Do You Stock Up On Clothes?

I haven’t bought much clothing lately, and I always have something to wear, so I might be a stockpiler. But I’m referring to the practice of buying multiples of an item. Wardrobe experts advise us to “double up” on fashion basics like well-fitting trousers, sweaters, jeans, and of course: underwear. By doing so, we ensure that our very favorite whatever will always be available, in the closet.

I do the undies thing, naturally – does anyone buy *one* pair of panties or tights? I also get multiple black, gray and white tees from GAP, because they are such staples. But I’m not much of a stock-upper on other clothing. I know myself well enough to realize I am easily bored: I may love a navy, heavy-cotton V-neck sweater forever, but one new one will do. Next time I buy a sweater, I’d like a slightly different iteration.

I do have bunches of these.

My tastes change through the years, and it’s not smart for me to buy multiples of, for example, great fitting jeans. By the time my boyfriend-style pair wears out, I’m gazing at a different silhouette. And I get confused if I own too many of one item. And I run out of drawer and closet space. And I have a deep fear of hoarding, and etc.

Our bodies also change over the years, so if I bought multiple Theory trousers in my current size, I’d be bereft to find the “fresh” pair doesn’t zip up a year from now. Of course, I could also be sad next year to find my favorite style is no longer available, but I roll with the chances.

Fabulous, but I might grow or shrink. One fabulous pair at a time for me. Source.

And even my taste in “classic” pieces like blazers changes, so the adorable J. Crew boy-blazer I love today may not ring my chimes in two years, and multiples of them (even on deep sale!!) might be a poor investment.


Are you a buyer-in-bulk? If so, what clothing pieces do you purchase in multiples? Are you glad you did?

Happy, happy Tuesday, and stay fabulous,

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  1. Yes, I am a bulk buyer. I sometimes buy a pair of slacks or a top, wear them once and go back and get them in 3 or 4 more colors after I've seen how they wash and wear. Most of the time when I do that, I find that they are the things that I end up wearing a LOT. What a wonderful week of posts! I'm catching up with what you've written this week.

  2. Yes I do… Because I never change size. And I make damned sure I don't (what a waste of capital that would be…). And like with black skinnies… Once I had one, I bought another as I was afraid I would wear out the one I had. And when I dicovered my coated green skinnies I also bought them in burgundy. Same with black slingbacks in summer. Couldn't chose between the one and the other slighly different ones… Bought them both. Never regreted any of this.

  3. To be honest Patti ever since becoming a fashion blogger it's gotten less and with all the inspiration around me from fellow bloggers I have gotten more creative in mixing it;-) Have a great weekend. xo Sabina Oceanblue Style

  4. I'm laughing right now because this is exactly how my husband shops. If he finds a pair of slacks he likes. he buys 3 or 4 of them for this exact reason (they may not have them in a year or so). He does the same with button down and t-shirts. But not me, I think I enjoy the hunt of shopping way too much.

  5. It's so difficult for me to find pants that fit well, so if I come across a great fitting style, I'm all in for every color that I like. I've learned my lesson though. You still need to try each pair on. Oddly enough, same pant style and size doesn't mean same fit! I fell in love with one style while on vacation, only tried the white pants on and also bought in kaki and black. The kaki didn't fit the same but I didn't know that until I returned home and then couldn't return them.


  6. Nope, never done it, doubt I ever will. Mainly because I shop secondhand and therefore take a completely random luck-of-the-draw approach to building a wardrobe, there are very few basics involved! Even knickers and bras and tights are one-off, found-them-in-the-sale purchases. But I think that even if I had a more conventional approach to shopping, I would struggle with a lot of items which were all the same. Where's the variety, the range, the creativity in that? xxx

  7. When I used to work and had regular income, my best friend and I loved to shop and buy in "all available colors" including shoes and bags. We were younger and non the wiser with our money.

    Now that I often go thrifting, this situation rarely happens.

  8. I think I'm too fickle to stock up. I keep thinking as I mature, I'll be less so, but it hasn't happened yet. 😉

  9. Well, no and yes. Since I've been thrift shopping for four straight years now, I have stocked up on many many clothes {seriously, I counted 116 hangers on my top row of my double decker closet the other day, lol}. and …No, I don't buy in bulk on sales except for socks. hahahahaha

  10. Hi Patti!

    First I like what you wore on Visiblble Monday – i love the kaki edge but were right you don't look that mean, you will never i think your too lovely!
    About purchasing multiple items, i do of course buy undies and too buy basic tees -that is about it

    Take care


  11. Great topic Patti! I am with you on every score…tank tops are my one exception. I probably have 15 white tank tops as well as tanks in every color under the sun!


  12. I´m a hands down hoarder and I´m not proud of it! This sale season I think I ¨may¨ have gone overboard with buying the same style of jeans( skinnies) but I opted for classic colors so that they can last, animal printed tops and lots of shoes and bags and of course underwear.

  13. I'm with you Patti, it's not often I regret buying only one of something, I'd rather have one, wear it out, and replace with something that feels fresher when the time comes.

  14. I've always had multiples. The "basis" of my wardrobe/my real "go to" pieces are 2 pair each of white, black and dark wash Talbots jeans that fit me perfectly, the same Talbots ponte knit pencil skirt 2 in black, 1 navy and 1 gray (perfect for travel), 2 Eileen Fisher black crepe wide leg pants, 3 Brook Brothers no-iron white shirts, 3 Talbots no-iron white shirts and two sleeveless no-iron white blouses, plus 5 variations of black striped tees.

  15. I have been guilty of buying multiple of basic tees and even shoes. I bought a pair of nude wedges recently from Ann Taylor and they were so comfy and perfect for work that when they went on clearance, i bought the black pair too. The wedges have been used so many times that I am glad I bought them in multiple.


  16. I do this ONLY if I fall completely in love with a particular item and it suits me. I know myself well enough that if I really like a particular item I will wear it until I wear it out so buying more than one (and really only one more, not dozens!) is wise. I do the mulitiples buying however pretty infrequently.

  17. Patti, I do the multiples things from time to time and it has worked for me. Especially with such things as inexpensive stripe tees and a great fitting pair of jeans. Even if my size stays the same- it does_ the marketers want the fit to be different so we can feel awkward wearing the same thing one year into the next. But in a decade or so…It will be perfect!

    Thoughtful and entertaining article! I am glad I am here reading!

    XX, Elle

  18. Shoes. If I can find a pair I really like that really fits and doesn't wear out immediately, I buy a pair in every color. Otherwise, I go into mourning when that one dependable pair inevitably wears out.

  19. I get bored too but I do buy multiples because what I like and what looks good on me may fall out of favor ( and the stores) so I buy it while its in favor. Xoxo

  20. Hmmm. The last years I always bought 1 or 2 basic Shirts at one time (Lands' End) with short and long arms. I love the quality. And I've got a red, a green, a bright gray and a dark lilac twilljeans straight/tight with the same cut. (I hope you understand what I meen)….
    have a good time.

  21. I sometimes buy in multiples, but it's rare because, like you, I can get bored with something and not want to wear it again and again, even in different colors. I did recently buy some cardigans in multiples though, and so far so good.

  22. It's almost impossible to buy in bulk at a thrift shop. But for under-layers and socks, usually they are sold 3-for-X dollars so they force me to buy in bulk – I tell myself that.

  23. I'm not a bulk buyer at all – just bits & pieces, here and there. It's all a bit random. And as you say styles and body shapes change.

  24. I am very short, and finding clothes that fit is SO difficult. When I come across the rare item that is flattering and fits beautifully, I almost alway buy two, if two are available. Pants, shirts, even dresses. Tops are more forgiving and easier to make work, so I don't buy top/sweater multiples as often.

  25. I think you're right -styles change, you change- the likelihood of getting your monies worth out of a purchase of multiples isn't all that high. Plus, I enjoy shopping so venturing out to get another whatever is something I enjoy.

    With that said, I have some specific fit issues with underwear and I when I find something that works I buy several. However, I take one home and wear it awhile to make sure it's right, then I'll buy more.

  26. You've just articulated EXACTLY my thoughts on buying multiples. I, too, would be stymied by my changing body, my changing aesthetic and my changing style. That said, I do buy multiples of things in different colors because I can never decide which one I'll need in the future. ;p

  27. Usually, I stock up unintentionally. Like, if something's a really good deal, I'll buy something in more than one colour. I think I hoard clothes more than I stock up though. I have a hard time throwing things away because I always think that they'll come back in style.



  28. I have never bought anything in bulk except bras and sometimes panties. I bra shop only when I am absolutely forced to and then I usually buy 3. And if I find I really love those panties I might go back and buy some more. I hate shopping for underwear. Plus I'm obsessed about my closet having one-of-a-kind items. I don't often like to repeat myself.


  29. I'm like you – multiples of basic tees and underwear, but then I want variety. Plus, I'm trying to do more secondhand shopping, and that's basically a crap shoot!

  30. I was just thinking about this! I don't buy multiples of the same color and style (except things like undies as you mention) but I am getting very picky about the details of my clothing (e.g., fiber content, exactly where the neckline falls, etc.) so I think that if I were to stumble across, say, the perfect 100 percent lambs wool or cashmere fine-gauge sweater with a slight scoopneck that hits just below my collarbones I would be very tempted to buy it in every suitable color! (Can you tell I keep tugging at the too-high neckline of the sweater I'm wearing today?)

  31. Only basics these days. I have multiples of good underwear, plain t-shirts, and this one little top called the Ravello top that Boden makes every year in different colors and prints, that is perfect for work outfits.

  32. I did this with a white+warren cashmere cardigan I bought earlier in the fall – I loved it so much when it went on sale I ordered it in black and pink. It is a style that is classic and also forgiving if one goes up and down in weight! I also have a few J Crew kikis, which I adore…

  33. No! Personally I'm not a fan of basics. I bought 4 pairs of knickers from Marks & Spencer last year – the first new ones in 6 years – I'm such a skinflint! x

  34. I have only done this with tee shirts, but nothing else. Not really sure why…I think I just love all of the variety that exists in the fashion world!

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