Repeat Failure

April 29, 2016

The pair on the left has been sitting since 2014.

I’m a big fan of duplicating items in my wardrobe, for style, color, and sometimes even both.  Often when I purchase something and the item turns out to be a workhorse piece (ie reached for often), I am easily encouraged to repeat the item in my wardrobe.

But then there are the times, when repeating a purchase doesn’t work out as well as one planned.  The shoes at the top of this post are a great example.

The ballet flats on the right were the original purchase.  I adore these flats, they are comfortable, with a fair amount of padding in them, and the nude color is flattering on my skin tone.  When I repeatedly reached for these flats, I ran out and purchased another pair, the one’s on the left.

Unfortunately, this purchase was done, back in 2014!  And I have yet to wear the second pair of flats.  I still routinely reach for the flats on the right, but the one factor I did not consider, was how LONG it would take to wear out these shoes.

Grey and black identical style tops.

The same top in 2 different colors.

Another example of a repeat purchase is the top on the right, the black knit is another workhorse item, so when I saw the top on the left, which had a similar style to it, I immediately purchased it.  And the top on the left has been a complete dude.  There are subtle differences between the old black top and the new grey one, that make the new top a poor fit for my wardrobe.  The color does not remix with my blazers, the ultimately, the grey top was returned.

When debating whether or not to repeat a purchase I have to consider two things:

  1. How long will it take for the original item to wear out?  And will I still want to replace it by then?
  2. Is the potential duplicate, REALLY a duplicate of the original?

Have you ever experienced repeat failure?


  1. Just a thought about a duplicate purchase – I once bought a duplicate pair of hard-to-find boots. They are tall, gray, full calf, and in size 11. When presented with the opportunity to buy a second pair for $50 (!), I went for it. I thought about it long and hard, but I put them into the rotation. The deciding factor – I realized they could dry rot waiting in the box. I intend for the two pairs to last until my retirement – in approximately 8 years or so.

    1. A great idea, I should start wearing the second nude shoe now. With two in rotation it’ll just take longer for them to wear out. And this way I’ll be using both instead of letting one sit while the second waits for its time to be out into the rotation. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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