10 Ways to Beat the Wardrobe Blues

Monday, August 19, 2013

The other week when going through my daily blog readings, the question was asked- how to re-invigorate your closet when you are tired of everything there. It's a common lament- I have nothing to wear!  C'mon. Say it with me: We've all "been there; done that."  Often the "cure" (ahem, bloggers especially) is to buy a little something new for closet. Now, I like shopping as much as the next blog-I mean girl, but,  spending like that often isn't an option, and arguably can contribute to the consumerism culture and all that (but that's a topic for another day).This may be a sign of needing to do a wardrobe overhaul (in which case, here's a post for 20 basics every woman needs and one from October Rebel about curating your wardrobe), but more often, we just need to look at things in a different light. So here are 10 ways to beat the Wardrobe Blues.

Photo via So Much to Smile About.

10 Ways to Beat the Wardrobe Blues: 

Pinterest Inspiration Board

These days you can see so many pinboards titled things like "My Dream Closet" or "My Imaginary Wardrobe." Quit the daydreaming and change tracks a bit here.

Instead of using Pinterest as shopping (or pipe dreams) brainstorming, take some inspiration instead. Make a board where you add outfits you could recreate with similar pieces you already own. Now, admittedly there can be a fine line here, because no one likes a copycat. BUT-  you are unlikely to have the exact same piece of clothing the person in the picture does. Or maybe what you like is more general; maybe you like what they do with a certain color, a mood they create, or a combo of two types of wardrobe pieces (for example, like the way Elana of Room 334 ties knots shirts over dresses? Try it out yourself!)  Use that to change how you view what is already in your closet.

Play Dress Up

This is an game we should never have abandoned from childhood. Set aside some real time- just you and your closet. Get pieces out of your closet, try them on, mix them up.  Layer things (Pssst! Look at this "Layered Like an Onion" Series from Messages on a Napkin to start you out). Prance about in front of the mirror. Or, if that strikes as too much, lay out possible outfits on the bed or hang them on hangers.  If a combo doesn't work out no one has to know but you and your clothes, but if it does work out- oh baby, watch out!

Re-envision One Piece of Clothing as Another

Take your "remixing" skills to another level. Try using a dress as a skirt. Or a shirt for that matter! Tie scarves together to make a shirt. Turn a shirt into a skirt. The possibilities can get wild, man!

Give Yourself a Wardrobe Challenge

 Recently, Anna of  Melodic, Thrifty, & Chic  challenged herself to first wear a t-shirt  every day  for a month and then to wear a dress everyday for a month.  Kendi Everyday started a rather famous challenge- the 30x30 Remix Challenge. Whether you take these exact projects on, or choose to make your own- go for it! Why? Studies show giving yourself a  concrete   measurable objective (I will do XX so many times or I will do Y for Z days)  can motivate you, keep you accountable, and force you  to think outside of the box! 

Borrow From Another's Closet

Sharing is caring- that's what they tell us in preschool. Gotta a friend? A sister? Some distance cousin with totally cool taste? Shop around...their closet. In fact, let's add to this list- Gotta a mother? An aunt? A grandma? Shop their closets too- both present and past.  See if you can dig around those attics and storage bins for some vintage just waiting for a new lease on life.

Love the idea, but no one's your size? Don't overlook the possiblities of one-size-fits-all items like  scarves, jewelry and belts.

And let's not forget who else you can borrow from either. Why just go menswear-inspired when you can straight-up try on some menswear? That's no all either; the book Paris Street Style even has advice on what to borrow from kids' closets!

However and whomever you feel comfortable asking- do so.  Just don't forget to say thanks (and let them shop your closet too!)

Photo via Pinterest

Participate in a Clothes Swap

One of the reasons I love being part of the Flock Together blog  is that I get access to so many lovely ladies' closets! But there are lots of swap groups out there; maybe you could join one? Some places have clothes swapping events you can attend in person. Google to find out if one is near you! Or, get really proactive and host a clothes swap yourself (Read this post from Delightfully Tacky to get more how-to knowledge).

Repair and Mend

Sometimes a button rips out; a hem gets torn, and that poor piece of clothing we love languishes in a repair basket (or- let's get real here-often in the back of my closet). Taking the time to fix things can result in feeling like a new piece has joined your wardrobe (or perhaps re-joined it the better term)!

Maybe you're no good with sewing though, or maybe it's a bigger and more subtle problem, like an item that doesn't fit. Investing some dough in a seamstress or tailor might be worth it- and cheaper than you think! Ask around and see who knows a seamstress. Often neighbors and friends might make a little extra on the side doing such things, have just as good of skills, and be cheaper than a professional (though a professional is also not a bad choice).

Don't forget to look at those repairs that can be made without the need for a thread and needle to. Want to tackle getting that stain out? Or how about polishing your shoes or cleaning your jewelry?

Do a DIY

 Turn an old item into a new favorite with a DIY. Taking scissors to clothes can be daunting at first, but it is an easy way to make a one of a kind piece. Maybe cut up a T-shirt, raise a hemline, or get rid of some sleeves. Hannah of Braided Bandit  has an entire series to get you brainstorming about how to transform your old duds.


The devil is in the details, they say. Maybe it'd be just as accurate to say The Look Is In The Accessories. Add a necklace, or a bracelet, or ten. The layered look of jewelry is very in. Or belt it. And don't limit yourself to putting a belt on whatever needs held up. Belt an overlarge dress, put a belt over a cardigan, a sweater, or even a scarf! Pair unexpected shoes with an outfit (what would heels and jeans look like? hiking boots and skirts?) Put a hat on it!

lked about!

Think Beyond Clothes

"Clothes make the man," they say. "First impressions," they utter. But clothing isn't the only thing contributing to one's appearance. And no, I'm not talking about accesories (again). Change up something else for a new look. Try a new hair-do (maybe these Hair  How-Tos are a good place to start?), get your hair chopped off, dye it some crazy color that makes you happy, get extensions. Or maybe you'd rather paint your nails, or slap on a temporary tattoo? Piece your ears? Your nose? Try a new lip color or learn how to curl eyelashes? Any (or all of these) could be a very fun change!


  1. oh I love a good clothing swap! I need to give myself a clothing challenge sometime soon. those seem like fun!

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  2. This is great! And thanks for the link! I've been thinking about the 'I've got nothing to wear blues' recently - this post is so timely. I'm really a shorts person, but I gained a little weight over the past year. I don't mind, but I've had to say goodbye to most of my shorts. I've had a pair of shorts that I ordered on sale that were too large for me. After the weight-gain, they were still too large at the waist, but I altered them, and now they fit! I thought I would botch them, but it turned out very well. Also, I wanted a blue or red cardigan for this fall - but instead of buying one, I plan on dying my lime green one a better color. Yay diy!

    All of these tips are awesome - I think the 'play dress up' idea is excellent.

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    1. I can't wait to see how that dying experiment goes! Also good on you for altering those shorts...this may have been written partly to motivate myself to get some things altered, lol!

  3. Love these tips, Kristian! I especially agree that playing dress up really does help you get a sense of how many different options are available to you. It's the only way I can get inspired some days!

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  4. Thanks, for posting this, Kristian! It's the inspiration I needed! : )

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    1. YAY! I'm glad since your question the other day inspired this :)

  5. That first quote is SO TRUE! I have never thought about my closet in that sense, but you're totally spot on for all the different ways to get creative and out of a wardrobe slump.


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  6. Dress up is my fave way to fall back in love with my wardrobe :) The cleaing up afterwards... not so much, haha. Loved this post Kristian! I often find myself in a style-rut after youknowwhattimeofthemonth (oversharing!) but this post might bring a little help! xo

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    1. haha.... as I read this, I am procrastinating picking up a pile of clothes that was created from playing dress up....

  7. This was suuuuch a good post- it definitely made me want to go play in my closet and frolic in front of my mirror, haha. I always liked Hannah's posts about how to mend and alter pieces-now if only I didn't hate sewing so vehemently, haha. And thank you for featuring my Layered Like an Onion posts!! I really need to make a whole page for them :)

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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    1. You're welcome! And I'd love to see a page or tag for your series!

  8. I'm always getting sick of my closet, and lord knows I use shopping way too often to get out of my rut! Even with cheaper purchases, like from the thrift store, the impulse buys just give me a larger closet, not a better one! These were some really good tips!


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    1. So funny to hear that even you- who are one of the most creative remixers I read- even feel like you can get stuck in a rut. Seems hard to picture to me somehow.

  9. This is such a great post! I have to admit that I often feel like I just want to throw away all my clothes and start again with a new wardrobe, but looking at Pinterest photos definitely helps!

    Xo, Hannah


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    1. I've felt that way about my closet too and did in fact this year really go through and get rid of things I didn't use/like/fit etc and started to fill the holes in my closet slowly.

  10. I really like the first quote. It is so very true


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  11. Ok, sorry it's taken me a while to comment on this post, but I LOVE it! So many great points. I've already visited several of the links you have too, that was a great idea! I'm determined to give myself a wardrobe challenge now. Also, like most girls, I've been playing dress-up in my closet forevs. It's such a great way to have outfits on hand for when you're stuck later! Anyway, great work Kristian! Thanks for sharing, and for coming by my blog!

    perfectly priya

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    1. Your welcome priya; glad you like the links too!

  12. Great quote and so true!

    Ali of

    Dressing Ken

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  13. Hmm, you must have read my mind here...I've been feeling this way as of late since I think my style is slowly changing...or wants to change for that matter. I'll admit I've spent lots of time on Pinterest because of this :-) Great post Kristian!

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    1. I should look you up on pinterest now!

      I feel my style is changing too. I love seeing bloggers as they evolve and grow.


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