Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Have Nothing To Wear: A Dictionary

Me, except minus the cuteness

I have stood in the middle of my closet more times than I can count, and muttered and sputtered to myself, "I should have run out and gotten something, anything. I have NOTHING to wear."

Nothing, No Thing of material that I can place over myself and use as fashionable body coverings.

There is a conference that I will be attending in the very near future and I am in deep trouble, clothing wise.

See, the only kind of conference I've attended for the last eight years of my life has been of the parent teacher kind.

For that, I pull out the steady eddy:

Thanks, Target!

But, I'm about to go to a very fashionable place. And I have airquotes nothing to wear.

Nothing to wear with a closet bulging with clothes that are hanging, folded, shoved, smashed, forgotten in dusty corners.

What does it mean when a woman throws her hands up in the air and screeches, "I have nothing to wear!!"

We mean this:

  • Ugly as sin but it's an expensive label, so...
  • Great lines, lines which I've outgrown
  • Sentimentally I have to keep it, I wore it to my baby's christening/first birthday party/first dance
  • Whoa. I am NOT giving away this itty bitty number that once fit me because man, I was hot 
  • Oh, the knobby nubby textured boucle sweaters that cost an arm and a leg. I just can't
  • Still can use this just need to get my a** to the tailor's for button/zipper/seam/hem/stitch repair
  • Ditto with the pile intended for the cleaners 
  • Ten pounds to go and we're back in the saddle again section
  • The so close and yet so far five pounds to go and we are in business, baby
  • Fifteen pounds away but hey, miracles happen
  • Just a few more months of push ups and I can bare arm it again side of the closet
  • The I think I just need a solid more $erious bra and the buttons will button dresses
  • If I just give in and get me some Spanx I bet it could work pants section
  • This was a good deal, color may be off, but if my mood is right....
  • My sister/friend/aunt/husband bought me this while in Greece/Italy/France so must keep pile
  • Just a good bout of flu and I'm in those jeans shelf

And there you have it, what "I have nothing to wear" means. And, as you can see, I'm right.

What things keep you lamenting "I have nothing to wear" in your closet, and why?? Why?? Do we hang on to these things??


  1. Jeans. I have 20 pairs and I still think I have nothing appropriate. You are beautiful, you can swan into BlogHer in a sack and still look good. Failing that, I hear Target is awesome........

  2. Everything and pretty much the same reasons you stated. Multiple closets full.

  3. I'm a hoarder of my nothing-to-wears because I'm waiting for them to come back into fashion. That's just ridiculous isn't it? I think you should go and get yourself something nice to wear for the conference - you deserve a shopping spree.

  4. I bet I can find something in the back of *my* closet that will fit you just right, roomie - just you wait and see!

  5. From all of the abroad moves in the past 2 years and no money to restock my closet, I have half an IKEA wardrobe and 2 drawers in a dresser of clothes! I'm pretty close to 'nothing to wear'! It's quite sad that I can say that my husband has more clothes than me. My biggest problem is that I used to own about 70 pairs of shoes before moving. Lots of heels, lots of colors and lots of fun...then I met cobblestones! I now only have a few pairs of shoes and can only wear flats since we walk everywhere and I don't feel I can wear a lot of outfits if I can't wear the cute shoes or strappy heel. My husband has even learned that I need more shoes! Sadly, it's just not practical...

  6. I have a bunch of "with the right scarf, top, pants" this will look perfect.

  7. ALL OF THE ABOVE! I did go through a major purge earlier this year and it felt great to get rid of the dead weight. But yeah, all of those reasons you listed.

  8. yep, that is how my 'manslator' translates it...smiles.

  9. I actually have a couple of nice things that (shockingly!) fit, yet I never wear them because it's "just a trip to Target" or "running to the library" - like looking nice is a crime at these places.

    Wow. I'm thinking I need to put some makeup on today ;) Heat Cabin Fever is setting in.

    Do you have a TJMaxx near you? Always good for an inexpensive trendy piece if you feel the need, but you will be wrapped in pure love no matter what the outfit. So wish I could be there.

  10. Alexandra, you will need to read a post of mine later this week and read Cheryl's from last week on dressing for conferences.

    There are 3,000 women there plus thousands of other PR people and staff. Nobody cares about your clothing. There will be people that look like they just rolled out of bed, had their baby throw up on their shirt and came to the conference. Seriously. Wear some capri pants and a cute top and move on. Focus on the important things and don't sweat the small stuff. It's supposed to be fun, not stressful! xo

  11. I am a complete and helpless victim of "it's a great deal" alongside "it's my size!" Not the best combination.

  12. I am glad to know I'm not the only one who keeps things because of the reasons you listed, which by the way, were full on correct.

    Check out the store called New York & Company. You can get some fashion-y things there, usually for a decent price. Don't be fooled and think it is too 'young' for you, you can find some things that are dressy and cute. (Here's a piece of advice: for pants, make sure to take several pieces of the same size & style into the fitting room. They might fit differently because they are private label and thus can be made at different factories, which explains the variation in fit. Trust me, I'm an ex-retail buyer).

  13. I haven't been shopping in ages because I hate trying on clothes. Meanwhile the clothes I own are all becoming rags of their former selves. I look like Cinderella (the working around the house Cinderella not the going to the ball Cinderella)--only black and not animated.

  14. You are going to shine no matter what you wear.

    I have favorites that have gone out of style that I love and so I wear them.

  15. Ugh. I'm so with you. Occasionally I just get sick of everything in my closet. And nothing seems to fit right. And I could go for a wardrobe overhaul.

  16. I lost weight and gave away my bigger clothing. Well the weight found me. Dumb dumb more. I gotta so get back on the diet...........

  17. I LOVE all these comments.

    The commiseration of Nothing To Wear.

    The importance of a good closet purge canNOT be underrated.

    I gotta get to it and ask WHY hang on to these things?

    Toss. The money has been spent, if I'm not wearing it now, I never will.

    Love you all.

  18. Piles of clothes, making me crazy, and for all of the reasons given.

  19. LOL!! I love this post. And also? I have no doubt that whatever you DO wear, you'll look absolutely beautiful, my dear. Maybe you should treat yourself to a little somethin' somethin' that makes you feel good and sexy and comfortable? I don't do it often, but every now and then just that one dress/shirt/pair of earrings will keep me going for awhile.

    I totally hold on to the "at some point, my b**bs will behave and they'll work without busting buttons/taking out eyes" shirts.

  20. Body after babies has not been good to me or my wardrobe. Getting dressed is downright depressing sometimes so I usually wear the same few things. I'm longing for winter when I don't have to show so much skin!!

  21. I have oodles of nothingness to wear, as well! Not only that; but I can't seem to get rid of any of them. Most of your reasons are valid and perfectly acceptable for keeping the 'nothingness.'

    Congrats on your speaking engagement! You will wow them in whatever you are wearing!

  22. I'm so excited for your trip to BlogHer - you are so amazing.

    I just got rid of everything that wasn't wearable RIGHT NOW from my closet . . . and yet I still have nothing to wear.

    GAH. It never works. Ever.

  23. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    I have a closet full of clothes and I STILL feel the need to shop before big events. I want one of those fashion gurus to come help me make sense of what I have, help me figure out - once and for all - what works, what doesn't. I end up wearing the same pieces over and over again anyway, so I'm thinking I don't need a lot. I just need the right pieces.

    PS - I know you'll look fabulous at BlogHer and I also know you could look ridiculous and it wouldn't matter. You, not your clothes, are the star!

  24. This is me, every single day. All of those reasons and excuses? Constantly muttered in my closet. Sigh.

  25. I think I have fewer clothes than most of my friends. Most women in general, probably. I'm just not a fashionista.

    But you know what? I did purge my closet. Over several successive periods I took out the stuff that won't fit me again. The stuff I never really liked in the first place. The stuff that I sort of liked but just didn't feel right for some reason.

    I donated it all to charity.


    Come to BlogHer and be you. I bet it's not as fashionable as you think. At least that's what I'm hoping ;)

  26. What a great exercise to clean out all of those pieces of clothing from Casual Corner! LOL

  27. My hubs can't figure out why "I have nothing to wear" can even make sense when I have actual clothes in my closet. I may have to make him read this, Alexandra....seriously.

    We can be fashionably un-trendy together.

  28. When I roll my eyes at the shiny bling sewn to a jean jacket, I know it's time, because I'm screaming "what was I thinking"?

  29. Before I moved at the end of June I threw away a few articles of clothing that fit into all the categories above.

    Then I moved in to my new place and since the closets were a mess, I started pulling things out to arrange in my usual colors to black pattern.

    As I pulled things out I was MORTFIED. Seriously Suzy, a suede maxi-skirt? In LA? (It was from Bloomingdale's NY) I purged a lot. I wasn't wearing a lot of it anyway. It wasn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be.

  30. I'm going to the same conference and was mulling over that self-same question. The only answer is to overpack. Oh, and also go shopping.


  31. Groan... What were you doing in my closet? Have you got a spy cam set up in there behind the worn-out designer purses that can't be thrown away because they were too expensive and I should never have bought them in the first place?!

    Here's my thing: I like the IDEA Of being stylish and chic, and in my profession (interior design) clients very rightly expect me to be able to dress myself well. After all, if I can't put together a stylish, on-trend outfit, why should anyone trust me to dress their entire home? The trouble is, there's a hippie living deep within me who rebels against the stilettos and platform heels, preferring Birkenstock sandles or bare feet. The Inner Hippie throws an Outer Tantrum when forced into Spanx (there's a dent on the bathroom wall where a shoe went flying one morning when my pants were too tight and the hippie went berserk). She wants to wear long, flowy skirts, sweatpants, or baggy jeans with the waist way up at the actual waistline instead of at the pubic hairline. Low Rise, indeed! Stretchy, forgiving knits trump tailored, restrictive garments every day of the week, unless they are such overly-clingy knits that they require Spanx or support hose or liposuction before they can be worn publicly.

    I find myself longing for the Good Old Days of floor-length, full skirts (minus the tight bodices, stays, and pointy missile boob brassieres, of course). And, skinny jeans? SERIOUSLY?!!

    Good luck and have fun at the conference. I hope you find something that makes you feel comfortable, confident and beautiful just the way you are.

  32. i went out and bought a much needed pair of jeans and a short sleeve collared shirt. so now i have one pair of jeans and one decent shirt so i can no longer claim i too have nothing to throw on:)

  33. This is me right here

    "The I think I just need a better more $erious bra and the buttons will button dresses
    If I just give in and get me some Spanx I bet it could work pants section"

    I'll let you know if a new bra and spanx will change anything for me.

  34. Been there. Done that!

    Totally can empathize with you.

    I have this knack of putting on something, especially vintage, and noticing it has a rip in a seam. I'll mentally say, "Put that in the pile to take to the tailor."

    But do you know what I do? I hang it right back up in the closet so when I come back to that same outfit a few weeks from now, I think the same thing. "Hmmm, proably should take this to the tailor."

    And I hang it up AGAIN!

    What the...?

  35. Clothing? Traumatizes me. It's hard enough for me to find something I want to wear, then if I change sizes, I'm traumatized all over again.

    I am sure you will look amazing!!

  36. I just purged all of the stuff that sucks from my closet. I know have three shirts, one pair of shorts, two cardigans, zero dresses, and many, many jeans that sort of fit. But they were so so expensive. Damn Blogher11 for making us all fret so much about our clothes!

  37. I have to purge, but I am so attached.

  38. Alas, I am just the opposite. All dressed up and nowhere to go. I'll gladly trade someone some of my clothes for a trip to BlogHer...

  39. MAN, I wam WITH you. My closet is a crazy storm of clothes that I don't wear. I add the following categories:
    1) For when the Marine Corps sends us back to a "normal" climate.
    2.) Because I'm going to be pregnant again, so I might as well hold on to the maternity clothes;
    3.) Will wear as soon as I'm no longer breastfeeding . . .

  40. Yes indeed. And the worst part is, I really did take a lot of crap out of the closet to donate. And still I wear the same stuff every week. People probably think I'm poor. I'm sure they can tell which day of the week it is by what dress I'm wearing.

  41. This is so me right now! I have so many clothes but nothing to wear. I really need to purge my closet. I even have a pile sitting on my floor of stuff to take to a resale shop and another one to donate. They have been there for over a year!

    But, I agree with these comments, no matter what you wear you will look fabulous!

  42. I just cleaned out drawers, shelves, boxes. SO much to give to goodwill. I just couldn't hang on to so much crap any longer!

  43. I stand in my closet every single day and say I have nothing to wear. I've thinned and thinned things out of there and still have a closet full nothing to wear.

  44. You could completely change directions and start a nudist blog. Then you could go au naturale to the conference as a PR stunt?

    Just an idea.

  45. I am so the same way - so hard to toss things! But, oddly enough, I did it just this morning!! And you know what? It felt GOOOD.

  46. This would be funny if it wasn't so sad and true. I try to purge every season but I end up buying new stuff and never wearing that either...ugh!!!!!

    Btw you are going to look beautiful at BlogHer....your aura is your best feature..let it shine!

  47. You're a presenter, a keynoter, even! That means that whatever you wear, people will think it's the height of cool. So bring on the tarjay cropped khakis and accessorize with attitude.

  48. You all are the sweetest, most encouraging bunch.

    Thank you.

    Everywhere I go it's a do this/don't do this:

    heels no heels dress no dress T shirts no T shirts.

    Just ferrrrgit it.

    My plan has now become: board the plane and show up.

  49. I used to think that it would be such a shame to get rid of those new/expensive/perfectly decent clothes that I never wore. Then I actually donated some and was thrilled to find that I felt so much better not havIng those items sulking at me from their hangers anymore. Plus, the vacancy helped me feel entitled to an Old Navy and Target run!

  50. wait a second, are you in my closet? and i have gotten rid of some of the things that are more than a few pounds away from fitting, b/c if i arrive at that new-and-improved weight i'll be more than happy to buy new threads.

  51. SO true. Also, whenever I hear someone say "I'm getting rid of my clothes because I'm going to lose weight and if I keep them it's allowing myself to believe that I'm going to fail", I think "yeah, but if you do fail you won't have any clothes!" I think this occasion more than deserves a new dress or something, but if that's not a viable option, I would wear something comfortable (maybe not yoga pants)...

  52. hahaha... I have those must-lose fifteen, ten, five lbs first categories in my closet too! But what to do, it's like my mind makes up every little event into occasions just so that I get to keep AND buy MORE things. Too much stuff, closet is bursting? Time to get new closet??
    sigh) I'm hopeless.

  53. I hold onto my old clothes because I can't seem to bring myself to spend money shopping for myself.

    Not when there is college coming. And car insurance to pay for. And all that good wine I have to drink.


    I have plenty in my closet. But it's out of style (because dang it if the fashion police don't change everything every year so that I'm just a little bit out of date) AND everyone has seen me in everything I own a thousand times.

    I mean really.

    I have six outfits I actually wear. Everything else is just hanging in my closet taking up space.

    Fashion is the ONE aspect I'm okay missing since I won't be at BlogHer.

    But I would've braved my old, out-of-date wardrobe to meet all of you lovely friends.

    Oh yes, I'm all about the sacrifice...

  54. You are hysterical!

    I have to be the one unsentimental woman when it comes to the closet! I used to keep all kinds of things - but now, if it doesn't fit and I've not worn it in a year - it gets donated!

    It's funny...because I've lost 20 pounds, so I'm constantly donating and buying new clothes....and I'm not a clothes shopper!

    The good news is I live in Sunny Florida, so I spend most of my time in shorts and flip-flops....it could be worse!

  55. Truthfully, given my near OCD drive to keep clutter at bay, I purge my closet once or twice a year.
    But that can produce a different lament. The crazy guilt I feel when I occasionally donate something that still has the tags on that i never wore.
    and btw, Gigi's advice is spot on. :)

  56. For me, "I have nothing to wear," actually means, "I've been wearing the same five outfits every damn week since I last went shopping two years ago which, coincidentally, happened to be exactly one week before I learned I was pregnant, thus explaining why I haven't updated my wardrobe in two years."

  57. Every time in the past few months I've gone digging in the closet for the fabulous things I knew weren't in there, I've made big piles for donations. I now have about 1/4 of the "nothing" I had before. Now I REALLY feel like I have nothing to wear! Target, here I come!

  58. Dude, I know just what you mean. I don't care how casual and carefree this conference is, we want to look CUTE GODDAMN IT. I think a trip to Chico's is in store for you. :)

  59. Oh my goodness. I have jeans in the back of "old trusty" that really need to go. My teens would disown me if I put them on!

    Everyone one will be so excited to see/meet you that they won't care what you are wearing. Hope you enjoy it!

  60. I have nothing to wear because I don't have a job, and my husband is cheap.
    On the plus side, you get to go to a "conference" and do really great things there!

  61. I usually have nothing to wear because I need to do laundry.

  62. Why is this so hard for women?
    Look, start with a great pair of leather boots and work up.
    Honestly, do I have to fly over there and dress you myself? Geez!
    Your Friend, m.

  63. This is a gift yourself occasion! Splurge on a couple of outfits you love. As for the closet I can check the list all the way down : ) I Payed for them, I must have a use for them. Someday...Someway...somehow..hum along .....

  64. San Diego is super casual. You can wear shorts and flip flops all over the place. I know people dress up for BlogHer, though. You will figure out cute outfits that you feel good in. Have fun!

  65. I admit to still having a hottie-patottie dress that I wore for my dress rehearsal. The weight I was at my wedding, I haven't since been. Not by anything drastic, but just those few lbs you lose from running around like a crazy person right before the big day.

    These mama hips ain't ever gonna fit in that thing again!

    I bet Baby E would have some good advice for you! You should try some outfits on and see what he thinks.

  66. Don't understand. My collection of concert and microbrew company T-shirts seems to work for every occasion.

  67. I have the same problem! Mine boils down to a simple quandary, though: culottes or jeggings, culottes or jeggings, culottes or...



  68. Hahahaha:

    "Just a good bout of flu and I'm in those jeans shelf."

    SO TRUE!

  69. I, too, have "nothing to wear."

    I especially like the collection of items I've purchased which "would be great with the right skirt/top/pants/belt/shoes!" and yet have pretty much never been worn because I do not own the right skirt/top/pants/belt/shoes.

    The bf will never understand how frustrating it is that only 10% of the clothing I own actually fits and looks presentable. He is still dumbfounded every time I claim to have "nothing to wear."

  70. I seem to have the opposite problem. Plenty to wear and nowhere to go. I'm chronically overdressed for evenings of "Spongebob" and "iCarly". Anyone have THAT issue?

  71. *meekly* Lola, Vinobaby, I'm with you.

    Alexandra - Come shop in my closet. Free of charge. We've already established that we're not that far from each other. All I ask in exchange is that you let me be a stowaway in one of your bags so that I can get me some BlogHer action. Deal?

  72. Funny!

    Let me save you some anxiety - white jeans and a cardigan. It's what every single human in that room wears.

  73. OMG, San Diego is not a fashion hothouse by any means!!! We do dress up a bit at night, which means throwing off our flip flops for sandals, and changing our t-shirts into fancy tank tops. Seriously. Oh, and the dark jean rules here. So while I know there will be a ton of poeople at BlogHer that are not from San Diego, there will definitely be a SD vibe going on, which means casual and comfortable all the way! I hope I get to meet you!

  74. Desperate :

    Yes, why are other people's closets so much more fun??

    And I'd love to have you stowaway with me to BlogHer so we could hold hands and peoplewatch coughpeoplejudge together.


  75. Laurel OutLoud:

    I hope I get to meet you, too.

    Please come and say Hi, alright??

  76. I just cleaned out my closet of items that STIL HAD THE TAGS ON THEM!!! Such a waste.

    I have no idea what to wear. But, I hope that whatever I decide to bring is comfy and somewhat styish...

    Something. Oy.

  77. I keep thinking that after I have this baby, I will magically fit into even the ten pairs of jeans I couldn't wear BEFORE I got pregnant.
    As for the conference... I'll be wearing a selection of different colored sacks.

  78. My nothing to wear includes the fact that most of the stuff I do have to wear is lying in a dirty heap on the floor. Me and laundry are not good friends.

  79. I am dying over the 'one good bout of the flu and I'm in those jeans' -- I HAVE THOSE JEANS!! AND HAVE HAD THAT THOUGHT.

    LOL. I am laughing. Oh, I love you, woman. And am relieved that I'm not the only one who, while hunched over the porcelain, thinks "At least the bright side of this is I'll fit back into my skinny jeans..."

  80. All the stuff that was just the right color in the store but wasn't and doesn't match any of the other just the right color stuff I bought the times before.

  81. So watcha gonna wear? I so wish I was going!

  82. You see... this is when a burka would come in handy. I wouldn't be all "these are my skinny burkas from back in the day" and "does this burka make my ass look big?" Could have lived without your mentioning that San Diego is a fashionable place. And I'm not staying at the Marriott, so I'm going to have to rock the bag lady look if I want to change into something nice, because lord knows I can't walk around all day looking like my mother.



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