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What to Do When You Have Nothing to Wear – 5 Tips to Wake Up Your Wardrobe

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Nothing to wear

We’ve all been there – waking up on a Monday morning, scrambling to the closet and realizing all of a sudden.. “I have nothing to wear!”

Maybe you forgot to do laundry that weekend or maybe you’re just sick of your clothes – either way, feeling like you have nothing to wear is no fun at all.

To be honest, this is something that used to happen to me all the time. I even used to skip class just because I couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear! Thankfully, those days are over, and I’ve found some ways to get over that feeling and come up with a cute outfit anyway.

No matter how much clothing you own or how sick you are of your clothes, you don’t have to go naked like the girl in the Bluefly.com commercials! Yes, it’s totally possible to get yourself out of your wardrobe rut with a few simple tricks.

Here are some of my tips to wake up your wardrobe and find something to wear, or at least to get a new perspective on your existing clothes:

1. Look at style websites for inspiration

Sometimes I find it helps to look at pictures of people who dress well to get ideas for what to wear. I don’t mean that you should copy their looks, but try to draw inspiration from them and use them to see your clothes in a new light. Here are some of my favorite online places to find outfit ideas:

  • Wardrobe Remix – A flickr group with a cult following. If you’ve never heard of Wardrobe Remix, it’s basically a group of people who take photos of their daily outfits. It’s not always high-fashion, but it’s nice to see what real people are wearing.
  • The Sartorialist – One of the most popular fashion blogs with little to no writing, the Sartorialist consists of a bunch of photos of stylish people from cities across the world! Want to know what they’re wearing in Paris or rocking on the streets of NYC? The Sartorialist is your source.
  • MyStyleDiary – Sort of like wardrobe remix, MyStyleDiary is a website where users take pictures of their daily outfits and post them for the world to see. Find someone who resembles you and check out their outfit combinations. Maybe you’ll find something you want to emulate yourself!

2. Challenge: Make it work

This trick works the best if you’re usually experimental with fashion and don’t mind taking a risk!

Here’s what you do: close your eyes or turn away from your closet and grab something randomly. No matter what it is, your challenge is to make an outfit around it and wear it! You can come up with some crazy and fabulous combinations this way, as well as find things you forgot you even had.

3. Borrow something from a guy

A guy's closet full of mens clothing

When you think all your clothes suck, sometimes all it takes is a quick browse through a boy’s closet to get your outfit going again. Borrow from your boyfriend or steal from your best guy friend – guys always seem to have the best basics!

For example, I love stealing my boyfriend’s cardigans because they’re long, oversized and ultra cozy. So chic with just a tank, jeans, and a few choice accessories. I also love wearing one of his oversized v-neck sweaters with skinnies and ballet flats. If you’re daring, you could even go the Katie Holmes route and rock the cuffed “boyfriend jean.”

There are so many new outfit possibilities that present themselves when you steal clothes from boys – I definitely recommend doing so if you have access to a guy’s closet.

4. Wear your existing clothes in unexpected ways

Another great way to wake up your boring old wardrobe – take your regular clothes and wear them in new, unintended ways. For example, that black tube top could be a perfect mini skirt over tights with a loose top and jacket, or that too-short-for-winter minidress could look fabulous as a tunic worn over skinny jeans. (BTW, Wardrobe Remix is a great place to see pictures of people doing stuff like this!)

Think you can’t wear your wardrobe in any new ways? You might surprise yourself with the combos you can come up with if you try! Mix things up and try everything on if you have time. Worst case scenario: nothing looks right and you’re back where you started. At least give it a shot.

5. Invest in new clothes that do double duty

Ways to wear the American Apparel Bandeau Jersey Dress

Avoid future “nothing to wear” days by investing in clothes that can be worn multiple ways. Multi-tasking clothes are not only great for changing up your wardrobe, but they’re also perfect for those on a budget – it’s like getting ten pieces for the price of one!

For example, the American Apparel Jersey Bandeau Dress ($43) can be worn over 15 different ways. Add accessories, and you have 15 different unique looks from ONE piece of clothing!

Some more convertible clothes worth checking out: the BCBG Cardi-Wrap can be worn three or more ways, RN Convertible is a line of jersey pieces that can be worn tons of ways by Rozae Nichols, and Sacha Drake makes the “ultimate black dress“, which can be worn 9 different ways.

Your Thoughts?

Now that you know how to get yourself out of a nothing to wear crisis, I want to know what you think. Do you have the problem of nothing to wear often, or are you always coming up with new looks? What are your tips to get yourself looking fab when it seems like you have no clothes that work?

Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment!

*Photos by jamelah and dansays

Posted on on November 6, 2008 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , ,

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29 Responses to “What to Do When You Have Nothing to Wear – 5 Tips to Wake Up Your Wardrobe”

  1. 1
    November 6th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Great article!! This is really helpful. I have tons of clothes but I hate getting dressed in the morning. I never know what to wear, but I’m definitely going to try some of these tips.

  2. 2
    November 6th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Hey thanks!
    I use MyStyleDiary…but the people don’t seem to update often, so I’ll be sure to check out the other ones :)!

  3. 3
    November 6th, 2008 at 11:25 am

    hey, thats interesting, my dear. but i have one problem. i dont have so many outfits in my wardrobe, and they arent really that awesome and up to date, and im not a spoiled kid, so i rarely go shopping, i know this isnt relate anything to your blog but any help may solve my problem. and i only have one pair of imitation jeans, so for the summary, i wear my clothes over and over again, and im scared if my buddies realise it, but i think they do!

  4. 4
    November 6th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Ashley – I know what you mean, sometimes getting dressed takes effort!

    Stephanie – Ah, yeah that’s no fun. Wardroberemix is updated all the time and so is Sartorialist. Hope you like them!

    Zoe – I doubt your friends notice you wearing the same clothes over and over. What I’ve found is that most people are too self conscious about themselves to notice what you’re wearing 99% of the time! Don’t worry.

  5. 5
    November 6th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Haha, I HAVE seen that Bluefly commercial multiple times. Anyways, great post! I so feel like this RIGHT NOW. I have class soon and I’m actually just catching up on reading all my fashion blogs. I should be getting dressed but I have NO CLUE what to wear today! For me, it’s usually because it’s early in the morning and it’s cold. So I don’t feel like getting creative, even though later on I might. I’m definitely checking out those sites t hough, thanks!

  6. 6
    November 6th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Polyvore is another good website to get style inspiration :)

  7. 7
    November 6th, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I like getting creative with clothes….and try to come up with new looks..t-shirt with boobtube dress over it

  8. 8
    November 6th, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Hi! I wold just really like to know one thing: are grunge jeans back? Please make a next post about it!
    Luv ya, thaks

  9. 9
    November 6th, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    I really like FabSugar.com for outfit inspiration. You keep a look book and people give you feedback!

  10. 10
    November 6th, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    oh btw, stylediary is aweseome!!!

  11. 11
    November 7th, 2008 at 9:14 am

    I think ClosetCouture.com is amazing. They have stylists online that can look at pictures of you and tell you what to wear and they will mix and match what you already have to make new outfits for you. Amazing – you get a whole new wardrobe without going shopping. http://www.closetcouture.com

  12. 12
    November 7th, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Taking style tips from Sex and the City and Gossip Girl is definitely the way to go if you’re trying to change up your typical wardrobe. Incorporating simple, chic pieces inspired by runway looks always makes me feel a little bit more dressed up! Last week I went shopping wearing a pair of gray skinny jeans, but instead of a regular t-shirt I grabbed one of my brother’s oversized Calvin Klein white t-shirts and paired it with a studded black belt making it more of a tunic. That and a pair of gladiator sandals was super comfortable and was really cute!

  13. 13
    November 9th, 2008 at 10:56 am

    This is all awesome. I’d also like to say that sometimes you can just add in a good accessory (bag, pashmina/scarf, etc.) to make an otherwise plain outfit work.

    I am so so so glad that you didn’t say something like “wear sweatpants and make it work” because it really irritates me when I see girls wearing worn out sweats or pajamas in public.

    I love your blog!

  14. 14
    November 9th, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I feel like this all of the time and it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve learned how to switch up my wardrobe a little. Remixing your wardrobe when you think you have nothing to wear is a funky and fun way to keep your style looking fresh and stylish! You’d be surprised to find out making one little change in your outfit can almost switch up your entire assemble. Great Post & Thanks for sharing!

  15. 15
    November 10th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I love reading your articles on here. I started reading by school. We have to turn in an article based on fashion and I always use yours :D
    These have also helped me when shopping for new clothes for school or going out with my friends. Keep em’ coming! (:

  16. 16
    November 14th, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    omg you have just saved me from being late for the rest of my life!!!! very informative and good tactics i love the closing your eyes and picking something, then making an outfit out of it.

    (new reader)

  17. 17
    November 19th, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Number 4 is becoming my key to success, a little layering or unlayering can give a drab ensemble a new touch. I did “inventory” a few weeks ago and figured out how to pair up a few new pieces it was actually a lot of fun, I rediscovered my closet.

  18. 18
    November 24th, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    OMFG! u dont kno how many times ive worn the same outfit and thought wat the hell do i have anything else in my closet!
    so thanks to whoever made this artical cause i wouldnt kno wat to do with myself tomorrow!!!
    : ]

  19. 19
    December 3rd, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Great article! I tried with Wardrobe Remix but people wear clothes that are too much for me. example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/violetfolklore/3072182020/in/pool-80473820@N00
    I had so much fun grabbing something randomly! But I wouldn’t wear those clothes, haha. Thanks for the post

  20. 20
    May 8th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    I’m guilty of doing #4 a lot. My boyfriend isn’t too fashionable, so I think until I get to take him shopping, I’ll just stay out of his side of our closet, haha.

  21. 21
    May 26th, 2009 at 12:47 am

    Lookbook.nu is great!

  22. 22
    June 27th, 2009 at 2:01 am

    i have to find something to wear within the next 2 hours… so this isn”t very helpful.

  23. 23
    August 11th, 2009 at 3:07 am

    I always find cute strapless dresses and tunics during the summer but get really self-concious wearing them–I’m afraid of the little armpit fat roll effect :P

    Sooo, what I like to do is shift them downward and wear them as a skirt. The elastic band is very comfy on my bottom and I have plenty of basics to wear for a top. And especially for the strapless tunics, if you wear them as a skirt, it can give an A-line effect (that I think looks classy) in a cute print you’d be hard pressed to find if you were shopping for an actual skirt.

    Double-duty clothing!

  24. 24
    August 11th, 2009 at 3:09 am

    Oops–just found the tip in the article! Well, glad to hear that other people are doing this, because I think it’s a genius idea :P

  25. 25
    May 29th, 2010 at 4:48 am

    I still have noo idea what to wear!

  26. 26
    October 16th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I already grab clothes randomly which makes my style effortless:)

  27. 27
    July 7th, 2012 at 6:05 am

    I never have anything to wear Nd i am sickof it, i wear the same leggings ever.y weak because i cant afford new clothes! I am going to expeiment

  28. 28
    May 24th, 2013 at 3:47 am

    so cute

  29. 29
    December 24th, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Hey this is a great article, but what do I do if I don’t have a lot of clothes to begin with, and can’t go out and buy some?! I need help!

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