From red carpets to social networks, a reflection begins around this social pressure to constantly wear new outfits.
In a world of images, shaped by cheap fast fashion and social media, wearing the same clothes twice at events has become a faux pas. So much so that the English media speak of the “stigma of outfit repeating”.
Kate Middleton, Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett: all have been exposed in the media for wearing the same outfit more than once on outings. Although Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was teased recently on Infoman for wearing the same jacket over and over again, women are more likely to face criticism in this matter, a double standard. denounced by the former first lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
From Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City) to Emily Cooper (Emily in Paris), cinema and television series have exposed us to these images of privileged women, symbols of success, who are rarely seen dressed the same way twice. . “It affects us enormously,” notes Janie-Claude Viens, development officer in ecological transition at Concertation Montréal. To see a person wearing the same coat, the same shirt on TV, that’s the kind of thing that could work in our unconscious and make it easier for us to wear things. »
Because you don’t have to be a Hollywood star to feel that pressure. Some keep a diary of what they wore during such an event and note who was there so as not to reproduce the same look. “If I have a work party, for example, I’m not going to wear the same dress that I had with the same people on another party,” notes Chloé Rincourt, marketing professional. I think people would notice, plus there are the pictures. It would bother me. »
The fact that the outfits we wear are immortalized during the slightest event is, for many, an obstacle to their reuse. “I feel the need to have new clothes to go on a trip,” says Pascale Daigneault. It doesn’t make sense, but I want new clothes for my travel photos. You can look at our albums, I don’t wear the same look twice. »
The one who admits without embarrassment to having too many clothes has become a fashion and lifestyle influencer during the pandemic.
Aware of the effect of her publications on her 8,000 subscribers, she no longer hesitates to appear with the same clothing, but arranged differently.
Influencers have a huge role to play, believes Valérie Vedrines, president and founder of Critical Mass, a collective for the sustainable transformation of the communications industry. “I think they’re realizing more and more the impact they’re having and starting to use that influence to drive more responsible drinking,” she says. It’s still quite small, but it’s a movement that has started to take shape. »
In Hollywood too, voices are rising. After Jane Fonda said in fall 2019 that the red coat she wore at a protest where she was arrested in Washington was her last purchase for life, actress Kate Winslet spoke out against carpet pressure red. “The money wasted on this. The hours and stress that people put into these things. The amazing artists who make these dresses are wonderful, but to do something that will only be worn once…I have already decided that I will wear my dresses on repeat,” she told the magazine in an interview. Vanity Fair, in 2020. Two years later, she was seen on the red carpet for Avatar: The Way of Water sporting a dark gray dress by designer Badgley Mischka that she wore at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
“It’s not futile, we need these role models,” applauds Janie-Claude Viens. Like Mark Zuckerberg was with the jeans/t-shirt. The minimalist look of the boss of Meta inspired an experiment for our colleagues in 20161. For a month, he and she wore a gray t-shirt and dark jeans. And guess what? No one noticed.