When Kate Middleton wearing her teal Jenny Packham gown for a second time made international headlines last week, one had to stop and wonder why. With wardrobes presumably stocked with some of the best labels in the world, it makes very little sense that celebrities wouldn’t be seen in some looks more than once – and yet it is a fairly uncommon practice.
Truth be told, there are some fairly logical reasons why some pieces might not be worn again, as in the case that they were loaned by a brand. This happens on the red carpet all the time, especially when a celebrity has inked a contract to wear a brand’s clothes exclusively. However, it makes no sense when outfit repeats are treated with disdain by the media, who actually – and we won’t name names – get away with writing headlines like, “Check out this celebrity who shamelessly wore the same outfit twice!” As if shame should play any role in this scenario whatsoever.
This mindset only serves to underscore the harmful notion that fashion is disposable, which is a major contributing factor to the environmental crisis the industry at large is now grappling with. We think it’s time that we, as a society, stop gawking at celebrity outfit repeats on the red carpet like they are some sort of awkward spectacle, and urge celebrities to go ahead and #RepeatTheDress – just as these six celebrities have.
Who: Cate Blanchett
The Dress: Armani Privé
Cate Blanchett first wore this elegant, lacy Armani Privé gown to the 2014 Golden Globes, but when she reappeared in it at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, she came armed with a message: “From couture to T-shirts, landfills are full of garments that have been unnecessarily discarded. Particularly in today’s climate, it seems willful and ridiculous that such garments are not cherished and reworn for a lifetime.”
Who: Padma Lakshmi
The Dress: J. Mendel
For Padma Lakshmi, the choice to repeat a look on the red carpet was a sensible one. She first wore it to the Women of the Year Awards in Mumbai, and then again to the 2018 Emmy Awards. She also had a lot to say about the industry’s wasteful practices, stating, “I think in this day and age, we should stop sending the message to young women and girls that we all have these endless closets of clothes we never wear more than once, especially on a red carpet. The hours that it takes, the artisans’ labor, and the gorgeous fabrics all deserve to be worn again and treasured. It seems wasteful not to enjoy these dresses.”
Who: Keira Knightley
The Dress: Chanel
People made a big fuss over Keira Knightley’s wedding dress, namely because it was a Chanel dress that she had been photographed in before. “How bohemian,” they cried, but really, it was a practical choice for the British star. Not only is the garment one that she truly loved, but it was also made just for her by a close friend – Karl Lagerfeld, natch.
Who: Kirsten Dunst
The Dress: Christian Lacroix
Showing her longstanding appreciation of fashion, Kirsten Dunst donned her beloved vintage Christian Lacroix lace dress again at Chopard’s annual party, managing to look better than when she first wore it in 2004.
Who: Tiffany Haddish
The Dress: Alexander McQueen
For Tiffany Haddish, owning a $4,000 Alexander McQueen gown was outright proof to herself that she had made it, of how incredibly far she had come. From being raised in foster care and struggling for years to make it in acting to becoming one of Hollywood’s most sought-after stars after her role in Girls Trip, this pristine white gown was proof of her status. For that reason, Haddish has worn it repeatedly, with it making appearances at the premiere of Girls Trip, on Saturday Night Live, and at the 2018 Academy Awards.
Who: Kate Middleton
The Dress: Jenny Packham
We actually remember this 2012 look that Kate Middleton recycled recently for a gala event quite well as it was as much a sensation back then as it was last week – but then again, so is everything she wears. When it comes to recycling outfits, this royal is a repeat offender, which is why her fans lovingly call her “thrifty Kate”.