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My wardrobe is full of clothes but I have nothing to wear!!

(17 Posts)
Jemster Sun 03-May-15 19:00:13

I need help!
I have quite a few clothes in my wardrobe but nothing goes together! I have a mixture of things in there from pre-dc which no longer fit but I'm hoping will one day.
I have some work stuff & some casual but I don't really like much of
it & it's all tatty & poor quality or out of shape or faded from repeated washing.
Today I went out for a special friend's birthday lunch & I literally could not put a decent outfit together. I have lots of black which does nothing for me and a few other items which with hindsight I should never have bought.

I often impulse buy out of desperation which is how I've ended up like this I think but I hardly ever have time to shop carefully & not much money.

It's my 40th birthday soon & I want to use vouchers carefully so I have as a minimum one complete outfit for each of these occasions:

Night out with friends; meal, pub etc

Smart casual lunch event

Dressy occasion; party, day at races etc

Smart work outfit

The rest of the time I'll make do with jeans, tops & converse.

How do you put outfits together if you're just not good at that kind of stuff? I am fed up of looking at all this crap I have taking up so much room and yet not having anything to wear.

Any advice really appreciated please. I'm 5'3 size 12 pear shaped, brown hair/eyes, olive skin.

christinarossetti Sun 03-May-15 20:45:51

First step is to go through your wardrobe, try everything on and get rid of everything that is tatty, doesn't fit or you haven't worn for ages. Definitely the 'I shouldn't have bought these' items.

If there's any good quality items in your pre-dc stash, keep those if you think you'll wear them again one day, but only if they're in excellent condition.

Then decide what you need - sounds like a couple of pair of good, flexible trousers (at least one decent pair of jeans), a couple of nice tops (one a bit dressy), a couple of frocks (that you can wear with or without tights), one dressy, one day wear, maybe a skirt, couple of cardigans/jumpers.

From what you've got left you can fill in the gaps. If black doesn't do anything for you, try navy, brown or grey.

Good shoes and coat/jacket are essential to feeling well put together.

If it's hard to put outfits together, stick to a simple palette of grey/navy/taupe with bits of brighter colours.

There's nothing wrong with buying cheap casual wear (actually very sensible with young children), but don't expect it to last more than a season and get rid when it's getting tatty.

calzone Sun 03-May-15 20:50:14

I would buy a smart pair of grey/navy trousers.
A smart pair of jeans
A couple of plain long sleeve tops or thin jumpers
A blazer
Lots of accessories ie jewellery and scarves
A fitted dress (Phase 8 style)
Couple of pairs of good quality ballerina style shoes

hippospot Sun 03-May-15 21:00:06

If you don't have much time for shopping, try and do as much online browsing as possible, to get a feel for which shops you like best and can afford.

I agree, get rid of anything you don't love, and think about the things you feel good in, and try to wear that shape or style more.

It's ok to have a bit of a "uniform"!

People might suggest getting your colours done or seeing a personal shopper and I would say they are both a good idea if funds allow. Certainly they might help you avoid wasting money on "mistakes".

FWIW I now have fewer clothes than ever, in limited colours, but everything goes with everything and getting dressed is easier than before. I make fewer mistakes than before I had my colours done. I also tend to make a list each season of things that might fill the gaps in my wardrobe, rather than impulse buying. That said, I'm not particularly stylish or trendy, but I do know what suits my shape and lifestyle, and friends say I'm elegant which probably translates as unadventurous

squiz81 Sun 03-May-15 21:12:37

Have you got a good friend that could come round and help you clear out your wardrobes by telling you what looks good on you? Be ruthless you will find it cathartic! Ditch anything tatty. I would also be tempted to lose the clothes which don't fit. If you lose the weight you will probably want new things. Maybe if you have some good bits you could sell them to fund new purchases?

Look on Pinterest, fashion blogs and polyvore for outfit inspiration. What kind of style do you like?

britishbakeoffblues Sun 03-May-15 21:20:43

I went to see an image consultant - cost me £120 for a day, but has saved me hundreds of pounds also now know exactly what suits me and why things don't suit me.

She also did my colours.

Jemster Sun 03-May-15 21:51:05

Thanks for the replies everyone. I did have my colours done a few years back & I was an Autumn. I still have the little colour swatch thing but I find it really hard to find most of the colours in the shops so I end up buying other colours out of desperation.

With jeans, what's the best type yo go for for a night out & what shoes would you wear? I haven't been on many nights out with girls since having dc but i do have few coming up & I am clueless about what to wear. I want to look nice, not mumsy or frumpy but also not too trendy & trying too hard. I don't really want to buy things that will be out of fashion in a few weeks as I can't afford to.

I really need to see examples & ideas of complete outfits. When I've been on pinterest it often brings up US clothing - how can I find stuff to buy in Uk?

RaisingSteam Sun 03-May-15 21:56:20

I would recommend colour/image consultant as well, if you aren't confident and your wardrobe is unsatisfactory.

I had also got to a point where everything in my wardrobe was worn out/didn't fit/awful mistakes - and was looking to spend a bit to get some decent outfits like you - in the context of that, £200-ish on a style and colour consultation could easily pay for itself in a couple of years.

I know some people don't think a lot of being told "you must wear emerald green" or something, but it helped me a lot to have a coherent framework of choosing things that go together and to some extent suit my shape and personality. I feel much more comfortable in my clothes now and bend the "rules" a bit if i see something I love.

It's also quite a treat as a day out - I enjoyed it far more than sitting around at a spa!

RaisingSteam Sun 03-May-15 21:57:43

oh x-posted. Have you had a style consultation?

Jemster Sun 03-May-15 22:10:38

I had colours done & she touched on style but only by looking at me & writing down some suggestions, we didn't actually go & look for clothes together.
I don't know what is wrong with me, I seem to just wander around clothes shops without a clue of what I'm looking for or what is right for me.
I get stressed out then when I have somewhere to go, like todays lunch, & I have nothing suitable to wear. I can't spend hours on clothes, I just want to have a few key outfits I can pull out as & when needed.
I really don't know why I find it so hard, I used to love clothes & always looked nice but not anymore.

calzone Sun 03-May-15 22:52:21

I have a sort of uniform for work.

I wear block colours like black or navy and jazz it up with bright scarves and necklaces.

I love an accessory. smile

madmother1 Sun 03-May-15 23:03:32

Could you book an afternoon with a personal shopper in perhaps Debenhams? I know what you mean about going around aimlessly wandering round shops. I did this last week. You might find that you try on things that you wouldn't normally chose. Best of luck x

NowhereNow Mon 04-May-15 01:17:43

There is an Autumn thread which might have some ideas for things in those shades:

dreamingofsun Mon 04-May-15 09:17:52

i too was going to suggest a personal shopper. i had similar issues to you about 10 years ago and went to a couple of shops i like when it was quiet and asked an assistant to help me - one that looked about my age but a bit more 'put together'. she picked stuff that i never would have thought of and still wear today and also told me when stuff didn't look right. you sound as if you are in a rut

Itscurtainsforyou Mon 04-May-15 09:47:27

I'm also an autumn.
There's not a great choice of brown clothes in the shops (my staple colour) but there are more colours like moss/sage green, deep red/burgundy, charcoal, cream available. See if you can find some tops/trousers/skirts/dresses in those colours as a starting point.

In terms of jeans, it depends what shape you are - I look awful in skinnies so wear bootcut or flares. I can recommend sainsburys as somewhere for cheap jeans in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Lovewearingjeans Mon 04-May-15 10:13:12

If you can go to a specific jeans shop, as they can suggest styles that would suit. For nights out with mums my staples are jeans with a smart top (could be blouse, vest top with jacket and jewellry, interesting knitwear) and whatever shoes are seasonal! I don't get on with heels, so ballet flats, Converse or boots. I live in skinnies. Something else I love is a black jumpsuit. Really easy to accessorise. There are loads of styles in different colours too.

britishbakeoffblues Mon 04-May-15 22:06:06

I didn't go shopping with my image consultant - I took clothes I like, clothes I don't like, clothes I like but look odd in. She talked me through why things suit me and why things don't.
I can now walk on a shop and eyeball and know if they have clothes to suit me. Takes less than half the time it used to.

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