The two real reasons we have a wardrobe full of clothes but "nothing to wear"

You know all those magazine articles that tell us how to have the perfect capsule wardrobe and the exact items we need to make it happen? Often they suggest things like a crisp white shirt and a classic mac - two things that are just not for me and my style and don't suit my lifestyle. The reason mags keep churning these articles out is supply and demand - we're all desperate to know how to achieve the perfect capsule wardrobe and how to make it happen. Ask yourself these questions, what percentage of your wardrobe do you actually wear? Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes but wear the same few items over and over again? Do you feel guilty about throwing things away that you've spent money on, which is why you hang on to all these unworn, not-needed-anymore clothes? The main point of the day though is; do you have a wardrobe full of clothes but feel you have nothing to wear? 

There are two main reasons for this and the solution isn't to get a mac and a crisp white shirt. So many of us are in a shopping rut, will buy things on repeat, for example they might have 15 pairs of jeans and striped Breton t-shirts and not much else then wonder why they are bored senseless with their look and wardrobe. 

So without further a-do here are the two main reasons we have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear!

1. Reason one - a cluttered wardrobe.

This has a hugely negative effect on outfit building and enables continued 'bad shopping' or rut shopping. Hanging onto all your clothes from the past few years and having a cluttered wardrobe full of things you don't wear causes daily confusion, is emotionally toxic and stressful! Have you got clothes stuffed in every nook and cranny in the house? Up in the loft and in other people's wardrobes? Here are some tips on how to declutter and solve that:

  • Declutter every six months. If you have just brought out all your summer clothes from last year but realised you didn't wear any of these items LAST summer then put them in a pile for Charity.
  • If you have any trend items from last season they can be given to charity or recycled at a TK Maxx or recycling bank.
  • Try not to feel emotional about your clothes. If you have certain items that you feel nostalgic about but wouldn't wear anymore they need to be stored away. Don't keep them hanging in the wardrobe or in drawers you use every day adding to the volume. 
  • Don't feel guilty about getting rid of things if you simply don't like them anymore or if you paid a lot of money for them. There is money to be made from the items in your wardrobe. The obvious place is Ebay, or for designer clothes, Vestiare Collective is brilliant, Cudoni is very easy to use and will sell on Zara, Cos, Nike, Whistles, lots of High Street items as well as some designer. The other thing you can do is donate your unwanted clothing to a charity like Smart Works who help women in need with interview skills and outfits to get them into the workplace. Finally, you can donate the bag of clothes to any high street charity shop and there is even a company that will come and collect the bags for you called There really is no excuse not to declutter!

Really, once you've decluttered you will feel so much lighter and brighter. if you can't do this by yourself because you're unsure of what to keep and what to chuck then get in touch about a professional wardrobe edit. 

2. Reason two - you don't own the necessary 'middle smart' items needed to create a functional wardrobe.

This is something I've seen time and time again and is the most common reason people struggle to pull smart outfits together. Could this be you too? Do you have lots of very casual items in your wardrobe - fast fashion that lasts a few washes then starts looking a bit 'bag lady'? Relaxed comfy pieces, things that are cheaper and not great material from Primark maybe or White Stuff? 

Do you also have on the other side of the wardrobe very dressy stuff for weddings or events but not things you be comfortable wearing on the school run or day-to-day?

So you've got the very casual and the event pieces but the middle is completely missing. The 'middle-smart' pieces. Items that initially cost a bit more which is why they don't get bought in the first place. People tend to shop for clothes piece-meal and randomly, having a lunchtime browse around Zara and picking things that aren't really needed and that don't work with what is already in the wardrobe! The result is a haphazard wardrobe, but what can you do about it and what are these mysterious 'middle smart' items I speak of?

Nine times out of ten it's about polishing up what you already have by adding a bit of tailoring and some better quality items. There is no 'one-size fits all' as I've already mentioned, how could there be when we are all so different with different lifestyle needs? However! We would ALL benefit from a bit of silk and tailoring to pull outfits together more easily and look and feel smarter and stylish. If you don't work in an office and you are someone who doesn't like feeling trussed-up, then maybe go for a smart cardigan instead of a blazer or just a nice jacket - having lots of jackets will give you lots of outfit options. Throwing a jacket or smart cardigan over jeans and a basic t-shirt will give you an instant outfit but clearly if it's boiling hot that outfit 'aint going to work. I'm also talking about tailored dresses and trousers too. A pair of smart tailored loose culottes would work when its hot or a smart shirt dress will elevate your overall look and stop you feeling too casual.

Here are some of the best 'middle smart' pieces for your summer wardrobe to polish up your overall look and make sure you are looking as hot as the sun we are allegedly set to enjoy this year! 


If you want some professional insight into your wardrobe and why it isn't working get in touch to find out about a wardrobe edit session. I currently have summer appointments available in July.