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How to Avoid Those Oh No! Double Dressing Disasters: AMANDA WAKELEY Has a Clever Solution

Women all over the world know the sentiment. You have entered a room, ready for a big event.

You are looking your best; hair, makeup, and attire carefully chosen from a list of potential contenders.

And then your heart sinks at the sight of another woman wearing the exact same thing as you.

Unless you’re the supremely chic Queen Letizia of Spain, who appeared at an event in Madrid last week wearing the exact same £59.99 Mango dress as one of the attendees. Was she mortified by the mirror image of her? Not a bit of that.

Approaching the woman, a law professor, whom Queen Letizia was honoring for her work, she immediately found humor in the situation and hugged her so warmly to ease her embarrassment.

What could have been an awkward moment instantly dissolved into laughter. There was even a sense of conspiratorial empathy.

Would this have happened a decade ago? I doubt it.

The fact that we are seeing more and more examples of what I call accidental twinning is due in large part to the fact that a combination of weave, pattern and manufacturing technology has seen a massive improvement in the fit, cut and construction of many high street pieces, which makes them attractive to many more women.

Gone are the days when fashion-conscious women wouldn’t dream of diluting their designer clothes with a hint of High Street fun.

Queen Letizia of Spain, left, and law professor Inmaculada Vivas Teson in a black and white dress by Mango, £59.99

Models Sara Sampaio, left, and Emily Ratajkowski, both in a Cushnie Et Ochs gown costing around £300

Models Sara Sampaio, left, and Emily Ratajkowski, both in a Cushnie Et Ochs gown costing around £300

Jane Seymour, left, and Paris Hilton attend The Colleagues And Oscar de la Renta Annual Spring Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in April 2018

Jane Seymour, left, and Paris Hilton attend The Colleagues And Oscar de la Renta Annual Spring Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in April 2018

This is a wonderful development as it democratizes fashion and offers superior products to a much wider audience.

On the other hand, the devastation of the pandemic has wreaked havoc on many smaller fashion companies with the closure of many well-known brands as a result of Covid.

This means there are fewer options for women today, so the potential to bump into someone wearing the same style is greater than ever.

A friend of mine has a rule that she never wears this season’s designs to any big events because she thinks it reduces the risk of running into someone else wearing the same look.

I applaud this, especially since in this world of massive overconsumption, why do we always feel the need to use something new?

I’d say it’s much cooler and more individual to reuse and restyle our much loved treasures.

Accidental twinning will always be inevitable. It has happened to me numerous times, but being the designer of said pieces, I always took it as a great compliment.

Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, right, and businesswoman Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg in dresses by Britt Sisseck, £600

Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, right, and businesswoman Nina Wedell-Wedellsborg in dresses by Britt Sisseck, £600

Actress Jaime King, left, and socialite Nicky Hilton in leopard print and sequin dresses by French Connection

Actress Jaime King, left, and socialite Nicky Hilton in leopard print and sequin dresses by French Connection

Kris Jenner, right, and her friend Shelli Azoff in a dress believed to be Prada at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in 2013

Kris Jenner, right, and her friend Shelli Azoff in a dress believed to be Prada at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in 2013

One day at the design studio, five of us arrived in the exact same signature Wakeley Air jersey. We were all different ages, shapes and sizes and we all had a completely different style.

It was exciting to watch as I have always loved the challenge of creating a piece that many different women can wear and make their own.

Remember, there is nothing to be ashamed of in an accidental twinning.

Trinny Woodall’s Trinny’s Friday Twinning illustrates this brilliantly: she and her colleague Chloe (completely different shapes, sizes and ages) are filmed wearing the same outfits, but are creating totally different makeup looks for themselves and then individualizing the look with different styling and accessories.

A bright smile and good posture can transform anyone and any look.

And at the end of the day, we are all our own women, even if we wear the same thing.

At least Princess Anne had fun!

By Esther Rantzen for The Daily Mail

If a benefit ball with Princess Anne doesn’t deserve a new evening gown, I don’t know what will.

And so it was, 35 years ago this month, that I arrived at a hotel on London’s Park Lane, with my late husband Desmond Wilcox, dressed in a concoction of cream chiffon, with a matching scarf, designed by Frank Usher.

Figure-hugging and strapless, it was a daring departure for me. Almost, I worried, out of my league. But when I stepped foot inside the glittering pre-prom reception, I felt a sense of confidence.

Until I saw Bruce Forsyth with his beautiful wife Wilnelia. She was dressed in the exact same dress.

Being about a foot taller than me, and a former Miss World to begin with, there were no prizes for guessing who looked infinitely more glamorous.

Desmond Wilcox, Esther Rantzen, Bruce Forsyth and his wife Wilnelia at the Roaring 20's Ball at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London in May 1987

Desmond Wilcox, Esther Rantzen, Bruce Forsyth and his wife Wilnelia at the Roaring 20’s Ball at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London in May 1987

This was a fashion disaster and something had to be done. Springing into action, Wilnelia draped my chiffon scarf over my shoulders and tied her own around her waist in an attempt to make us look different.

As the photographers began to arrive, Brucie said ‘I’m in charge’ and stepped between us. And we got away with it, I think.

Though I did confess our fashion faux pas to Princess Anne later that night and she seemed wryly amused. As Wilnelia taught me, it’s just a matter of props and nerve control.

It happened again a few years ago, when I attended a formal event at my old university in Oxford.

I was asked to give a speech in honor of the principal, and when I arrived in a long jacket, I noticed that she and I were wearing the same dress.

I wore my jacket through lunch and then got up to give my speech, peeling off my outer shell to reveal our identical outfits.

There we were, two identical peas in a pod. She got a much better laugh than any of my prepared jokes.

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