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

If you feel like you have nothing to wear, here are my go-to tips for putting a cute outfit together with a limited wardrobe.

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Womens clothing on hangers.

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, we all just want to feel as put together as the girls do in a Winston White commercial. 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 & Instagram accounts 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:

  • thegray.pge – An Instagram page where they post outfits of either celebrities or influencers. It’s my favorite place to find inspiration from and try new styles or certain pieces that you haven’t seen before.
  • 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.
  • Classystreetweargirls – Sort of like thegray.pge, Classystreetweargirls is another instragram where you can be aimlessly scrolling through your feed and will be stopped in your tracks to marvel at a cute outfit. Maybe you’ll find something you want to emulate yourself!
  • zara_streets — Another street style Instagram account that features influencers of all types in cool girl street style looks. They span the spectrum of styles so you’re sure to find a look you love!

For even more sources like this, be sure to see our guide to the best Instagram accounts for fashion inspiration.

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

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 Maddie Ziegler 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, Classystreetweargirls is a great place to see pictures of people doing stuff like this!)

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!

5. Invest in new clothes that do double duty

J.Crew cape scarf

For example, this J.Crew Scarf can be worn multiple ways. Since it has holes for the arms, you can easily wear this as a cape over your favorite outfit in the fall. Alternatively, wear it like a normal scarf — no one will see the arm holes!

Along similar lines, this Infinity dress can be worn three or more ways, as either a maxi or mini dress, and it comes in a large range of sizes so it is perfect for everyone.

What did you think of our guide to what to do when you have nothing to wear?

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!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2008; it was completely updated and revamped in 2019 with new photos and information.

27 thoughts on “What to Do When You Have Nothing to Wear: 5 Tips to Wake Up Your Wardrobe”

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 😀
    These have also helped me when shopping for new clothes for school or going out with my friends. Keep em’ coming! (:

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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!


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