5. Ceri

    I have lots of little black dresses. Probably because I wish that I got the chance to wear them on evenings out. But I never seem to get the chance and they sit neatly lined up in my wardrobe. i do occassionally try and dress them down with leggings.

  6. Heather

    Kind of random, but I have a jean jacket that I’ve been trying to sell to Buffalo and Crossroads for ages and they just won’t buy it. It actually looks very similar to the one pictured above. It’s in great condition so I hate to just send it to goodwill. It’s just not my style and never really was; I wear pretty much nothing but jeans, and I’m not a big fan of the jeans + jean jacket look on myself. Do you want it? For free? I’d love it to go to someone who would appreciate it.

    In answer to your question, my obsession is hoodies. I can’t stop buying them! They’re comfy and are the perfect layering item for San Francisco weather. Plus they come in a million different styles.

  7. Nadia Lewis

    White button downs for me too! Wide legged pants, vests, full skirts, cardigans, fitted blazers. I love and wear all of these.

    Things I buy but never wear: hats. I wear the ones I knit on high rotation, but store bought ones? No way. Not sure why I don’t and I’m also not sure why this doesn’t stop me from buying them.

  8. Annie Butterfly

    I seem to collect anything in blue denim.

    I currently have 10 blue denim jackets, 14 blue denim skirts, and 12 pairs of blue denim jeans. Most of the jackets and skirts are secondhand.
    Probably half of them are in high rotation, although of course I have my favs.
    I buy so many because to me they are all different… the jackets are acid wash, pale, bolero, blazer, fitted, dark, classic… they all have a different look and there’s one to suit almost any outfit.
    The skirts are all in different lengths and shapes, some casual, some dressy, some thrifted, some high end designer.
    I just find denim so easy to wear, and because I wear heels so often, denim helps me dress an outfit down.
    The denim section is always my first stop when I’m thrift shopping. It never goes out of style, so I know I’ll be wearing it for years to come. Plus, there’s not really any rules for denim anymore… anything goes!

    My current favs are an 80s acid wash jacket with bows on the back, a deconstructed Italian pale denim mini that I thrifted for $4, and a pair of 90s Levi’s I bleached myself. I wear these items at least a few times every week and they always make me feel fabulous!

  9. Ladylike

    Tights – coloured, patterned, thigh highs or regular. I wear skirts or dresses everyday, so are a must, especially during Canadian winters.

    Dresses (see above) – I recently counted and I have well over 80 dresses. Usually this is a practical collection, but I have a growing sub-collection of vintage party dresses that can only really be worn at certain events.

    Secretary blouses – anytime I find a blouse with a ruffle or neck-tie, I buy it.

    Luckily I only really ever buy clothing from thrift stores (aside from tights which I buy new).

  10. Hana

    I have tons of men’s size-small white tank tops, the kind you buy in packs of 3 or 5 at Target. They’re fantastic for layering, and they’re so cheap!

  11. sarah

    you know, I just noticed recently that I seem to have an addiction to slightly sheer off-white blouses (and longish dresses), usually made from cotton, with ruffly/lacey/pintucked/delicately embroidered details. The kind of thing usually hawked as “victorian.”

    if I were to widen my scope and look at more of a genre of items, I own tons of knee-length A-line skirts and lots of casual ribbed tanks.

  12. jani

    T-shirts. I wear them all year, & I like plain, no pocket FOTL, in white,black, & grey. I wear them under hoodies, button-down shirts, & cardigans, and always to sleep in, with boxers.
    Also, even though I have lots of shoes, I constantly wear converse, for years, and in mostly orange, yellow, and black.

  13. Erica

    Boots and boots and boots and boots. I love them; they’re practical, they’re 3-season wear and each pair is different so they are hard to resist. I won’t embarrass myself and divulge how many pairs I have, but let it suffice to say they receive top priority of closet space over any other footwear (and my closet is very small). Also, I have dozens of scarves of different patterns, colors, fabrics and shapes. Scarves are nice because they are maximally versatile and take up almost no space so they’re easy to collect. I’m an accessorizer, can you tell?

  14. Lizzy

    Cardigans, tights, plain longsleeve tops, necklaces.. I love dresses too but prefer to make those as I have a weird figure and ‘off the rack’ ones rarely fit well. I’m not buying clothing currently but these are the things I seem to have in large quantities.

  15. Persephone

    Green and brown tops. I love green and I love brown, so most of my tops are one or the other. I love flare-legged jeans, but they seem to be a rarity in the wake of this “skinny-legged jeans” trend. I also have a crazy amount of cargo pants, but I purged most of them because they were pre-baby and I didn’t want sad reminders of how my body used to be even though I am working to get back to that size. (New clothes can be my reward!)

  16. Brooke Alexandra

    I constantly buy LBDs of every construction, fabric, and price (the vintage crepe will not go where the American Eagle t-shirt does!), and soft, worn-out thrift store tees.

  17. Frowner

    These shoes, over and over and over. I have them gently used from Ebay, I have them from a great sale at Ped, and I have them in a fancy colorway at full price from Germany. I think I have about six pairs of them by now. I have three that I wear all the time, including the “I dripped paint on them while painting my room” ones, and three that I’m saving in case the dollar collapses and I can’t get them anymore. They’re the most perfect shoes ever–sturdy yet interesting, work with just about all my clothes, work with socks and tights and bare feet…

    I do tend to stockpile things I like–fancy tights and messenger bags in particular, also vintage winter coats. Luckily, my taste for those things hasn’t changed in years, so I do eventually work round to using everything.

  18. Joline

    I am obsessed with different shades of gray shirts. I wear a lot of Grey, Black and Brown and then mix in pops of bright colors! I especially love vibrant blue or yellow. I also buy an ridiculous amount of flats in all colors and designs to go with any outfit.

  19. Lily

    Permutations of the striped sailor shirt are impossible for me to resist. I wear them constantly. They just evoke such a pleasing retro/uniformnautical/beach vibe. I also have more pairs of white patent leather boots than it makes sense for one person to have.

  20. Ruby

    Like Frowner, I also have a thing for shoes (and I also get them at Ped). But it’s not a single style but rather the line Cydwoq in general that fuels my addiction. It’s been going on for years, long before I discovered the motherlode at Ped. I cannot resist funky, well-made shoes that are also comfortable. Don’t make my feet hurt, shoes! Anyway, these are the latest in my collection (I think I have six pairs of Cydwoq at this point). Although they’re on sale now, I don’t mind that I bought them at full price because I’ve worn them and worn them (I might even get a back-up pair for when they wear out in a few years).

  21. Buttercup Rocks

    Shrugs. I’m almost embarrassed to admit I have 17, in a wide range of colours and styles ranging from bead-encrusted bolero to mini-cardi to, well, shrug. But they’re so useful! I have upper-arm issues and great trouble finding dresses with sleeves. I also live in the UK where it rarely gets above 70 degrees in the summer so a cardi is a necessity. Trouble is I’m short-waisted and look frumpy in a standard cardi. Shrugs suit my proportions infinitely better.

    I can also never say no to a great frock. This is because I love dresses and would wear them every day if I could. I’m a UK size 22 so fashion is far from a level playing field for me, especially in the UK where the choice is risible. I once endured a 12 year dress drought – consequently, no matter how little money I’ve got, I’ll find some way to nab a cute one when I see it. Fortunately for me, my favourite store decided to expand its sizing about 3 years ago. They’re known for bold colourful prints, natural fabrics and party dresses with a distinctly vintage vibe. When I was younger I wore a lot of vintage but genuine vintage in plus sizes is very hard to come by. I feel like I’ve rediscovered my long lost sartorial self. Like Ladylike though I seem to have amassed a lot of “occasion” frocks but, this year I’ve decided to work on dressing them down and wearing them for every day.

  22. Ruby

    Messed up my coding up there (big time). For anyone interested, Ped is here and my latest pair of Cydwoqs are these. (The level of my keyboard skills is at the opposite end of the spectrum from my love for Cydwoq.)

  23. elliebelle

    I cannot resist Yoga/lounge pants in all different styles and fabrics. I always think I am going to look so skinny, serene and chic in them, just like the models do in the pictures! It’s ridiculous. My pajama bottom drawer is overflowing and I still can’t get enough. I think probably if I did get more in shape and felt better about my body, I’d actually buy less.

  24. karima

    i just can’t leave a well-fitting little black dress either! they are so versatile, can be dressed up or down, worn in summer or winter, and they always make one look so effortlessly elegant! i have about eight and wear four on a regular basis, (one always gets packed for holidays), the others are for special occasions. even though i have enough, i cannot help still checking out others, and my collection will definitely still grow in this lifetime!

  25. laura

    the only thing i buy again and again are basics: long-sleeves, t-shirts and cardigans. everything else, i try to make myself. (:

  26. Chloe

    Scarves — the silky-headscarf kind not the knitted kind. I have oodles and oodles of different scarves. And I still buy them from thrift stores when I see good ones. I wear them all the time, too (usually in my hair (sometimes as a headwrap), although occasionally around my neck). I have a few that are so small, they are really only good for tying around your neck, so I put them on my son. They give him a kind of dandy old man-look.