One day in middle school, I wore the exact same checked, button-down shirt from Gap Kids as my friend that I shared pretty much every class with. (It was a very small school and yes, I wore Gap Kids until approximately age 15.) 25 years later, I still remember that day. This probably sounds ridiculous because it’s happened to all of us at one time or another, but who knows why we remember what we do.
My purpose in sharing this is that dressing like everyone else can be annoying for some, but it can also be hard to avoid when we all like to shop at the same stores—because they’re good. While I’m always fascinated by what the best-selling items from any given brand are, I also don’t want to show up wearing the same exact thing as my friend. So I’ve figured out a few simple tricks when shopping popular brands like Zara and Reformation. Read on to learn more and to shop pieces that you don’t have to worry about looking like everyone else in.