It’s late and I only have a couple of minutes to get ready. The kids are putting on their shoes and backpacks are ready. I’m going through the checklist in my mind, over and over, to make sure I didn’t forget lunch, homework, or anything they were asked to do or bring while at the same time running to my closet to get dressed. And after the first lookover through the closet, there it comes: that feeling of having nothing to wear. Together with being in a hurry, that is a bad combination! Easiest way out to avoid a meltdown: same pair of jeans and an oversized shirt. Can you relate?
I call it a feeling because the closet is anything but empty. We have plenty to wear. But it is something else. We don’t feel beautiful, happy, or comfortable with the tons of articles smashed together with each other that we have purchased for the wrong reasons.
It is the same pattern day after day. The same handful of pieces worn over and over but the closet still so stuffed that there is not enough space to sort everything on laundry day.
What about a grab-and-go wardrobe? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to wear anything that grabs your attention after just checking the weather and “to-do list?”
Some of the reasons why we “don’t have anything to wear”
- Impulsive shopping. I saw it, I liked it, I bought it (sometimes I didn’t even try it). This means your clothes don’t “get along” with each other.
- Shopping for one-time use. Buying for one occasion will fill our closets with pieces that don’t mix and match.
- Only sales. If you only shop for clothes on sale, your choices will be limited.
- Ignorance. You don’t know what type of clothes flatter your body; that body nobody else has because you are unique.
- It is disorganized. When you have too much, it is useless, because you can’t organize it in the practical way the “grab-and-go wardrobe” we dream of should work.
- All of the above. You have too many pieces because you’re falling into some or all of the traps mentioned above.
Is the feeling getting worse over time? I remember having it occasionally 20 years ago. Now it’s frequent for reasons both of life circumstances and of my own creation. The good thing is we can fix it by putting in some effort.
How to Address 3 Problems
1. Unhealthy messaging and social media
Perfection? Isn’t beauty subjective? Beauty standards are making everyone sick from the models to the public. Look in the mirror (not in the traumatizing magnifying mirror, please!) and instead of counting things you don’t like, note what you love about yourself and make your own standard of beauty.
2. Lack of knowledge
I have friends that are so confident that they wear what they like and have no regrets when they get home and try on their new acquisitions. Whatever trend, whatever color, just because they saw them, they loved them, they bought them, and they are wearing them!
I also have friends (many more in this category), that are insecure about their looks. They don't have a defined style and it bothers them. They follow the same wrong patterns again and again that create a wardrobe that overwhelms them.
You should find the pieces that flatter your silhouette and the colors that compliment you. This is a huge step to get that confidence we long for. We’ll go deeper into this in another blog. For now, here is a tip: to make the best purchasing decisions take photos of yourself wearing the clothes you bought. It is better if you try the same type of clothing with different silhouettes or lengths. For example, comparing full-length pants with cropped and capri pants would give you a good hint of the length that better flatters your body. Pick a blouse that pairs the pants and then switch them. Stand in front of a mirror, put your cellphone chest high at a right angle. Take a photo with each outfit. Carefully look at the photos for a couple of days. Compare them. This will help you to identify which length will make you look better. Give it a try. It takes time and patience, but the reward is worth it.
3. Clothing industry: buy, buy, buy
It is unbelievable the low prices you can pay for clothing today. That, in addition to the pressure of sales popping up everywhere on the internet, drives us to make impulsive purchases. If you think about it carefully, you could buy one high quality, well-thought-out, sustainably made piece of clothing with the same amount of money you invested in those “affordable” pieces that you purchased hastily and are now hanging in your closet because they didn’t meet your expectations after all.
So now what? We encourage you to look at yourself with love and compassion. Stop complaining and take action. Step-by-step and by practicing intentional shopping, you can have that functional wardrobe you need. It will help you to have a better relationship with your clothes and yourself. When you shop better, you shop for useful and high-quality items. When you shop less, you shop for practicality and ease. Isn’t that what you’d love to have?
Shopping less and shopping better can even save marriages!