My Fashion Dilemma: A Full Closet, Yet Nothing to Wear!

It’s Fashion Week in New York City. Newspapers and television are sharing bits of the runway; outfits on tall, thin models that I always wonder who buys.


My closet is full yet I have nothing to wear.

Not literally of course. I have tons of skirts and jeans, a few dresses, a couple pairs of dressy slacks, blouses, and plenty of pocketbooks and shoes.

Yet each time I have to go somewhere other than yoga class or the supermarket, I deliberate about my clothes.  My sisters often ask each other what we plan to wear to a family event; for some reason we need consensus. If one is wearing a skirt, the others will too.

When I taught, I took out my clothes the night before—everything including earrings. Now as a freelance writer, working at home, I’m often at my computer early in the morning, still in my nightgown.  After breakfast, about three times a week, I go to yoga. For a while, I rushed home after class to shower and change before doing errands, like going to the library or food shopping. I realized how much time I lost doing this. The Y is next door to the library. Would it be so terrible to go there straight from class?

I tried it. No one seemed to care. And, looking around the grocery store, plenty of people were in gym clothes of some form or another. It’s more fashionable to be in yoga pants or tennis togs than jeans!

I’ve been helping my cousin Robert clean out my Great-Aunt Sylvia’s apartment.  She died July 13 at 100 years old. Hers was the generation of matching gloves and hats, suits and dresses, stockings and embroidered handkerchiefs.  She didn’t leave the house without jewelry, a bit of make-up, and her hair done.  When I wear my workout clothes beyond the gym, I often wonder what she and my grandmother would say if they saw me. I don’t think it would be positive.

I have a full day in the city of meetings and meal dates that take me into the evening. It’s supposed to be nearly 80 degrees. I’ll be up and down subway stairs, walking city blocks. What to wear?  Which shoes? No spike heels for me anymore, yet I don’t care for either the running shoe look or flip-flops beyond the beach. Clogs? Ever comfortable, chunky and clunky, might be the answer.

(I wrote about fashion here:   Fashion Advice from our Mothers)

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18 Responses to My Fashion Dilemma: A Full Closet, Yet Nothing to Wear!

  1. My closet is full too! I don’t think I put that much thought into what I’m going to wear though…


  2. adinparadise says:

    I also feel that I have nothing to wear, and as I get older, the feeling gets stronger. I think the more clothes one has, the more difficult it is to decide what will suit best. 🙂


  3. I am always deliberating over what to wear. I have sweater, dresses (too many in black) and only 1 pair of jeans. I got hooked on leggings and my fit-flops. I have dressy fit-flops that I wore to commute in. They work in the city on those hot days. Now that I am at the university, I need to be comfortable but appropriate in my attire to see patients, go to meetings ,etc. My motto is a carry over from my mother, ” never look as bad as you feel.” Dressing up can put a smile on your face? I tried it and it works.


  4. Man Lisa, ditto! Spent the day shopping with friend yesterday and we all kept saying: “I really don’t need anything… but I have nothing to wear!” So true.


  5. Very true!! As for shoes in the city, I like flats, or even a flat ankle boot. Never could wear clogs though my daughter works in them.


  6. judy says:

    I feel the same way! I have 3 sisters and we also always discuss outfits for gatherings. Funny! As I get older I go more and more for comfort. At least, nowadays, there are lots of fashions to choose from. Maybe even too many.


  7. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Advanced Style(dot blogspot dot com) shows what older women are wearing around the world, from outrageous to formal, and everything in between. I check it regularly, and have browsed through their links checking out other fashionista blogs looking for pointers. There’s bound to be something that suits everyone.

    Can’t beat the original books by Trinny & Susannah, the original What Not To Wear women. The current U.S. program on cable, same name, will also enlighten.

    Speaking for myself, I cull through my closet seasonally and toss out things, make a mend pile, note what I need… and then try to sew up as much of what’s needed as I can. This can extend into other seasons, depending on work load!

    Someone wrote recently that we shouldn’t make orphans – a skirt or blouse that won’t go with anything. The same might be said of purchases: If it won’t match anything in your closet, leave it. Easier said than done sometimes, I know!

    Assuming you’re all busy women, you can consider googling the association of professional organizers and find out who in your area does closet organizing. For an hourly fee, you can get yourself back on track.

    There! Hope that’ll help you get sorted out!
    Good luck!


  8. Northern Narratives says:

    I am so out of step with the fashion trends. I see the college kids here walking around with plaid pants that look like their jammies. I feel embarassed for them!


  9. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I have lots of clothes but nothing to wear as well – partly because my waist has disappeared!


  10. I hated when the fashion police dictated “the look” for the season, yet am uncomfortable when the choices are endless. Skirt lengths don’t matter, shoes are either absurd or athletic, so we’re all at the mercy of our own wits.

    Can I join your sisters when we decide what we’re wearing? What are you all wearing to services?


    • Thanks for stopping in and commenting. I read through some of your posts- we write about many of the same topics. One sister and I don’t go; the other probably wears a suit. L’Shana Tova to you and yours. Lisa


  11. Leah says:

    The way I feel is that I’m a writer, not a fashion person. I’m lucky I actually make it out of my yoga pants or jeans into something more. I do dress nicely for meetings and appointments outside the house, but it’s nothing like when I worked and I’m grateful for that. I love the simplicity too. I got rid of so many clothes when I left my job. Now I only have what I will actually wear.


  12. I hear you! I posted today-it took all day, and I was still my jammies when it came time to start dinner. I have to have some nice outfits that I can pull out of the closet for storytelling performances, but around the house, I dress for comfort. Still, I have found that when I go out, I feel better if I know I’m wearing something a little snazzier than sweats. But when my son and I had to make a 10PM grocery run the other night so he could frost the cake he was baking, I asked if he thought anyone would notice I was going out in my plaid flannel PJs. He said, maybe they wouldn’t have, except everyone would know for certain that I was, because he was wearing his pajama bottoms too.


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