Readers Ask: Dear Lucky

Q: I really like the fact that Kate Middleton recycles her looks when she really doesn’t have to. How long can I wait before I can wear something again? Can I wear the same dress in the same week? How can I make it look different?

Photo Credit: Getty Images, GF/Bauergriffinonline.com

A: This is a European thing that for some reason we Americans have a hard time fathoming, but we'd do well to change our ways. When you wear an item often, it doesn't say "I lack imagination" or "I lack cash" in the way you think it does. It says: "This right here is it, people. Aren't you jealous I got it and I'm so self-assured?" Also: "Yes, I spent a bunch on this. So worth it!" I know this because I work in a building jam-packed with fashion editors, and the ones with the biggest salaries are invariably the ones wearing precisely the same outfit they wore two days ago. It's because they think that outfit is the Look of the Moment and they are reveling in it. Underlining it. Kate Middleton, to me, is saying all these things plus "My body looks especially fantastic in this!"

To be sure, you (and Kate, and all the fashion editors) are free to mix things up—add or subtract a belt, a scarf, a bag, a shoe, a coat—but in reality, are you like, wow, she really accessorized that differently? No, you're like, wow, what a fantastic body. Or maybe, wow, what a great dress.

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