Have you ever experienced the feeling of not knowing what to wear for the day? The moment when you open your wardrobe and scan through your piles of clothes that could make up so many outfit combinations, yet, for some reason, you still don't know which you should choose to wear? I'm sure this moment resonates with some people, somehow. But why does that happen? Is there any psychological reason behind this strange feeling?
A study conducted in 2016 concluded that the reason why we feel like we have nothing to wear has nothing to do with the amount of clothes we own, rather with the way we handle them. The researchers believe that "when people perceived more variation in a product's use cases, they liked the product less." Meaning that a dress or blouse that you only bought for one specific occasion will feel more special and likable than if you choose to wear it as a daily use. However, that's not the underlying reason for the matter. Impulsive purchases, your lifestyle, and imbalanced pieces of basic and statement clothes can cause difficulty in pairing an outfit to wear.
First of all, your lifestyle dictates the types of clothes you need. If your clothes don't fit your lifestyle, you might end up with a closet full of clothes you'll resist wearing. For example, if your work requires you to dress formally, then it only makes sense to have a lot of formal outfits in your wardrobe. But when you change jobs into something that allows you to dress more freely, you will encounter a problem as you find your closet overflowing with formal wear.
In order to handle this, it goes back to the decision making during shopping think about how the item you're eyeing for can be worn with three different outfits and work for more than just one occasion, formal or informal. Owning pieces of clothing that can be worn in a variety of ways is the basic principle of having a versatile wardrobe.
Secondly, you may start to get bored with your wardrobe because you either have a lot of statement pieces and nothing to go with them, or that you have too many basics. What makes a fitting and great wardrobe is to have a good balance of basics and statement pieces so that you can easily style and match them however you desire.
Your wardrobe already suits your style and you have the right amount of basics and statement pieces, but you still don't know what to wear? Perhaps, you have no idea which clothes go with that does the blouse match the pants? Does this pink look weird if paired with muted green? Questions like that tend to pop out when you're playing dress up. The key is to always look out for references! See posts on social media like Pinterest, TikTok, or Instagram that can spark the idea of what styling to go for, or what color combinations that can work for you.
Lastly, you tend to buy an excessive amount of the same thing. Just like unconsciously buying lipstick with the same color as the one you got last week, because you have a thing for that color-a lot of us do the same thing on clothes, too. For example, your jeans collection mostly shares the same color and types so that it makes you feel like you don't really have any option but the same piece of jeans. In other words, if you have no variety in your wardrobe, it's easy to feel like you have nothing to wear. Try to extend your wardrobe by buying something new that you can totally rock on.
Remember, wardrobe blues are temporary; there's always something you can wear, even if it's only a pair of white t-shirt and blue-washed skinny jeans. And it's totally okay to repeat outfits! But if you feel like dressing up is not fun anymore, it may be a sign of a deeper emotional distress that you might not notice right off the bat. When there is too much to do with too little time in the day, every little thing including dressing up, feels like a chore. When in fact, dressing up is always a fun and uplifting little activity of the day and shouldn't be experienced as a burden.
Decluttering your wardrobe is something you can actually do as well to have a sense of what your wardrobe contains and represents yourself or your style. In that way, you can organize your clothes and get a glimpse of what still works for you and what doesn't. You'll find pieces you don't feel like wearing or don't resonate with you anymore. And the good thing is, you can donate your clothes to other people. That way, the garment will once again be valuable in a new home and you have a new space for new clothes!