What Do you Buy in Multiples and Why?

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Before I had my breast reduction surgery, shopping was a bit of a nightmare. When it’s hard to find any clothes that actually fit (if it fit my bust it was way too large on my shoulders). For me shoes, costume jewellery and handbags have  been my “go to” items when shopping for many years. They don’t mock me in the change room over my weight, shape or size. They don’t make me feel bad, they give me options when changing the way an outfit looks too.  A double bonus!

What do you buy in multiples and why? Discover how to have a better shopping experience and what the pitfalls of shopping can be

I know that many women feel this way too.  Shoes are a common item that some of us have “many” of.

That’s also how we often end up with multiples of similar items in our wardrobes.  It may be lots of tops because it’s tricky to buy pants when you have a curvy figure.  It could be jackets or cardigans if you always feel the cold or just like that extra layer.

But for so many of us, it’s shoes.

Now there are a few reasons for this:

  • We need different shoes to go with different outfits (every outfit requires a pair of shoes, but they don’t all require a jacket or belt or pant).
  • We are searching for comfortable shoes.  The ones that feel like you’re not wearing shoes… but look spectacular
  • We need shoes for different seasons and weather.
  • Shoes wear out and fall to pieces, particularly those ones we wear all the time
  • Shoes don’t date as quickly as other garments.  They stay in fashion much longer, and they do come back into fashion in a way clothing never does.

Do you have a shoe addiction?  I do, and I can tell you how I got it…

How My Shoe Addiction Developed

When I was in my late teens, I started developing bunions (so attractive, I know), and I went to the doctor and he asked me if I wore the same shoes every day.  At that stage in my life I owned exactly one pair of winter shoes and a pair of summer sandals.  The answer was yes.

My doctor then informed me that each shoe rubs the foot in different places.  This constant rubbing creates irritation, and from that irritation form dreaded corns and bunions.

He told me that I should “wear different shoes every day, and never wear the same shoe two days running.”   Yes that was his exact advice.

I, like a good patient, listened to his advice and started acquiring shoes.  I discovered the joy of shoes.  How shoes changed the way an outfit looks, it’s level of refinement, it’s personality.

I now have a large stable of shoes, collected over a dozen or so years (my feet grew one size after my first pregnancy so I had to dispose, very sadly, of my previous shoe collection.  None of them are the same as each other.  They are not multiples of similar shoes.  They are all different.  I will not purchase shoes that are too similar to any I already own.  I know that there is no value in that.

I love that shoes can create an edge, or a mood for an outfit.  I love different colours, shapes and styles.  I love that they remain in fashion for longer than most other items in my wardrobe.  So the cost-per-wear factor is spread over a much longer time period.

Do You Have Multiples of Other Garments?

Whether it’s shoes, handbags or a particular garment, do you have something in your wardrobe that is your ‘go to’ when shopping?  Something that you  more often than not bring home?

Is that item adding to or subtracting from your wardrobe?

The answer to this question comes down to the reason for choosing it.

Are you buying because it’s different – like my shoes are – from everything else in your wardrobe?

or

Are you buying because it’s something you need and you’re looking for the “perfect one” of that thing and you’re hoping that finally, this one will be “the one” that fits correctly.  Fit is an issue that is often a reason for multiples.  We are searching for that “perfect” version and don’t seem to be able to find it.

or

Are you buying because you’re frustrated by the whole shopping experience and XXX “always comes in handy” so another one of that same thing makes its way into your closet?

or

Are you buying multiples because you’ve forgotten you already own it?

When you discover your reasons it can make shopping a more successful and conscious experience.  I can tell you that I’ve seen over 30 pairs of black pants in a closet because “black pants always come in handy”  and 20+ wool V-neck men’s (kid you not) jumpers (sweaters) in another closet because “when I go shopping and I can’t find something I buy one”.  Or even, when there are 20 green tops in the wardrobe, because the wardrobe is disorganised, its owner doesn’t think they have a green top, so she kept purchasing a green top every time she went shopping, that was, until I pointed this out.

So it’s worthwhile knowing why you shop for what you do.  What are your triggers? What are your reasons? What are your bad shopping habits? Do you really need it in every colour?

If you’ve realised that maybe your multiples are for a reason that you’re not happy with, then you can take action to change your shopping habits today.

I know shopping can be frustrating and stressful for many (here are some tips on making it more successful).  but the more you know about your reasons, the better your choices will be.

Tell me what you buy in multiples and why!

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12 Comments

  • I just bought 3 pairs of pants exactly the same style but in grey, biscuit and light blue. I had bought some jeggings on a sale last season that on my A frame are not great. These are a replacement for them. Also I am trying to lighten my wardrobe and get rid of the black. I will keep the navy. I am light muted and cool.Every time I posted in EYS and saw the old pants I was horrified they bagged around my knees or were too tight and/ or baggy.My value contrast is low medium. Medium light colour. Blonde blue green eyes .Haven,t managed to take a picture of the new pants yet but have kept the labels in case.When I realized that I had purchases multiples which I never do I was also horrified but I think that they really fit well.Thanks for the article Imogen always on the ball as usual .

  • Dear Imogen,
    I,m a shoe lover too. However, I’ve always had problems finding shoes that fit. After years of research, both on- and offline I finally had my feet measured properly. I turns out that I need a size 6, not 8! but in a 6E width. This makes it extremely difficult to find anything stylish. So far I have found one shop in the UK with a reasonable assortment (Widerfitshoes.co.uk) so I’m actually considering buying the best shoes in multiples. Who knows if I can continue to buy online from them after Brexit? Several UK shops have already stopped selling directly to EU countries. So I think that it sometimes makes good sense to get several identical pairs, or get them in every colour! 🙂

  • When it comes to multiples, its usually white tops in all forms and shapes.
    Now, when I buy multiple of the same, exact items its bras, sometimes identical other times its nude, black and white of the same style. I’ve also purchased multiple jeans, one to hem and the other to wear with heels.
    The last one was a a pair of black pants that I bought in two sizes as lately I’ve been gaining and losing weight to I figured these would work. Now I think they’re both tight.

  • Bras! I discovered the perfect bra for me last August and now own the same bra in 5 different colours. It’s comfortable, doesn’t show through clothing, is a little bit sexy and is very supportive. It’s not that I didn’t have other bras, its just that I realized I was reaching for this bra over and over again, so I decided to buy more and in different colours. I buy the matching briefs as well and they are an extremely good fit for my bum.

  • Hmmm. As a hard-to-fit apple-shaped tall woman with problem feet, I’d say I buy multiples of anything that fits, LOL! Seriously, if I find a comfortable flat that isn’t frumpy, a pair of pants that fits and is flattering, a jacket that can actually be buttoned, or a pair of stockings that is long enough, I will buy a lifetime’s supply. This CAN backfire, as I’ve changed sizes and styles multiple times — the reason I don’t stock up on bras, for example.

    Oh. I also buy multiples of glass pearl earrings, all the same size and make. I lose one or two a year, but always have another pair stashed away for “earring emergencies.” Ha.

  • If I like the fit and feel of something, I buy it in every color I like. I have never regretted it. I have regretted not buying the other colors many, many times.

  • Scarves! I discovered I can very easily change the colour/vibe/comfort/look/style of my outfits with the help of a good textured/or complimentary coloured/or eye-catching printed scarf. They are so versatile and I love show-casing the ones I own. There is not one that I own that I’d give away.
    My wardrobe consists of mainly neutral basics, then I match my scarf to bags/totes/bracelets/shoes/coloured jeans/nailpolish. In the cooler months my 3 denim jackets (in blue/black/white) & all my vests get quite the workout. I love creating that pop of colour or eye-catching print by wearing them. I don’t buy shoes or bags or heaps of clothes……..I buy scarves, probably for the versatility.
    Being a scarf-a-holic, I know what suits me so I’m not reckless in my purchases. Except that I now own 110+ scarves, so I invested in clear plastic rings from Spotlight and a steel spinning 3-level rack (that’s taller than me – from a shop-fitting store) and proudly own a scarf tree. Love it!
    I set a goal to wear a different scarf every day in the cooler months and last year I was successful. My family love that my scarves make me happy 🙂

  • I hate to shop and am hard to fit, so when I find something that flatters and fits well or can be easily altered to fit, if it’s available in colors that suit me, I buy it in multiples. Simple dresses, pencil skirts, leggings, tunics, knit tops, shoes — if it works in my wardrobe, I buy it. I keep a very small and functional wardrobe and lots of scarves. Works for me.

  • I have brogues in multiple colours that way I can blend with my trousers for a longer line. The silver ones are a lot of fun with a very traditional grey trouser suit, the chocolate blend seamless with the dark brown trousers etc.

  • I think buying multiples can tie into having an outfit formula/uniform that works for you. Anna Wintour’s many shift dresses are really just multiples of her favorite versions. Stocking up on J. Crew No. 2 pencil skirts or a top that is comfortable and fits well is never a bad idea if you wear them as part of your style uniform. I also buy multiples of the same shoe if the silhouette is classic and they are comfortable, ballet flats and pumps from Banana Republic for instance.

  • When I find a particular shoe that really works, that’s on high rotation (generally for work), I browse eBay and clearance stores, and buy the exact pair again. I never buy 2 new pair in store, I only do this with tried and tested, shoes that I’ve worn and know are great and don’t know what I’d do without. I put them in the top of my wardrobe, for when the current pair wears out. They are also classic styles, with a medium heel, which I know I’ll always wear.

    I have Diana Ferrari black peep toe heels with white trim, after a few months after my last pair wore out, I found my 4th pair on eBay. I also have a red pair which I love, and a spare. Lovely RMK courts with pleated leather and a satin bow on the toe, using my 2nd pair from eBay at 1/3 original cost. Witner sandals in tan & black, on my 3rd black pair now 🙂

    Also have a stretch pencil skirt addiction, usually with small patterns. Skirts are easy, pants & tops never fit.

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