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6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear

Waking up and feeling like you have nothing to wear is frustrating, especially when staring at a closet full of things.

It wastes time and starts your day off on the wrong foot. 

So how is it that despite having so much stuff, you still can’t create an outfit?

Let’s break it down, because once you know why you have nothing to wear, you can start to turn it around.

Building a functional wardrobe is a lot of work. It takes an investment of time and money, two things we are all a bit short on these days.

Why You Feel Like You Have Nothing to Wear 

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear

The retail industry has never done much to help us, especially women over 40.

Styles are unwearable; when we find something we like, the inventory levels are low, and they continue to eliminate extended sizes in-store and online.

And I don’t know if you’ve walked into a store recently, but customer service is a thing of the past.

Shopping is downright overwhelming.

Add to that body image and changes (raises hand) and the fact that we are constantly pressed for time; it’s no wonder shopping is such a chore.

There aren’t many resources for grown-up women that provide:

  • Easy-to-digest tips.
  •  Honest recommendations.
  •  Explanations for why certain outfit combinations are better than others.

I created The Well Dressed Life because I saw a need for realistic style advice and practical shopping and product recommendations. We hope our daily tips make your life easier and make you feel more confident.

While it may seem so frivolous, having a closet full of nothing to wear is the biggest complaint I hear from our community. 

It can be exhausting, feeling like you are constantly reinventing the wheel. 

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear

Today, I’m breaking down a few of the reasons you feel like you have nothing to wear.

I guarantee you will see yourself in many of these examples.

We’ll talk about how to fix it, how to avoid it in the future, and highlight our most popular posts filled with some of our best advice.

As always, I’d love to hear your takeaways in the comments below. 

1. You’re Buying for One Time Use

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear

If you’re buying for an occasion rather than multi-wear use, you will have a closet full of pieces that don’t mix and match. 

You want your wardrobe to work together cohesively, making it easy to put outfits together quickly.

This remains my biggest personal challenge. 

I am chronically overcommitted and wait until the last minute, usually because I’m dressing everyone else in my house, and then run out or quickly order a dress or top for a specific event. 

A game-changing tip is when you are running to a store or hopping online to shop, even with a specific event in mind, be sure you can wear the garment two or three different ways before you purchase.

This ensures you get the most out of everything in your closet; I call it the “Wear it Three Ways Rule.”

2. You Make Impulse Purchases

I encourage our readers to step outside their comfort zone and try a new-to-you style, but if you’re all over the place with what you are buying, none of your clothes will “speak” to each other.

So often, I hear from our community that it’s hard to walk the line between being brave with their style choice and being practical.

You end up with a closet full of fun and funky tops, OR you keep buying white tee shirts. There is no in between.

That’s why it’s essential to root your wardrobe in better basics.

A few fun tops from Amazon won’t derail your closet if your wardrobe is heavy in better basics, like dark jeans, good black pants, and quality shoes.

Not only will this help you incorporate the trend into three looks (tip #1), BUT it also will elevate the less expensive piece in the overall feel of your outfit.

3. You’re Only Shopping Sale

No one loves a bargain more than I do, as evident in our weekly Sunday Sales Feature.

BUT,  if you only shop sales, you’re limiting your options and likely making do with pieces that don’t serve you well.

After more than a decade of cleaning out and reorganizing wardrobes with private clients, I know you will end up saving thousands of dollars over the years if you invest in better basics and use sales to discover a true deal, a hidden treasure, or to add fun, novelty pieces.

See How to Mix High and Low Fashion and How to Look Stylish on a Budget

4. You Have Too Much

I’m often asked how many of something you should own, for example, “How many jeans are enough?”

And my answer is always the same, “It depends.”

Our needs are determined by our lifestyle, maybe your lifestyle supports dozens of pairs, maybe you only need 3.

Back when I worked with clients in person, the one thing I was always blown away by was the sheer volume of clothes women had in their closets that they did not need, like, or wear.

They just held on to items. Like someone who’s been retired for five years but kept all of her suits from the early 90s – just in case.

Hanging on to items you’re not wear, and don’t need creates clutter.

And you can’t see what you have when it’s hidden beneath clutter, and if you can’t see what you have you’re not utilizing everything.

If your closet is overrun with stuff, this is your very first step. Take some time to edit your wardrobe and only keep what you love. 

5. You Lack Organization

See My Organized Space Here

Once your space is pared down, spend a little time getting it organized.

You don’t have to spend a fortune at The Container Store, in fact, you might have everything you need in other rooms of your home.

Be sure to create a category for everything you have create a space you can easily access. If you can’t see what you have you won’t wear it. 

Corral scarves in baskets, hang necklaces on 3M hooks, and keep like items together either folded or hung. To make the most of your space, invest in slim lined flocked hangers, so everything is at eye level.

Here are some of my favorite, affordable items to organize your closet no matter how big or small. 

6. You Don’t Know Your Style

Our post, How to Define Your Personal Style will walk you through our simple process. 

Clients used to tell me, “I just don’t have any style.” 

But that was rarely the case. 

With few exceptions, most women have style but can’t articulate it well or notice it when they see it. 

For me, personal style is an ever-changing process. My style in my 20s is wildly different from my 40s, as it should be.

Both reflect who I was and what I loved in that chapter of life. And as I’ve aged, my style has become more fine-tuned, consistent, and confident.

Once you identify your style, editing your wardrobe and shopping becomes much more manageable. 

If you’re not already on Pinterest, I recommend setting up an account and creating a personal style board. You can add images of outfits you like and “pin” all sorts of inspiration.

Once you fill a board with 50 plus pins, repeat it and edit it to only your favorite.

You’ll start to see common themes throughout. 

For example, do you prefer pants to skirts? If you didn’t save any skirt outfits, stop buying them. 

Are you attracted to neutrals or bold prints and patterns? Have a board filled with neutrals; avoid bold prints when purchasing. 

You’ll start to see what you like, which will help you curate your wardrobe in the future.

6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear

Related Posts

 Join Megan Kristel for a comprehensive, 3 hour long, LIVE Virtual Workshop sharing personal style and shopping tips for women over 40 on March 31, 2023.


Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Wednesday 28th of June 2023

I think you have nailed it. I used to think I didn't have style but when I did an exercise to define my style I now have 4 words that I use when I buy any clothing. It must cover at least 2-3 of the words. My style words are CLASSIC, EFFORTLESS, MINIMAL & UNEXPECTED. This has made a big difference in what I buy. I've also lost a lot of weight and shopping is now a joy instead of a chore. But I have a lot more than 3 pairs of jeans. I mean there are all the blues, gray, black, white, patchy, skinny, boyfriend, straight leg... OMG, I could go on and on. 3 pairs??? I can't do it. But I am going to start editing my closet for only things that I LOVE and serve me. I have consigned a lot of things but now I need to just bring to Savers the rest. Thx for the reminder.


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Your blog is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I retired 4 years ago and have struggled to find my “non-office” style. These 6 Reasons… will be my roadmap. 😀


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

After organizing my closet, I feel j don’t need to shop for anything. I have way too many pants, dresses n tops and oh yes sporty jackets.

Now I can see what I have in my closet and can where a different outfit for at least 40 days and never where anything twice. Organized my husbands closet too and he has enough golf shirts for 60 days.

Jill Finney

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

Good article! I’ve recently begun following your blog. Your link on affordable closet organizing products seems to be broken. Is it still available? I’m interested! Thank you!

Tracy Gray

Wednesday 5th of May 2021

Thank you for this! I fell into several of the categories which lead to such frustrations!


Wednesday 5th of May 2021

I have been following the blog for over a year and I used the pandemic to really purge. I own the least amount of clothes I ever have, but actually have better outfits and more to wear. Using a lot of your advice, I found my style and shifted my wardrobe entirely to cohesive pieces that can all be worn together. I love my outfits now and how I feel when I step out in something other than my daily scrub set for work.


Wednesday 5th of May 2021

Hi, it’s me again, one year later. The dressing rooms are partially open, and some retailers have lines, of people wanting to try on clothes. I ordered and returned so much in the past year! The retailers were understanding, but what a confusing time, the poor computer system, and staff must have a challenging time. I will note, I have never seen so many sweatshirts and slippers for sale, I started to wonder if “ normal clothes” would ever come back. My issue with nothing to wear usually boils down to fit, I’m a pear, so tops are too large, and bottoms are I’ll fitting and too small. The size charts don’t help much in this regard, I wish they did.

Randi B Lubenow

Wednesday 5th of May 2021

Good Morning Megan. This was a great post! I am feeling like I am having an out of control buying vibe. My closet is full and most things work together, but I will be checking out your links to make it less overwhelming. Thanks so much for your insight.

Ways to Have Great Style on a Budget – shollyfashionstore

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

[…] 6 Reasons Why You Have Nothing to Wear and Our First Ever Virtual Town Hall […]


Thursday 7th of May 2020

Closing dressing rooms... ok, so now I wear a swimsuit/ leotard/ etc , to try on clothes, like at a flea market, hmmmmm. My issues with online shopping is the size charts, they don’t tell the whole picture, what if I like tighter or looser fit? I need measurements of the actual piece, then I can decide on my fit. Second thing, fabric, what is it made of, even the lining. Third, what is the material inside the shoes, leather, synthetic, and can the heel be re soled? We need more information if we are expected to buy online.

Megan Kristel

Thursday 7th of May 2020

I think you may not be able to try anything on at all which is why I'm hoping that retailers will reexamine their online size charts and guidance. It would make everyones life easier, less returning on both ends is a win - win.

Stephanie S Yates

Thursday 25th of April 2019

Great post! Refreshing to see a blogger that's not advocating booty shorts from Forever 21 or $1000 t-shirts and can relate to being a working mother. Thank you!

Brenda Fegan

Monday 14th of May 2018

Good morning Meg! That was me this morning! It's gray and damp outside and so I stood there looking at my new spring dresses trying to figure out what to wear. I ended up wearing a black ponte knit skirt and a silk sweater that I bought but had never worn. Crazy! It is supposed to be cloudy all week so tonight I am going to try to figure out my wardrobe for the week and pack for a trip to Atlanta this weekend to watch the Royal Wedding at my friend's house! I just find it hard to wear bright colors when it is cold and dreary. Thanks for all you do and have a great week!!

Megan Kristel

Monday 14th of May 2018

Thanks Brenda! And have fun watching the wedding! I shouldn't be as excited as I am about it :)