How to deal with wardrobe boredom. Do you ever get the urge to toss your whole closet and start over? I mean, just a fantasy: a clean slate, an empty closet, a couple extra thousand $$ in hand?
I get this urge now and then, and I interpret it as a symptom of 1) spoiled, consumerist American disorder; and 2) boredom with my wardrobe.
There are times when a completely new wardrobe is called for, but I’ve never experienced these events: big changes in weight, natural disasters, airlines losing all my luggage. So my closet has edged forward incrementally, adding and subtracting each month, and mostly getting better over time.
I’m not a fickle person by nature. I’ve had the same loveable guy in my life for thirty years, and I worked at the same rewarding job for almost twenty. My kitty is now age 16 and I hope to have her several more years. But clothing — I want something different!
Since money is (always) an issue, how do you deal with your craving for novelty, wardrobe-wise? This is what I do, until that mysterious benefactor’s check arrives:
- Study your favorite blogs/IGs for new ideas. 40 Plus Style has a wealth of creative looks. Sheila of Ephemera and Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb show imaginative ways to re-work their clothing.
- Troll the thrifts, naturally. I look for pieces I wouldn’t have normally bought in “serious” shopping trips. Like my Anthropologie white cotton blouse with 70’s lapels, below. I try to not exceed $15 for any of my experimental items.
- Wear surprising shoes. I’ve been living in sneakers throughout the pandemic. But I’ve added a pair of red high-tops and a comfortable blush pink pair. And I love them to pieces.
- Experiment with your jewelry philosophy. I went from loving multiple pendants to eschewing necklaces altogether and wearing cuffs. I found a pair of pearl studs while cleaning out my jewelry, and wore them for two weeks straight, no danglers. We’re due for a change-up soon.
- Buy some makeup. My hair doesn’t lend itself to experimentation; it is what it is and resists change. But I like a new wig or a new makeup color, like my creamy blush in Peony. New fab lipstick find: Glossier Sheer Matte Lipstick.
And I remind myself that wardrobe boredom is not really a life problem. Life itself is not boring and I am fortunate to have so much to contemplate and work on. But fantasies are fun.
“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”–Vincent van Gogh
Care to share any of your clothing boredom-busters?
Stay fabulous, xo
Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse:
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I agree with you about wardrobe boredom. It comes from time to time and then goes away until the next bout of boredom. I find the thrifting helps as does changing up jewelry. I have started wearing less makeup during Covid and with masks on no one sees it anyway. But, I enjoy trying to new eyeshadow colors from time to time. Love your Anthropologie cotton blouse. It’s beautiful as are you!
Hello Debbie and thanks for coming by, and for your kind words. We’re back to masking in public here, and I find it’s better to skip the lipstick! Stay well and safe, xx.
I do some of the same things that Sheila does – I donate things regularly, and a quick trip to a thrift shop can add a couple of new pieces that work with what I already have. I’ve also got a couple of pieces customized this year by an artist that does screen-printing.
Good morning Shelley, always good to see you. Fantastic that you got some customized pieces! I love to wear art too. Stay well and fabulous, xx.
I love the quote, “Only boring people get bored,” from LinB! Aw, Patti, thank you so much for the shout-out! I did replace my entire wardrobe in 2007-ish, due to a big weight loss, and had to start over completely – everything except socks had to be replaced, even some of my shoes didn’t fit!
I’m constantly cycling through my wardrobe (always thrifting/shopping second-hand, and giving away things that no longer work), and looking to remix items to get re-inspired and/or fall in love with them again. But our styles and tastes (and lifestyles!) change as we age, so it’s a good thing to be re-evaluating every so often.
I’ve recently “discovered” the joy of adding my own flair to clothes – I customized a pair of rarely-worn/scuffed Fluevog shoes (signed by John himself!) and they turned out amazing. That’s invigorated my love for self-expression in a different way.
Big hugs to you and Skinny G. Glad she is still hanging on.
Oh hey Sheila, great to see you. How cool that you’re customizing your shoes, making them even more personal and fabulous. It’s also lovely that you “fall in love” with your clothes. That’s the key to joy right there – falling in love with our every day selves. Stay safe and well, xx.
Totally agree about dealing with wardrobe boredom sometimes is a problema. Sometimes I also feel that my clothes are boring me to death. Your tips are really useful, and wise!, surprising shoes, some jewellery, thrifting any ‘experimental’ piece, these are great ideas!. I’m also a huge fan of revamping any dull piece in my wardrobe. Always Upgrading, as Sheila says!
Hello Sra and I hope you’re feeling well. Your outfits always look fresh and alive! It’s great to quote Sheila – you and she both have “the look” of surprising style. Stay fabulous, xx.
I am in major purge mode right now. Working at home for 18 months I still changed my closet over, spring and fall including the skirts, jackets, dressier shoes (comfort brands, no high heels!) and then put it all away again, unworn, because video meetings, summer I would wear a nice tee and crappy pants, winter it was jeans and whatever presentable warm top. Back in the office 3 days a week now it feels different. I am leaning toward an easier summer look of wide leg linen pants and loose tops and eschewing the cute wedge sandals for flat Mary Janes or booties. Winter will be a creative jeans based look unless a skirt calls my name. Has anyone else experienced this sea change? I have a jam packed rack of stuff I am putting on eBay. Thrifting some key items that will be basics. Time for a change!
And. Patti, long time reader that I am, I remember you went through a wardrobe re-think like this when you retired from your therapist job – you called it being fun-employed!
Good morning Ramona, always great to see you. You’re right, the pandemic has made us reassess our closets, and the “dressier” pieces are OUT. I adore linen pants with easy tops, that’s my summer uniform most days. And you remember well – I purged a lot of business casual when I retired. Time for a change is my new motto : > Stay well, xx.
Wardrobe boredom?? I have days when I’d like to throw my entire HOUSE out & start over. If I win the lottery, I swear that aside from the husband, the cat, some jewelry & a few family treasures, I’d dump the lot. And speaking of cats: love the expression of exhausted ennui on the ginger. Similar to the expression our cat puts on when she’s trying to impress upon us how she hasn’t been fed in hours, the bottom of her kibble bowl is showing & while she’s managing to hang on by a thread, starvation is imminent.
Ah Janet, you made me hold my side from laughing (WITH you, not at you!). Cats have remarkable faces and I think they understand English, too. Scary. Thanks for coming by and stay fabulous, xx.
You look so beautiful in your picture. Thanks for sharing the source of your exquisite hairdo and wardrobe inspiration sites. I always add just a little something each season to rev up my wardrobe be it a belt,top or whatever reasonably priced item I am inspired to add. I have been inspired by a young30 year old(why not ) sustainable you tube blogger who each season reviews seasonal trends and shops her closet selecting the trends that fit her aesthetic .I find it fun and creative to adopt suitable trends I like and create new looks with my existing wardrobe.
Hi Joan and thanks for your kind remarks! I think it’s wonderful to get style inspiration from women of different ages, good for you. And to shop with sustainability in mind – that’s a big bonus. Stay well and safe, xx.
You are so right about how shoes can change the whole look of an outfit. I have recently discovered Glossier products through a friend and really like them.
Hi Darby and thanks for coming over. Agreed, Glossier makes a great brow product, “Boy Brow”, the best I’ve tried. Stay well, xx.
If you sew, you can change up your existing wardrobe with new hem lengths, new sleeves, new buttons, etc. Sometimes I cut two slightly-too-large shirts in half and stitch them back into two mirror-imaged half-and-half blouses … give one away. Cut a dress top from its skirt and add a new top/bottom to each — two new dresses! Or, get out your stencils and fabric paints and add some decoration to a tired old piece. Embroider flowers, or insects, or a saying, onto a plain skirt or blouse to personalize it.
My Dear Old Dad (aged 90) still maintains that “Only boring people get bored.”
Wow, Lin, you’ve got the creativity gene! Love the idea of adding fabric paint to a tired piece (I would need to use a stencil). And rock on, Dear Old Dad! Stay well, xx.