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Recycling Dresses: When it comes to fashion, is third time a charm?

Fashion scene

If you ask the average man how many tuxedoes he owns, he’ll undoubtedly tell you one. On the other hand, ask a girl how many formal dresses she owns, and the answer will most likely be something like, “You mean this year? Or last?”

In countries like America or anywhere in Europe, it’s not that big of a deal to wear a dress twice… in the same year. But in Lebanon, all fashion expectations seem to be elevated by about 700%.

Around here, wearing the same dress more than once, no matter how far apart, is near blasphemy. Seriously, if a friend recognizes your outfit from last year’s cocktail party, expect some form of “Haven’t I seen that dress before?” comment.

There’s no use denying it – we’ve all opted out of wearing a perfectly good dress in favor of buying a new one just for the sake of it. I’ve been guilty of that one too many times – evidence of which can be seen so very clearly in my ever shrinking bank account.

Ladies, bear with me for a second. What if we as a community put our well manicured feet down in defiance of this really ridiculously wasteful social trend?

If not for our wallets’ sakes, let’s think about the environment. Beirut’s recently been victim to a number of excitable Green Peace volunteers. Recycling bins have been scattered – albeit ignored –around the city, and we’ve slowly but surely began to realize the horrid effect of not reusing our products.

So why is recycling dresses not a thing in Lebanon? Okay, it doesn’t exactly save the environment, per say, but it definitely saves you some serious cash. My guess? Lebanon is just so small that we all inevitably end up in the same social circles time and time again. And, if you can literately keep track of the number of people at a party, then I’m sure they can keep track of your new super fashionable Sandra Mansour dress.

The problem is, with dresses that are gorgeous, you want to wear them more than once, but they will, without a doubt, be so glaringly recycled that we shy out and buy a new one even though we know perfectly well that it’s stupid and expensive.

But fear not, my fellow fashionistas! A quick Google search will tell you that even the most fashionable of fashionable people recycle their outfits - which makes me feel not so guilty about doing it, too.

Exhibit A: The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is famous for reusing her wardrobe in new and innovate ways. And by that I mean she changes up her jacket and dress pairing every once in a while. Keira Knightly (who allegedly recycled her wedding dress), Natalie Portman, Michelle Obama, and even designer Victoria Beckham are amongst the most famous who openly reuse their dresses.

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(Photo Credit: Keystone Images)
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(Photo Credit: www.graziadaily.co.uk)
My favorite, though, has to be Vogue editor Anna Wintour. That could have something to do with her infamous quote that goes something like, “I usually wear the same dress 20 times. I think it's always fun to have something new, but it doesn't mean that everything you already have in your closet has to be thrown out, you know? Recycle." anna
(Photo Credit: AP/Press Association Images)
Wise words from a fashionable lady. Let’s all take the hint and reduce (our spending), reuse (our accessories), and recycle (our dresses). Do it – if not for the principle of it, then for your wallet.

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A team of writers constantly on the hunt for everything and anything there is to know about local fashion.

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