personal essay // i have nothing to wear.

I have nothing to wear. A personal essay about what happens when your body changes and you don't know how to dress it. Read more on jojotastic.com

I haven’t really thought this post through completely and, warning, it might get a little complain-y. Lately, I’ve been having this feeling that I have nothing to wear. Nothing feels right, nothing makes me feel cute or sexy or like what I have on is flattering. It all just feels blah and totally unspecial. A big part of it is that my body has changed a lot. I spent all winter and spring training and working out. Now that I’ve sat on my butt for 13 weeks with a broken leg, I’ve gotten soft. I definitely have a tummy pooch and only 2 pairs of my jeans fit me now. After working so hard all winter, this just adds one more frustration on top of dealing with a broken leg.

Things don’t fit the same way, nor do they look the same. This makes getting dressed and (as a result) feeling confident in what I’m wearing and how I look a bit difficult. These days it takes at leastΒ 30 minutes for me to pick something to wear. By the end of that process, there’s a pile of discarded clothes on every surface of our bedroom. Things that don’t fit my arms, that make me feel too wide in the shoulders, too much like a pregnant lady, etc etc. It’s a really uncomfortable, borderline self-abusive process.

I’ve also noticed that many of my ‘go-to’ pieces are not working for me these days, again because of the leg. The jeans that I always feel confident wearing? Yeah, I can’t get them on right now. My oversized flowy white peasant top? It rides up when I use my crutches, showing my belly to everyone.

I also believe that this feeling of ‘nothing to wear’ stems from how frequently I look at fashion trends. Then it’s coupled with this feeling of wanting to stay current and on top of the trends… and then all of a sudden I don’t have a true personal style! When I look at the pieces hanging in my closet, I often wonder what I was thinking when I got them. It’s like a conversation between me and too many grandma’s-couch-inspired prints. Or with the pair of overalls that don’t go with any of the tops I own. Seriously, I can list examples like this for days.

This summer’s “look” has consisted of this pair of cut offs that I had to get in 2 sizes lager and a few knit Everlane dresses. Mostly, I’m just wearing pajamas and feeling bad about myself.

As my leg gets better (please?), I am daydreaming about getting my butt back into the gym and getting back into shape. But I also really want to be able to look cute again and soon. I’m tired of feeling frumpy. Recently I went on a rampage and ordered a ton of stuff online… then ended up returning all but one dress. Everything was totally off. I hated the fit, the fabrics, the colors, everything. So now I’ve moved onto trying those trendy online style box things. If you watched my Instagram Stories, I recently tried Stitchfix and it was terrrrrible. I was so disappointed. But I heard from a few of you that Trunk Club really worked for you, so I’ve signed up for that and was definitely way more impressed. This might be a really good way for me to get inspired with my wardrobe in the future and step out of my comfort zone. I posted my results on Instagram Stories and will continue to keep you posted as I try Trunk Club more.

Tell me, have you ever felt like this before? What did you do? I’d really love any suggestions!

  • I can totally relate — but I feel like I’ve been stuck in this rut for a couple of years now, ever since putting on weight that didn’t come off after my last baby. It’s hard to get excited about buying clothes when I feel down on myself about my body, and then it becomes a vicious cycle because I’m not taking care of myself keeping up with my wardrobe and such…

    • YES! that is exactly my sentiment. i’m so glad i’m not alone and thank you so much for sharing your experience as well.

  • Courtney

    Random stranger giving you advice, but this spoke to me! I recently unfollowed 90% of the fashion bloggers I used to follow on IG. Seeing their perfect looks and makeup every time I logged in was starting to make me feel frumpy and bad about myself. It also caught me in the cycle of wanting to buy #allthethings, which just creates more anxiety with unnecessary spending and extra clutter. Those women are gorgeous and inspiring, but I also have to remind myself that it is literally their job to be living models.
    You’re also used to being active, so the limitations from your injury mean you aren’t getting to enjoy the endorphins that would typically be boosting your self esteem. We also suffer from “must take advantage of every moment of Summer because it may rain again for 2,000 straight days” here in Seattle. (I call it FOMOSS – fear of missing out on Seattle Summer!)
    Do what you can to feed your soul, and your body, with compassion. Until you feel returned to your normal state of confident badassery, stop trying on those uncomfortably tight clothes every day. At the very least, it saves you from the anxiety of the bedroom getting messy. Box up the former favorites for a later date, put the box out of view, and just have your comfortably fitting, stylish enough items in your closet. Think of it as a moment-in-time specific capsule wardrobe! I find dresses are always my go to since they don’t cling/pinch/cling as much as things with a waistband if I fluctuate a couple of pounds. Lucky for you, cutoffs and easy dresses are perfect Seattle style!

    • thank you SO much for commenting, Courtney. I’m so glad that my essay resonated with you. I’m always looking to connect with more people, so I’m really happy you discovered it.

      I totally agree with you about comparing myself to everyone i see one social media. It’s really, really hard and something that I struggle with SO much. And YES, I am so mad about having missed summer in Seattle!! It feels like I’ve been cheated a bit, to be honest. Its just been a really rotten summer all around for me, sitting on the couch and feeling envious of everyone else.

      I love your advice of packing up what doesn’t fit so I can revisit it later. I just might have to try that! For now, I’m rocking my cut offs and same old ratty hoodie until I feel a bit more like myself.

      XO.

  • GeorgineB1

    Advice that is hard to take (I know, because I am giving it and struggle with this) Be kind to yourself. You didn’t make a choice to hurt your leg. This is just a small, short time in your life. Let your body heal, and love who you are. Someone adventurous and strong. And I am with Cassie, eating clean is 80% of it. Lots of vegetables and good fat and protein. Yeah, I am sick of vegetables and just want peach crumble….. But I keep eating my greens.

    • you’re so wise! i really appreciate this advice so much. it’s really hard to put this into practice, especially because i tend to be such a perfectionist. i’ve been focusing even more on diet and keeping that in check β€” especially my wine consumption!

  • OK so what i do when my clothes don’t fit and nothing feels right…. i DO NOT order new clothes because that gives me permission. as much as it sucks, i recognize it, and take action and focus on my nutrition and do what i can with exercise (totally understand what position you are in- i was out for a few weeks with staples in my leg a few years ago). but i work on me, because that is the only thing that will make me feel better. i gained 10 pounds this year trying to relax and get pregnant and here i am a year later, no babies, 4 losses, and my body has been on a rollercoaster. but in march i stepped on the scale and saw the weight and i took control of my eating. i lost most of it, and when the kids go back to school i will get rid of the rest. i at least feel much better in my clothes! it was worth it, even though it was so hard. you’ve got this… do things that make YOU feel good and are within your control.

    • First, thank you SO much for leaving such a heartfelt, amazing comment. I really appreciate it! Now that I am finally up on my feet again and able to do more, I am really looking forward to getting back into the gym. Even just being able to walk has helped. Like right now, I’m wearing a pair of jeans that I couldn’t get on even a couple of weeks ago. It’s more just that I’m frustrated by my body and really needed my healing to speed up so I can get back to my normal activity levels!