Nothing to wear? It’s not necessarily a fashion issue

Recently, I was 20 minutes late for dinner because I faced a problem that I am sure every woman has come across at least once in her life: I had nothing (appropriate) to wear. Let me re-phrase that. I had nothing to wear from two wardrobes full of clothes. And did I mention I was only going for a movie at my local cinema so dressing up was not necessary?

Having a wardrobe full of clothes yet nothing to wear is described as a common problem for many women but it is not usually my problem. Those, who know me, may be smiling as they are reading this, because I have a lot of clothes and I invest a lot of effort into looking after my clothes and ensuring they match. I love creating new looks and putting outfits together. I approach each outfit as if it were a blank canvas and clothes in my wardrobe are my paints. It’s a daily creative process, that is so much more than putting on weather and occasion appropriate clothes. So when I say I have nothing to wear it is like saying I have no imagination or desire.20131211-234026.jpg

I was so upset to find myself in this situation (not to mention annoyed when I had to tidy up all the clothes I threw on my bed in a desperate attempt to see something suitable), that I decided something needs to change. First thing I had to do was to become still to be able to reflect on what was happening in my life, because I knew that with all the clothes that I have, having nothing to wear is a symptom of something else that has little to do with my actual wardrobe. In my case it was a symptom of feeling uninspired, tired, stressed and overwhelmed for weeks. I realised I did not feel like sharing myself (no blogging, no photography, no catching up with friends), I only wanted to stay in and hide. How incredible that I was going at such a fast speed that I was unable to notice all this and needed my clothes to “tell” me the truth.

Having this ‘mini crisis’ had some benefits. I decided to slow down, let go and bring back my self-case routine which I had been neglecting because I was ‘too busy’ during the pre-holiday season. Saying no to others, saying yes to me, establishing boundaries and de-cluttering helped me to slowly bring back my ability to enjoy life and style on a daily basis and notice all the beauty around me.

Enjoying a beautiful cup  of coffee not from a paper cup
Enjoying a beautiful cup of coffee not from a paper cup

Other women have shared their “clothes stories” with me and these stories helped me to see that our I-have-nothing-to-wear problem very often has nothing to do with the actual clothes.

So next time you find yourself in a situation where you feel you have nothing to wear, don’t rush to shops, instead ask yourself if there is another issue behind this.

  • Maybe you are not excited or uninspired about what you are dressing up for?

Do you struggle with getting ready for work every morning? Can it be that you don’t feel you fit in or are generally bored with your job? This is an opportunity to ask yourself important questions about your life.

I have worked with a woman who was completely uninspired about her wardrobe because she had no interest in her daily job. As soon as she changed her career, her interest in style and clothes returned.

Perhaps you are not excited about dressing up to go out. Is it possible that you are over-committing yourself and saying yes to things that don’t light you up? I do this from time to time (and have been doing a lot recently). Slowing down to connect with our desires and saying no to what we don’t feel inspired to do is important, especially during the hectic end of year season.

  • Body image issues

Another reason why you may not be excited about dressing up and think you have nothing to wear is poor body image. I have met many women who choose not to even look at themselves in the mirror because they don’t like what they see. Learn to appreciate your body, think about what parts of it you love most and dress it in a way that highlights these parts. This will help you to feel and act more confident. There are clothes for every body shape, if you would like to find out more, get in touch with me here.

  • Clutter

Clutter is one of the biggest barriers for inspiration and enjoyment in our lives. Clutter in our wardrobes is created when we shop because we are bored or want to fix an emotional issue by buying new clothes. But just as emotional eating, emotional shopping does not fix the actual issue, it only creates clutter in your wardrobe as you keep adding new items that don’t match anything else.

Mental ‘noise’, having too many things on your to do list, overbooked diary are all clutter too and prevent us from enjoying our style and lifestyle.

Whatever your form of clutter is, set time aside to remove it. I de-clutter my wardrobe regularly, but recently I have also freed up my diary by canceling what does not inspire me and scheduled time for dealing with my to-do list, delegating where possible. I feel a lot lighter as a result.

  • Buying new clothes

Of course, there are situations when having nothing to wear literally means that. It could be that your body shape has changed, you have changed lifestyle completely or moved to a country with completely different climate. Naturally, in these situations buying new clothes is the solution. My advice is to make sure you are shopping when you feel inspired and relaxed. You are more likely to be happy with your buys.

winter look2
Relaxed and enjoying my winter style

Have you felt you have nothing to wear recently? How do you deal with it? Are you currently putting the first thing on without even looking at yourself in the mirror? Are you in love with your style or do you fail to even acknowledge it on most days? I would love to hear about your experiences.

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