Do you notice when somebody else wears the same outfits often?
August 31, 2004 5:59 AM   Subscribe

Along the lines of the "do you wear a suit" question below:
Do you notice when somebody else wears the same outfits often? (MI)

I've always felt self-conscious about wearing work clothes more than once or twice a week and I've always worried about my fellow employees' observantcy. Personally, in work settings where suits, shirts + ties, or other formal wear was involved, I've never noticed other people's attire, but I've wondered if other people have noticed mine. I'd assume not, but then I'd like to hear from everybody else. If I wear my white shirt with blue stripes on Monday, will you notice if I wear it on Thursday?
posted by crazy finger to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (29 answers total)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:17 AM on August 31, 2004

It depends on where you work, but probably no.
posted by aramaic at 6:24 AM on August 31, 2004

If someone ever points an outfit out as special in any way, I'll pretty much subconciously take note every time they wear it again. Like if they tell a story about this shirt that they got as a gift, I will notice that shirt the next week.
posted by smackfu at 6:39 AM on August 31, 2004

It may be different for men and women, too, if only because women seem to have a wider range of colors and styles to choose from. Khakis are khakis. A blue polo shirt is a blue polo shirt.

But all in all, I don't notice what anyone is wearing.
posted by jpoulos at 6:44 AM on August 31, 2004

I had a boss once who wore the same thing every day, a white long-sleeved button-down dress shirt and a pair of khakis. He even wore the same color socks every day. I asked him about it, and he said it made picking out clothes for work easier when he had ten identical outfits, five of which were out of the cleaners at any time.
posted by kickerofelves at 6:47 AM on August 31, 2004

I wonder if this thought has ever occured to somebody employed in the pr0n business...

"Woa! naked! again!"
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:49 AM on August 31, 2004

I have a coworker who wears a blue Bill Blass shirt and khaki chinos every day. Without fail. He had a housewarming at his new apartment once, and we peeked into his closet and saw dozens of identical shirts and pants. It was a bit eerie, actually.

I've got frightfully few work outfits, none of them ostentatious enough for anyone to notice (although I've got two or three shirts which come across as a bit "shiny," so I do try to keep those to once every other week or so). As for pants, though, khaki is khaki, so all bets are off. In any case, it's really none of anyone's concern what I wear to work, so long as it's clean and doesn't expose too much of my sexy bod (wouldn't want to excite the ladies (or fellas) too much).
posted by uncleozzy at 7:01 AM on August 31, 2004

If work clothes are unobtrusive, I don't think I'd notice. I can't tell you if any of my co-workers have or have not worn the same thing every day I've worked with them, for example. If someone has a really knock-out outfit, I might notice if they wore it, say, more than once a week. I work a three-day week and have about five main outfits that I switch between, plus some dress-up and dress-down variants. The seasonal changes here make a certain variance in outfits a necessity, so other than that, I don't think about it for me or the other people I work with.
posted by jessamyn at 7:12 AM on August 31, 2004

I tend to wear the same things in a similar rotation and sometimes subconciously think the 'better dressers' in the office (mostly the young women) look down on me for that. Just because I think about it doesn't mean I do anything about it.

I don't notice what my co-workers wear except when I start a new job I tend to pay attention to what other men are wearing to make sure I'm "in line" with what seems to be the dress code (as opposed to what the company manual says). Today for instance, we have clients in the office and the manual says "slacks, dress shirts and ties" when 'company' comes. I'm in jeans and a button down s/s shirt--so is my boss.
posted by m@ at 7:13 AM on August 31, 2004

Years ago we were really broke and I had ONE church dress that fit. It was rather ugly and weird. I called it my psychedelic cow dress because the pattern was black and white patches with a few colored patches thrown in...I wore this dress week after week and invariably someone would ask "Is that new?" (And not sarcastically either.)

But then not everyone has my special secret superpower of inconspicuosity either.
posted by konolia at 7:14 AM on August 31, 2004

Would I notice if you wore the same shirt twice in one week? Yes, absolutely. Would I care? Nope.

I used to be a real fashionista, until I had kids and discovered that I could no longer afford to buy my clothes at Barney's ;) Now I wear the same shirt twice in a week without caring what anyone thinks.
posted by iconomy at 7:14 AM on August 31, 2004

I don't really notice unless the outfit is particularly noticeable. But I don't really know why anyone cares what others wear, or how often, or whether others notice what they wear. As long as your attire is suitable for where you work, I can't see that it matters what you wear, or how often. That said, I also love the "Seth Brundle" approach to dressing for office work as described by kickerofelves and uncleozzy - if you don't care about clothes, get an outfit or two that work, and just have a lot of copies.
posted by biscotti at 7:18 AM on August 31, 2004

generally, yes, i'd notice. but unless it smelled or looked unclean, i wouldn't care. some people's clothing priority is "clean, appropriate and tidy"--some people have other clothing priorities. doesn't make much difference to me, unless you're taking me to dinner somewhere fancy.

i've had this conversation with several friends more than once. but more from the other end: does the person who always wears the same thing on wednesdays know that he always wears the same thing on wednesdays? is that just his laundry cycle? is it just an accident?
posted by crush-onastick at 7:28 AM on August 31, 2004

I thought they canceled Seinfeld a few years ago...
posted by signal at 7:51 AM on August 31, 2004

I prefer people who wear the same clothes over and over again. I notice people who don't and I don't like them.
posted by pissfactory at 7:51 AM on August 31, 2004

i wear shorts or jeans and a t-shirt to work. sometimes i get self conscious when I realize that I just wore the same t-shirt a few days ago...i tend to have about 6 favorites. But then I realize that I get to come to work in a T-SHIRT and life is GOOD! I really should splurge and pick up a few more though...
posted by jacobsee at 8:19 AM on August 31, 2004

I really like clothes, and I notice repeats. I tend to notice more with women then with men, because women's clothes are more distinctive. But as long as the clothes are clean, pressed, the correct size, in decent shape and becoming, it doesn't matter how often someone wears things.

Definitely, if you can only afford a few things, it's a good rule to just buy plain things that are versatile and can be worn often.
posted by orange swan at 8:21 AM on August 31, 2004

I never notice. Well, I think I once noticed in class a few months ago that some girl wore the same outfit two days previously, but I didn't care. That'd be a first, though. My girlfri^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hfiancee (whoa...I've never used "fiancee" to describe her before) doesn't just notice, but actively keeps track, and assumes that all others do the same, making dresses effective disposable.

I do think, however, that people will notice if she wears her wedding dress again.
posted by waldo at 8:22 AM on August 31, 2004

Damn, people. I wear -- maybe -- two different pairs of pants and three different shirts in a whole month at work. If people notice, they haven't said anything, and if they did, I wouldn't care. If you care about clothes, no problem, but if you don't, why spend your time and money so other people can enjoy looking at your wardrobe? I have similar beliefs about spending money on a car's exterior.

(on preview, congrats waldo!)
posted by callmejay at 8:28 AM on August 31, 2004

I don't notice for the most part. I do notice that some people have their favourite shirt and such, the one they wear once per week and often on Monday.
posted by substrate at 9:01 AM on August 31, 2004

I wear jeans and polo shirts to work everyday. Every monday I wear a black polo, though I have three or four to rotate between. I have about five pairs of jeans and they all look similar, but nobody seems to mention anything about them to me.

Then again, I work for a fashion company, and am the obvious outsider.
posted by codger at 9:34 AM on August 31, 2004

I think waldo meant his fiance was here.
posted by jmd82 at 9:45 AM on August 31, 2004

I don't but sometimes it doesn't look like it because I bought a dozen fitted black tees and i love them and they look so good and they go with everything k thx.
posted by pieoverdone at 9:49 AM on August 31, 2004

>is that just his laundry cycle? is it just an accident?
I met someone who said he washes all of his clothes on the weekend and then plans what he will wear for the workweek. Hangs different outfits in the closet on ordered hangers. It saves time in the morning not having to decide what to wear, he said. I thought it peculiar.

>He had a housewarming at his new apartment once, and we peeked into his closet and saw dozens of identical shirts and pants. It was a bit eerie, actually.

Sorry. I think of Fred Flintstone here. Or Luke Duke.

>If I wear my white shirt with blue stripes on Monday, will you notice if I wear it on Thursday?

I notice my co-worker's Thierry Henry Arsenal jersey, but other than those obvious clothes, no, not really. I wear the same stuff to work, blue jeans or walking shorts and black or blue t-shirts: we're casual-Friday everyday, so it's not much of an issue. I do notice co-workers who dress really nicely because I think the clothes might keep them from working effectively; afraid to get the leather shoes wet, that sort of thing.
posted by philfromhavelock at 10:07 AM on August 31, 2004

I notice when ties repeat frequently, or if something's obviously out of place in a bad way (shirt looks like it was slept in, etc.) Other than that, no.
posted by SpecialK at 11:09 AM on August 31, 2004

No. Is there some reason I should be paying attention to what others choose to wear and when they do so?
posted by majick at 11:25 AM on August 31, 2004

I'm with callmejay. Once I find something that fits I buy several copies and then proceed to wear them out. Though I recently got a cranking deal on some dress shirts in assorted colours so I can go more than a week without repeating.
posted by Mitheral at 12:11 PM on August 31, 2004

Like most other women, I tend to notice women's clothing more than men's, and outfits I deem fashionable or well-fitted for the wearer are even more noticable. That being said, I may or may not notice the same shirt being worn more than once in a week, depending on if it sticks out because it's gorgeous or particularly ungorgeous.

As a working person who may wear the same thing more than once as well, I understand that most people purchase clothing that goes with a variety of their other wardrobe pieces to cut down costs. As far as I'm concerned, there's no need to spend exhorbitant amounts of money on work clothing just so you don't ever wear the same thing. You're not working to buy work clothes.

As an aside, my personal fashion sense brings me to buying similarly styled/coloured/sized clothing every time. My partner teases me that I always wear the same thing... but I have heaps of clothing that merely APPEAR the same to him, but obviously different to me (one pair of pants has cuffs, the other is flaired, shorter, longer, sits on hips instead of waist, ect) Should I be worried that the fashion police are out to get me?
posted by Ms Snit at 12:34 PM on August 31, 2004

I always wear a black tee-shirt to work - we're pretty casual, and I'm a metal fan, so a + b = closet full of black band shirts. The funny thing is, I wore a red band shirt to work, just once, and took so much shit for it that I never wore it again.

The moral of the story is: you're allowed to wear different stuff every day, or roughly the same thing every day, but you're not allowed to go from one to the other. I thought that this was exceedingly weird, but I'll be the first to admit that I don't get fashion at all.
posted by vorfeed at 1:37 PM on August 31, 2004

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