A closet full of clothes but nothing to wear
- By Shawnte McNabb
- Published 11/1/2011
A closet full of clothes but…well, you know the rest
Onlookers find it baffling and victims find it frustrating: Women who have a closet full of clothes, yet nothing to wear. But, what is even more baffling is when this phenomenon happens to females who shop on a somewhat regular basis. It even happens to females who consider themselves shopaholics. How is it possible to spend money on clothes on a regular basis yet still fall victim to this epidemic? As a former victim myself who has memories of standing in front of her closet looking like a deer in headlights, I can explain how this occurs.
For starters, women tend to be emotional shoppers. Having a bad day at the office? Not quite over that last break up? Have no fear, because that’s nothing that a cute dress from BeBe can’t fix, right? Happy or sad, good hair day or not, we love to shop. And the reality that you can find any clothing to go along with the mood you are in, well, that’s just beautiful. Shopping is a pastime for us and it’s also something we enjoy doing with friends. These are elements that lead to making purchases you don’t love and don’t need. Therefore, you end up with items in your closet that simply take up space. Just last week I was shopping with a friend and found a cute red dress I adored. She of course, being a true member of shopaholics anonymous, encouraged me to get it. I came close, but then I weighed my options and asked myself “Self, how often am I going to wear this bright red dress?” I realized the answer was maybe twice. However, if I would have absolutely loved the dress (not just the style but the way it fit, made me feel) I would have purchased it. My point is, it is easy to set yourself up to be in a situation where you spend money on things you only “like” and end up wearing once. Or even worse, they become items that six months later still have tags hanging on them.
The second factor that leads to having clothes that take up space is the fact that everyone loves a good deal. I had a dress that had been sitting in my closet for a year unworn. I found this particular dress (which was made by a brand I love) for 60% off simply because it was out of season. I loved the style and knew I would wear it when the weather called for it. The fact that the dress was a size too big didn’t stop me from buying it…but it did stop me from actually wearing it! Looking back I realize I simply loved the rush of getting that cute dress at a great price, typical consumer behavior. The fact that it was a size too big is almost like I was setting myself up for weight gain just so I could wear the darn thing (that’s a different story for a different day). Yes I got a great deal on that dress, but it was a complete, utter waste of money and space. I finally came to terms with reality and donated it.
After spending too many years buying pieces of clothing that did not get worn on a regular basis, I realized what the root of my wardrobe problem really was: I needed more basics, or what I personally like to call wardrobe staples. Things that could be dressed up or dressed down, things I could mix and match. I started focusing on finding basic investment pieces that fit great and therefore, made me feel great when I wore them. I think it is important to spend money on a few great basics that can become the foundation for your wardrobe. You can skimp when it comes to the t-shirts and camis, inexpensive ones will still look great under your basic/staple pieces. I wear six dollar t-shirts under my blazers and jackets. My personal basics are: The little black dress; a great pair of black and also grey slacks; cami’s and t-shirts; black/nude heels; jeans and blazers. For winter, my basics include: cardigans, coats, scarves, and my favorite leather jacket. All of the pieces I mentioned above can be worn repeatedly, yet in many different ways.
Gabriele Chanel saw the vision of basics and encouraged all women to have them. She believed every woman should own a great little black dress as well as a tweed suit that could be worn socially or also for business occasions. I think that if CoCo were here today she would definitely have a nice pair of slacks as well as blazers and cardigans added onto her list of must haves for today’s modern woman.
Unworn clothes are like constant reminders of the wasted money hanging in your closet. Making sure you start focusing on having the basics (that fit you well) in your closet means that you will eventually have the important wardrobe staples, which means you should never have a day again where you have a closet full of clothes, yet nothing to wear.