It’s something that we do every day of our lives. And yet – unlike many things in life – practice doesn’t automatically make perfect.
It can happen all of a sudden. One day, you simply wake up and utterly detest everything in your wardrobe.
Alternatively, it can sneak up on you. Fleeting feelings of dissatisfaction build slowly to the point where you are convinced that you have absolutely nothing to wear.
It pays to know that there are so many ways that you and your wardrobe can seemingly drift apart. The majority of these are lifestyle factors. Career changes or retirement. The birth of a new baby. The break-down of a relationship. A large scale change in your weight. All of these circumstances, and more, can leave you staring blankly at your current wardrobe in complete frustration.
The good news is that you can learn to dress yourself again. All it takes is a little time and a few key strategies to remove the angst.
Before We Start
Before we get to my tips though, perhaps my most valuable suggestion is to avoid the temptation to go shopping, at least in the first instance. Now is not the time to be adding impulse or orphan purchases to the mix – you’ll still end up feeling like you have nothing to wear. Build your strategy first and then shop deliberately.
What To Do When You Feel Like You Have Nothing To Wear
- Get To Know The Person You Are Right Now. Maybe you haven’t done it for a while (or perhaps you’ve never done it) but the starting point is always to take inventory of your current lifestyle and your style personality. How do you spend your time? Are you working every day? Running around after little ones? Lunching regularly with friends? And do you prefer more classic looks? Or do bohemian, flowing outfits appeal? What do feel both comfortable and confident in? Answering these sorts of questions will give you an idea of the outfits that complement your life right now.
- Seek Out Inspiration. Hit the books. Jump on Pinterest. Conduct a little Internet research. Flick through magazines. Set yourself up in your favourite café during rush hour and people watch. Whatever research method you choose, be sure to let your imagination and your curiosity guide you. Ask yourself about the colours you love. Think about different silhouettes and shapes. Examine necklines as well as necklaces (and other accessories). And don’t forget to look to your favourite travel destinations or movies for even more inspiration. A friend of mine who finds Europe inspiring always looks her best when she is wearing what can only be described as ‘Euro Chic’. Likewise, another friend who loves that whole California vibe often looks like she just stepped out of a Slim Aarons photoshoot.
- Keep Track Of The Looks You Love. You can do this either on-line via apps or go old-fashioned by creating a mood board. Eventually you will see themes emerging in your collection of pins, saves or clippings. Think about the outfits you love the most. What attracts you to them? Can you incorporate small elements of those looks into your existing or future outfits?
- Play ‘Dress Ups’ – And Clean Out Your Wardrobe At The Same Time. Except in the case of dramatic weight change, there is actually a very strong chance that there is a whole lot you could be wearing (and loving) in your current wardrobe. While thinking about your current lifestyle and with those looks you love sitting where you can see them clearly, start putting together outfits from your current wardrobe. Be childlike and make this fun – just like ‘dress ups’ used to be.
- Write A List. Now that you’ve worked out what is staying and going from your closet, it time to make a list. What’s missing? What do you need to bring excitement into how you feel about dressing? Pay special attention to what I call the wardrobe essentials – those pieces that form the foundation of true style.
- Introduce New Items With Care. While it can be great fun to go on a massive shopping spree, there is also a lot of enjoyment in curating a wardrobe. Whichever way you go, make sure you really think about the pieces you bring home. If it isn’t true love and a piece doesn’t match your personality, lifestyle and current inspiration, then it is better to remain in the store.
- If All Else Fails, Seek Help. Style is absolutely one area of your life where coaching can help. If you are interested in working with a qualified style coach (Me!), then click here.
Have you ever felt like you had nothing to wear? Were you able to fall back in love with your wardrobe? I’d love for you to share your stories in the comments section below.
And until next time – au revoir.