Why Do I Have Nothing to Wear?

Everyone is familiar with the saying “I’ve got a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear”, but do you actually know why this happens? I remember the first time I heard the phrase, and thinking “OMG - that’s so me!!!” I found it quite reassuring to learn this is very common, and there’s a good reason for it. Of course, these days I know how to utilise all of my wardrobe so that I do have lots to wear - and believe it or not, mine is comparatively small.

I once did a Wardrobe Refresh with a client who owned over 50 pairs of jeans - sure they were different colours and styles but many were the same for all intents and purposes. So why do we do that? What makes us buy lots of the same thing - apart from the obvious fact that we love it/them. Well, we have this tricky wee area in the back of our br

ain called the “Reticular Activating System” which henceforth I’ll refer to as the RAS. In general life, the RAS helps keep us safe, but when shopping it keeps us buying the same things. It may be that you love a particular colour or style, or even a favourite brand so when shopping you’re immediately drawn to it.

You know that feeling when you walk into a store and love everything, then next season think the same store “has nothing”? This is because when you’ve entered the store your RAS hasn’t spotted your usual favourites. It may be that the colour palette for the current season has changed, or new styles and cuts are in vogue but for whatever reason you feel a bit deflated. Well, don’t despair! This can be the perfect opportunity to stretch your RAS a little, and try something new. I was once styled in a colourful kaftan (for myself I’m a lover of all colours as long as they’re black) and in all honesty, I looked great! I would never have chosen the dress for myself so it was fantastic to experience a new look and to stretch my comfort zones.

The best way to challenge yourself is to start with about a 5% change - try a 50% change and you’ll hate it or never wear it! But starting with small increments will allow you to grow your wardrobe with new and fun items that will still mix and match with your current pieces and have you feeling excited to get dressed every day. Next time you go shopping, try something different just for sh&*s and giggles - who knows you may just find a wee pearl!

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