Imagine the scenario: My husband and I are standing outside my closet when he asked if the bag I was carrying I was new. No, I replied, but he didn’t believe. I have a large collection of handbags, enough to use a different one each day for the entire year. I keep handbags in storage until I decide they need to come back into my daily rotation so it’s almost like having a new bag. I’ve been doing this for years but now I hear it’s called ‘shopping your closet’. So you can imagine the look on his face when I told him “I shopped my closet.” He nearly fell over laughing, having never heard such a term before. His reaction was such a mix of shock that I could read his mind: my wife is actually saving me money? What he doesn’t know is that shopping your closet is the new spending spree.
The First Lady did the fashion unthinkable when she re-wore her floral Tracy Feith dress, which she had also worn on her husband’s first day in office, while on an official visit to NYC. The dress had been heavily photographed the first time she wore it so there was no mistaken when she wore it again. Was this a sign of things to come? Let’s face it, wearing an item once is ridiculous but I do understand that is why celebrities are paid the big bucks: to stay on top of the latest fashion and always look good. But Michelle Obama was showing us how she was comfortable re-wearing a great piece, showing us once again that the First Lady embraces an affordable approach to looking good. Yesterday, MObama did another repeat performance when she met with an organization that strives to improve the lives of working families in Washington, D.C., wearing the same floral Etro blouse she previously wore in Europe, while making her first official trip abroad with the President. She mixed up the piece this time, adding a black studded belt but the statement remains the same, Recycle your best looks.
While the move caused some fashion critics to cry fashion faux pas, others reacted the opposite way embracing her forward thinking approach to what she wore. “This is a good thing,” Barneys New York creative director Simon Doonan said. Others said, “We do not want to ever feel that our First Lady is shopping her brains out like an English soccer player’s wife. People think, ‘That’s a woman like me who dresses herself. That’s the difference between Michelle Obama and other First Ladies.” And at a time when the shopping budgets are being slashed due to the economy, this approach is becoming the norm with style icons everywhere. “A lot of celebrities are cutting back on stylists, who are sometimes paid for by studios and networks,” says Kathryn Finney of thebudgetfashionista.com. “Now studios are saying, ‘We’re not going to pay Rachel Zoe $6,000 to style you for a day!’” Therefore, celebs must rely on their own style sense when deciding what to wear.
Did you see the jaw dropping photo of Cher over the weekend in Las Vegas wearing a sheer body stocking? That’s the same piece she wore in her “Turn Back Time” video 17 years ago that made headlines then and is making them again now. God Bless her because the 62-year-old singer can still pull it off. British actress Elizabeth Hurley embraced the fashion recycling craze by re-wearing the same hot pink satin dress she wore at the Cannes Film Festival six years ago to a Breast Cancer Research Foundation gala in April.
Ideally, your closet should be made up of staples and reliable pieces that you continue to wear over and over again. So shove aside the things at the front of your closet to see what’s in the back, or maybe have pieces altered for a fresh, new look. Either way, your closet is sure to have pieces that you’ve probably neglected a need to be reintroduced to the world.