Sigh. Who hasn’t said this to themselves, their friends, their partner before. I-have-nothing-to-wear or IHNTW for short. Five short words that can turn a good day bad, excitement for an event into dread and a feeling of defeat that can be paralysing.
Before you think I am overstating the case, try to recall when this statement applied to you and cast your mind back to how that felt. Paralysing much?
You may think, as a stylist, that I don’t feel this fear, this sense of WTF do I pull out of this thing called my wardrobe. Well I do and it sucks.
I have plenty of clothes, not on the ridiculous level, and I feel a sense of pride in turning older outfits, new, by styling things differently or with a twist and then seeing the results in a new way. So while the feeling is rare that IHNTW, I still feel it. It’s tough and it usually precedes an event or a work day, when I really need to get my hustle on.
So let me tell you how I tackled my recent IHNTW dilemma. It all starts one Saturday, that followed a Friday night. I’d stayed in with my kids, but my hubby had been out celebrating his work Christmas Party. Then came Saturday morning and a busy day with our kids, swimming lessons, play dates and a family 1st birthday party. I had no problems getting dressed for these moments, I felt confident, sorted and stoked with my choices. The husband had earlier suggested we go out for a date night later on. It was much-needed. But I was dragging my heels. First I couldn’t decide what I really wanted to do. Do you ever find that sisters who have kids? Date night feels like a big huge deal, they happen so rarely that you want to fit in every dream date your could ever imagine into one small, shitty Saturday night.
Suddenly it was flotation tanks and champagne, dinner at the noodle markets, high end hotel stay, simple street food collective and trying all sorts, champagne bar, a walk down Franklin Road for the Christmas Lights, it was to be all things to all attention starved, busy AF 40 year olds. But then it wasn’t. It couldn’t be. There were two people and one night, and a 16 year old babysitter who had to be Uber’ed home (it’s a thing now apparently) by 11.30pm.
Phew, suddenly the pressure of IHNTW was compounded by I don’t want to go out and I don’t know what I want to do anyway and I’m fucked off at you and I don’t know why.
So there was that. Anyhoo, I wildly digress. Obviously – I wasn’t a total dick – we confirm we are to go out for date night . (We choose street food, cocktails and Christmas lights if you were wondering). But that’s where the pain in the butt starts. The IHNTW nightmare.
Half and hour before the babysitter arrives, such is my despondency with my sartorial choices, I attempt to decide. First up, an all black outfit, that hides my skin and hides me. I aim for sleek and come out looking EMO and hidden. Next up are jeans and a baggy silky top, aiming for casual chic. I end up looking much older than I want, washed out and bored. I’m stumped.
I go put my makeup on and do my hair and in T minus 15 minutes until the sitter comes, I am back in the bedroom making panic choices.
FFS, why does this happen, why do we lovely, gorgeous women make ourselves feel like crap and claim IHNTW? My theory is that despite rationally knowing that we have plenty to wear, our mood and our self talk can be a debilitating dampener to our usual choices.
Suddenly, and I can say this on reflection, my dreary thoughts on not really knowing what I wanted from date night, translated into not helping me decide what to wear. I was in a quagmire of doubt over the night and it bled into my fashion choices. I basically turned catatonic for ideas. I tried snapping myself out of it and it only made the decisions harder. I had a top on that I liked, but bottoms I wanted nothing to do with.
But then I had a brain wave and asked myself what I felt great in, what I felt comfortable in and hoped the two were there same thing. They were.
So I kept on the top that I liked and added a skirt, instead of the pants – wide legged and jeans – that I had been trying on. The skirt had the added benefit of being a little see-through, so I felt a little shinier and sexier, which is probably much-needed for a date night don’t you agree? I grabbed an old favourite – the denim jacket and popped that on for fun. It worked, I mean I wasnt LOLing all over the shop, but it worked. So suddenly the outfit emerged, comfortable, a little bit of sexy and a whole lot of “I feel great”.
So what is this blog all about, other than me moaning that I had nothing to wear? It’s about turning that shite around in your head and saying “yeah I do”. I was in a shitty mood and that translated into telling myself that IHNTW. Just like negative self talk can bleed into our lives in other insidious ways, the day it hit my wardrobe, I decided to fight back. Funny that.
So here’s my thoughts on what you could do to break through the block of IHNTW.
- Tell yourself YES I DO, you crazy, sexy, cool, fabulous mother trucker.
- Try all the things on until, if it feels crappy, take it off (crazy idea) until the right outfit makes you hum. I would suggest going for an old favourite, like a denim jacket or a dress that makes you feel fine.
- If going out for an occasion, try on the things that make you happiest, even if you’re worried that you’ve worn them before – who gives a crap! Unless you’re a celebrity whose going to be photographed and the evidence ends up in Grazia.
- When in doubt use accessories to make the most of any outfit.
- Take a pic of a great outfit, that you love, knowing it may come in handy when the IHNTW’s happen.
- Wear lipstick, always.
Do you ever tell yourself IHNTW? Tell me about it sisters….
mmmmmwah, love EJ, the mother of the sisterhood. xo
Remember, if you really are wanting more confidence in your style choices, why not book a session with me to do a wardrobe detox or personal shopping session. Email me at email@example.com for bookings.