Style: How is it possible to have a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear?

Man of Many’s Staff Favourites – 10 September 2022

  Man of Many’s Staff Favourites – 10 September 2022 What a time to be alive, huh? After a tough few days marred with big tech announcements and challenging issues, we were hit with some shocking news to finish off the week. The great woman herself has shuffled on, finally bidding farewell to the modern world she had a hand in shaping. That’s right, after […]You’ll also like:

Last Tuesday, I felt good about the outfit I was wearing. It was my favourite slouchy jumper and my faded bootcut jeans. I thought I'd achieved an insouciant winter chic.

But when I woke Wednesday morning, I realised my error. I stood in front of my wardrobe and saw that my clothes were all completely wrong. The jackets were passé. The skirts were too short. The shirts were dowdy. The bootcut jeans had lost their shape. And that slouchy jumper I had so confidently worn looked like a bright-pink hessian sack.

I was in a wardrobe crisis. I had absolutely nothing to wear. "Not again," I thought.

I have suffered regular wardrobe crises ever since I was old enough to choose my own clothes and could refuse to wear the aqua terry-towelling tracksuit or the maroon corduroy pants I'd loved just the week before.

Elizabeth, the original sustainable fashion influencer

  Elizabeth, the original sustainable fashion influencer Long before it was fashionable, the Queen was a champion of responsible fashion choices.Although it's Catherine, Princess of Wales, who has earned a positive reputation as a re-wearer of her outfits, which are paid for by the royal family, the habit was already part of the Queen's fashion manifesto more than 60 years ago.

A sartorial switch is somehow flicked in my brain, and clothing I had found to be perfectly adequate - even pleasing - one minute, becomes utterly hideous the next. Is it the clothes? Or is it me?

Why can a loose summer frock that felt beachy and effortlessly cool suddenly look unflatteringly shapeless and cheap? How does a heavy black coat that made me seem writerly and stylish become funereal and sinister overnight? And how can a bright-pink jacket that screamed "festive" and "fun" abruptly seem tacky and embarrassingly young?

In hindsight, I can sometimes recognise the signs. There might have been a mild dissatisfaction when I was getting dressed, or a vague disappointment when I looked in the mirror. But, generally, a wardrobe crisis will strike with no warning at all. I can feel pretty content with my clothes when I go to bed, then wake up and hate them all.

No, Kourtney Kardashian, Your Collection With Boohoo Isn’t “Sustainable”, It’s A Disgrace To Ethical Fashion

  No, Kourtney Kardashian, Your Collection With Boohoo Isn’t “Sustainable”, It’s A Disgrace To Ethical Fashion Kourtney Kardashian and Boohoo's sustainable partnership is a disgrace to slow fashion. Here's what you need to know about their problematic greenwashing. Surely we're getting Krissed? Earlier this month, fast fashion conglomerate Boohoo announced that Kourtney Kardashian Barker, member of the polluter elite and notorious water waster, had joined the fashion aggregator as the brand's first-ever sustainability ambassador.

A therapist might say it's not about clothes at all. Perhaps by channelling my angst into dissatisfaction with my possessions, I am deflecting a deeper malaise. When I put on an outfit and don't like what I see, I am actually unhappy with myself.

But as I stared into my bleak closet on Wednesday morning, I had to disagree. I like my life! I just really hate my clothes.

To be fair, I don't hate all of my clothes. I own a few T-shirts I've worn so often that the hemlines have degraded and the fabric is almost translucent. I own jeans so old they are basically patches of denim held together with holes. And I have a couple of leather jackets I have worn for over 20 years and will wear for 20 more.

But these are the exceptions. Most items of clothing I buy tend to eventually go off, like a banana left in the sun. Annoyingly they tend to go off in batches, somehow infecting each other with their decay.

Fashion writers advise those of us who are tired of our wardrobes to "mix things up" and to "wear our outfits in different ways". This is great advice in theory, but less helpful in practice. There are only so many ways I can wear a jumper and jeans. Perhaps I could wear the jumper backwards ortie the jeans to my head like a turban?

Queen Elizabeth's most iconic fashion moments, from her coronation to the 'green screen' dress

  Queen Elizabeth's most iconic fashion moments, from her coronation to the 'green screen' dress From her coronation in 1953 until her final days at Balmoral, Queen Elizabeth projected a carefully curated image through her clothes and accessories.One of the most photographed people in the world during her lifetime, the late Queen lived her life in the public eye.

I am not a fashion writer, and I look ridiculous in headgear, so I respond to wardrobe crises the traditional way.

I hit the shops and online stores with frantic determination, desperate to find something new to wear. I visit thrift stores, and comb through sales items, and spend hours googling phrases like "best lightweight knits" and "dressy wide-legged pants" and "how to wear jeans in seven different ways".

A few days later, I am rewarded for my efforts with packages in the mail. I pounce on them excitedly like a hungry bear wrestling open a burger. Finally, I am saved from sartorial calamity. I have something decent to wear!

I try on my new haul - a top, a pair of pants - and know I have chosen well. The clothes are classic, they are well made, and I am sure I will love them forever.

"I will never get sick of this cardigan - I should get one in every colour!" I think. "These black satin pants are so elegant and understated! They will be my go-to pair for years!"

But then one day, in six months or a year or two years from now, I will go to my wardrobe and recoil. I will suddenly realise that the cardigan makes me look like a Smurf wrapped in a blanket. And that the pants - once so sleek, so shiny! - are better suited to a contestant on Dancing with the Stars than to a suburban mum doing the shopping.

And, once again, I'll find myself in a wardrobe crisis with nothing to wear.

Make the most of your health, relationships, fitness and nutrition with our Live Well newsletter. Get it in your inbox every Monday.

Chicory: Experts weigh in on health benefits, nutrition facts, and more .
Chicory: Experts weigh in on health benefits, nutrition facts, and more

See also