Picture this: It’s eight in the morning, you need to leave the house in 15 minutes to make it to work on time—and yet you’re standing in front of your wardrobe, still in your underwear stressing about what to wear. “But I truly have nothing to wear!” you exclaim in a panic. Even though the DHL guy can vouch for the fact that he’s delivered parcels to your house twice this week. It’s not that you physically have nothing to wear, you just feel like it.
But what does feeling like you have nothing to wear actually mean?
Celebrities, they’re just like us!
Am I actually the problem? (yes)
Well, sometimes it could mean two things. One is that you are an emotional shopper, impulse buying things that you feel attracted to in the heat of the moment, without taking proper consideration into whether it fits into your personality or lifestyle. This results in an overflowing wardrobe of things that you truly wouldn’t wear beyond once.
The other is that the fault doesn’t lie with the clothes per se, but you. Now I’m not personally coming for your ~aesthetic~, but rather I’m imploring you to look inwards instead. In the book How to Be a Woman, English author and journalist Caitlin Moran wrote, “When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’ what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.’”
And this couldn’t be truer.
Fashion isn’t just superficial
Nothing about personal style is random. Contrary to popular belief that fashion is superficial or frivolous, so much of what we put on every day to face the world is tied to our identity and how we want the world to see us as people. The person in their personal uniform of a black tee and pants? That’s someone who’s all about function. Your colleague in the weird Comme Des Garcon top? She’s expressing her appreciation for abstract design silently.
According to Anabel Maldonado, fashion journalist, psychologist and founder of the online site The Psychology of Fashion, “You feel good in an outfit when it feels the most “you”, she explains in her article The Promises of Fashion Psychology. “When sub-consciously you feel that this outfit most accurately captures your identity and your mood on the given day.” And on days where you wake up just not feeling it, that’s when you to tend to project your mood onto something exterior. The same goes for days where you “feel” ugly or fat, even when you know you’re not being realistic. You haven’t become any of those things overnight, you’re just fearful that your flaws are now being portrayed for the world to see.
So the next time you lament on having nothing to wear, try to understand the deeper meaning on how you feel. If it’s more of a feeling than an actual problem of not having the right clothes, then try to remember the following: People around you don’t care. Most people are far more worried about the impressions they are making on others to care that much about you. At least 80% of the things you wear will go unnoticed.
At the end of the day, it’s all about confidence! If you find yourself regularly feeling this way, work to improve on yourself or start to build a wardrobe that truly feels the most “you”. Avoid the cheap buy that was on sale. Look, even as a huge fashion consumer, I too am not immune to this feeling. While I used to solve this issue by constantly buying cheap, trendy things, it never made me feel better beyond the short term. Pick things you truly love that make you feel like the best version of yourself, that way you can always reach out for those items whenever the feeling strikes again.
Here are a couple of my favourite perk-me-up pieces that just instantly made me feel like I was living my best life, even if I woke up with zero self-esteem that day.