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Closet Fatigue is Real, Here’s How to Become Re-Inspired by Your Wardrobe

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

As someone who would consider herself a lover of all things fashion, there definitely comes a time of the cycle of Wearing Clothes where I look at the piles of clothes on my floor and rack through my closet and think: I have nothing to wear. Sound familiar?

Closet fatigue is an actual thing, but that doesn’t mean you have to indulge in buying new things in order to feel some inspiration again. There’s a lot you can do to keep your wardrobe feeling fresh without actually doing much of anything. It’s all about the mindset – and maybe experimenting with things you haven’t tried yet.

Online “Shop” With Your Closet

Not to toot my own horn, but one of the ways I’ve found to fight closet fatigue is to allow myself to peruse new styles on the web – without actually adding anything to the Cart. The premise is simple – go online (on any website, even the ones you may not want to buy from or are out of your price range), and find pieces that you love. Next step – think to yourself, “Do I have something like this? Do I like the piece, or did they just do a really good job of styling it?” Usually, it’s honestly the latter (Why do you think e-commerce sites are so successful? They make things look really good). See what you’ve got in your closet to recreate it, and bam – it’s like you just bought a new outfit. Here’s an example from my own closet:

Style Around A Certain Piece

Everyone has those pieces in their closet that they don’t honestly wear too often – whether you don’t know what to wear it with, or you don’t really know if you like it. Maybe it’s just not up there on your list of favorite pieces. Either way, your next challenge is to style these pieces whenever you’re feeling uninspired. Take some time to find out what looks good with them and make them workThis should give you more options in your wardrobe and allow you to essentially add something new to your rotation, now what you know how to style it.

In high school, I would pick one piece that I wanted to wear and look up something like “puffer jacket outfit fall aesthetic.” I wish I was kidding, but it worked! Times were surely different (and so was the “style.” It always comes back, I suppose), but it really expedited the process of getting ready to catch the bus in the morning.

Recreate Instagram/Pinterest Fits

Another way to find more inspiration is to have a Pinterest board or folder on Instagram where you save outfits that inspire you. It’s always a fun challenge to recreate other people’s fits, especially if you love them (not to mention it’s been a huge trend among the fashion community on different apps for a while now).

I personally love organizing my boards and folders by certain vibes (big fan of organization here), but you can do it however you’d like – by color, by the aesthetic or just put everything into one big folder if that’s easiest for you! That way, whenever you feel like you’ve got nothing to wear, you can always look back on the folders you’ve already created and style something based off of one of those. It’s pretty handy to have either way, honestly.

Try Out New Color Combinations

One of the magnificent parts of this year’s fashion trends and this cycle is the incredible use of color – even colors you’d never think could go together! Put those wild patterns and complementary colors to the test like never before. It might work a lot better than you’d think.

Even if your regular style is more colorful, try something more neutral or monotone. You don’t have to completely go the opposite way either. Changing your regular go-to color combinations might be as simple as wearing colors that you don’t usually gravitate towards. For me, that would mean warmer colors like pink and red. I have nothing against them – they’re just not what I typically wear.

Donate Your Old Clothes And Thrift Some New Ones

If you’re really stumped and don’t think that anything will get you out of this, try looking through your clothes and sorting out the ones that you’ve grown out of (physically or emotionally) to sell them on a secondhand site or donate them. Not all donated clothes are resold, though. Some of them still end up in landfills. Before donating, consider reselling them or doing a clothing swap with your friends. That way, you know they won’t get thrown out and will have a loving new home!

Once you’ve sorted through the clothes that no longer bring you joy (Marie Kondo would be proud, I’m sure), try to figure out what you actually need, not just the things that you want. Figure out some essentials your closet is lacking – some of these could be as simple as a plain white t-shirt, nude bra or black jeans. Make a list of those things, and try perusing them though apps like Depop or Poshmark, or even check out your local thrift store to find some of them. They will be a lot easier to find than you think, but sometimes, you just have to dig a little.

In my own experience, I’ve found that closet fatigue is often not linked to what’s actually in your closet, but rather a lack of inspiration. There are so many ways to use what you have in your wardrobe without buying anything new, and maybe even giving new life to things you may no longer have considered “wearable.” After all, the fashion cycle means that what goes around comes around, but all in all, your style is whatever you make it, and things that are no longer “trendy” are always still viable outfit options if you like them!

Melanie is a senior journalism major at Hofstra University and an avid fashion and thrift-y gal. She also loves dogs and finds paint-by-numbers to be extremely calming. Always overdressed and has definitely had at least one cup of coffee. She is not only extremely sarcastic, but will be your own personal hypewoman if you'll let her.