Every so often, we recognize the dresses we see on an awards show red carpet. Usually, it’s because they debuted on a recent runway—or a star managed to pull a vintage classic from some designer’s archives. But the red evening gown Padma Lakshmi wore to the 2018 Emmy Awards looked familiar for a different reason: She wore it to the Vogue India Women of the Year Awards last October.
“I’m excited to wear this beautiful J. Mendel dress again,” Lakshmi told People in an exclusive interview. “I think in this day and age, we should stop sending the message to young women and girls that we all have these endless closets of clothes we never wear more than once, especially on a red carpet.”
She continued by noting the immense artistry, labor and time involved in the making of a single red carpet gown. “The gorgeous fabrics all deserve to be worn again and treasured,” she said. “It seems wasteful not to enjoy these dresses.”
She’s not wrong. And her stunning red gown looks just as gorgeous this September as it did last October. Plus, Lakshmi changed things up by wearing her hair down with statement hoop earrings this time around; last year, she wore it in a messy updo with daintier jewelry. (She stuck with similar strappy heels, though.)
So the next time an event rolls around and you feel tempted to spend a small fortune on a stunning dress you’ll only wear once, consider heeding Lakshmi’s advice. If Padma Lakshmi can be an outfit repeater (and if Lizzie McGuire can so iconically be one, too), so can we. At the very least, our credit card bills will thank us later.