What To Do When Your Wardrobe Stops Working For You


Who’s ready for Q&A Thursday? Me! Me! Me! I’m so ready to tackle today’s question, which came in via email from our friend, Stephanie.

I’m guiding you around what to do when your existing wardrobe does not work for your life anymore and you can’t find what you want when you’re shopping.

Yep, it’s a two-for-one episode today! And I think both of these struggles are extremely common. So buckle up as I dive deep into how to make do with what you have and fill in the gaps of your wardrobe with greater ease and intention.

Q&A Thursday Question

I mentioned in the intro, I got an email from our friend, Stephanie and she was looking for some advice around her current wardrobe challenges.  

She wrote, “I keep finding myself with a closet full of clothes that don’t work for me. They’re either not my style (anymore), not flattering, or not functional for my life.  It’s exhausting, especially since I keep buying things & finding out they’re not right.  I also feel like it’s really hard to find things I DO want.  I know what kind of style I want to have, but I can never find the right things. Thanks for always having our backs in fashion!”

It’s my pleasure, Stephanie.  That’s what I’m here for!  And you are NOT alone in this struggle!!!  I can totally relate to everything you said here.  It sounds like what I went through after becoming a mom in 2018.  

My style changed.

My body changed.

My lifestyle changed.

My wardrobe didn’t.

If you listened to the very first episode of HER Style Podcast, The REAL Reason You Have a Closet Full of Clothes with Nothing To Wear, then you know my belief that the main reason we end up with a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear is because we’re shopping on impulse rather than with intention.

I stand by that.  

But in the last 6 months to 1 year, I’ve realized a second reason we often find ourselves in this frustrating scenario.

It’s because our lives have evolved and our wardrobes haven’t.

If you’ve gone through changes in your life, whether your tastes have shifted or your day-to-day routine looks different or a million other factors, like relocation, your relationship status, weight fluctuations, career change or advancement, and you HAVE NOT TOUCHED YOUR WARDROBE, there’s bound to be a mismatch or at least some sizeable gaps we just need to locate and fill strategically.

Start with the Positives

So first, let me say that it sounds like you are doing some things right!  And I LOVE to start with the positives.  There’s always something going right in your wardrobe or the way you’re getting dressed.  It might not seem obvious to you and I know you’re feeling the frustration right now.  But let’s start with the good:

#1: You know what kind of style you want to have

Please don’t underestimate the significance of this!  Getting clear on your signature style is the most important foundational step!  It’s going to set the tone for every other decision you make from here on out.  So the fact that you’ve dialed-in your desired style is worth doing a little happy dance over.  

#2: You’re making purchases and trying new things

Why am I proud of you for buying things even when they’re not working?  Because you’re doing something about your problem!  Even if you haven’t found the perfect solution yet, you’re taking risks and trying new things.  And unfortunately, a lot of shopping is trial and error.  I can give you lots of great advice on which silhouettes and fabrics and prints and proportions will work best for you, but you will never know what you love until you get in there and try things on and order things and see what you like.  It is a little bit of a process and so I want to encourage you to be patient and give yourself some grace as you’re figuring out what you like in this new season.

Okay, so those are the good things I’m hearing and I want to applaud you for: figuring out your style and trying new things!  That’s seriously huge.

Now, we need to troubleshoot what’s not working so well.

What To Prioritize Next

You’ve dialed-in your style so you might know what I’m going to tell you to do next…

Your #1 priority right now should be to pause on shopping for a moment and figure out what flatters your figure.  And this is for two reasons: 

1) Knowing what looks good on you will help you make adjustments to or better style the pieces in your existing wardrobe. Because I get that you’re ready to buy new things, but most of us aren’t able to scrap our entire closets and start over from scratch.  If you’re going for a minimal wardrobe or if you have the funds to do that, then by all means!  But otherwise, you’re going to want to know how to work with what you have. 

2.) Knowing what looks good on you will help you make more empowered shopping decisions.  You mentioned buying things and finding out they’re not right.  I talked about this issue in a couple of previous podcast episodes, so I want to direct you to those after you’re done listening to this one.  

→ Episode 55: Sick of Making Returns? How To Shop Smarter and Avoid the Dreaded Buyer’s Remorse

→ Episode 30: Why You Struggle To Pull Off Pinterest Outfit Inspo and What To Do About It

I talk about the importance of fit and shopping with YOUR unique body type in mind in both of those episodes.  And here’s a simple list of what you want to figure out:

  1. Your body’s shape
  2. Your proportions
  3. Your scale
  4. Your current measurements

If you listened to my last episode, you know about my new 90-day group coaching program, HER Style Collective, which kicks off in exactly 2 weeks on September 14th!  Doors are OPEN!  And once you’re inside, we’re going to team up to uncover those aspects of dressing to flatter your figure.  You’ll be as clear on what works for your figure as you are on your desired style.  The beauty of knowing what works for you is that you’ll have a simple checklist or filter to run items through before you add them to your cart.

And the beauty of this is, once you learn it, you can reapply it over and over every time you go shopping for new pieces!  Plus, you’ll have my eyes on your wardrobe and I can weigh in with my opinion on what you’re planning to buy before you spend a single cent!  We can make sure it matches all the criteria to flatter your figure.

Now, in addition to figuring out your shape, proportions, and scale, you also want to take your current measurements!  I can’t stress this enough.  Please don’t shop based on the size you think you are or the size you USED TO be.  Making returns is not fun and it’s, quite frankly, a waste of your time.  So please check your measurements and make sure you’re following the provided size guidelines to choose the best option for you!

You might also want to consider setting aside an afternoon or even an hour to shop in person so you can try things on and see what you like, again before buying things only to find out they’re not right for you.  I know this is easier said than done and time is limited for a lot of us these days, but my preferred method is shopping in-person when I can.  I’m very tactile, so I love to feel fabrics, see the construction quality, and of course, make sure it fits me well and makes me feel good!  

How To Find the Right Pieces

The last thing I want to speak to is the fact that you said you can never find the right things.  

Let me ask, how specific are you getting in your searches?

In episode #7: How To Shop If You Hate the Current Trends, I suggested that you don’t browse, you HUNT.

If you’re just meandering through the aisles at Target or scrolling through the latest collection at Everlane, you may not find what you want.  My suggestion is to actively seek out and search for what you want with the most specific possible terms.

This means, you’ll want to have a clear and prioritized shopping list.  And that means, you’ll need to spend some time auditing your current closet and locating the gaps. What’s currently working?  What’s not working?  And what’s missing? Out of what’s missing, what’s the most important thing to buy first?  Second?  Third?  And so on.

Once you have your list, you can start hunting for those pieces.  Do a Google search, look for related products on your favorite Pinterest outfits, narrow the search filters on your favorite brands’ websites.  If what you want isn’t readily available in stores right now, you might consider doing some vintage or thrift store shopping (online or off!), checking used clothing sites, looking on ebay or Facebook marketplace, or contacting a local seamstress and seeing they can custom create what you want.

Finally, if you want to stretch what you have, is there a way to style some of your pieces differently or with newer items to give it the look you’re going for?  Could you invest a little bit less in getting your old favorites altered to fit you better?  Maybe you could organize a clothing swap with your friends and find some gems that will work better for your life?

Whatever you decide to do, the steps I would recommend are the same as I would advise anyone else:

❶ You’ve already dialed-in your style (again, props to you!)

❷ Figure out what flatters your figure

❸ Discover your best colors

❹ Audit your closet

❺ Design your dream capsule

❻ Shopping & styling with strategy and intention

HER Style Collective

The hardest thing for me is hearing that you’re exhausted and spinning your wheels.  It doesn’t need to be this hard and you don’t have to figure it out on your own!  I would love to support you through every step and make this process simple and fun.  

If you resonate with any of Stephanie’s challenges and you’re sick of playing guessing games and doing all the right things and still ending up with the wrong pieces at the end of the day, I would love to partner up with you on your wardrobe this fall.

Join us inside HER Style Collective and in 90 days, before the holiday season!, I will personally guide you through building a wardrobe you LOVE, one that perfectly aligns with your style, one where everything inside your closet looks flattering on you, and that’s functional for your life.  This is exactly what this program is designed to do!  And the best part is, we’re doing it together, in an intimate mastermind of women with the same goals, connecting every single week, getting my eyes on your progress and offering my expertise along the way.  

I want you to stop spinning your wheels and start enjoying shopping and getting dressed!  No matter your budget for clothing, what size you’re currently wearing, or what’s on your calendar, this personalized program will work for you!

Click here to get all the details and reserve your spot! 


leave a comment

Exclusivity Looks Good On You

well, hello there

Get on the VIP list and I'll happily email you weekly style advice and exclusive, personalized content you won't find anywhere else.