In recent weeks, I’ve been complaining about my boredom with my Project 333 wardrobe capsule. I haven’t been excited to wear the same 33 garments over and over again and have found myself yearning for the wide selection I had with my pre-challenge closet. I reasoned that if I could just have more clothes to choose from, I might feel excited about my wardrobe again.
My Wardrobe is Not the Problem
Although a wider selection of garments might quell my wardrobe ennui for a short period of time, I suspect that the boredom would come back with a vengeance before too long. Then I would reason that more shopping would be necessary to inject new life and versatility into my closet. I would then go shopping, buy new things, and feel excited and happy for a while, only to see the boredom creep back in a few weeks later.
Why am I never satisfied with my wardrobe for more than a few weeks at a time (if that)? Because my wardrobe is not the problem. My problem is not that I’m dissatisfied with my wardrobe; it’s that I’m unhappy with my life. Trying to cure life dissatisfaction issues through shopping is akin to taking an antacid to cure a headache. The prescription doesn’t fit the problem it’s attempting to solve.
Working with a Stylist isn’t a Cure-All
While I’m not suggesting that my wardrobe is perfect and cannot be improved in any way, this is far from my biggest problem. A few readers have suggested that I hire a personal stylist to help me evolve my wardrobe and my style, and that’s not a bad idea. I definitely have blind spots when it comes to my own style. I have a lot of “rules” that probably don’t make logical sense, and my body image issues get in the way of my taking risks in terms of what I wear.
I’m sure that having an unbiased professional with me when I’m shopping would enable me to make better sartorial choices, so I’m considering hiring a stylist to shop with me at some point in the future. However, until I deal with the underlying issues that lead me to shop too much, I will likely continue to be unhappy with my wardrobe and feel compelled to shop (and shop and shop). I may look more polished and stylish on the outside, but that won’t fix what’s wrong with my psyche and my life.
A Compelling Question…
As I was considering my boredom with my wardrobe the other day, the following question popped into my head:
Am I bored with my wardrobe – or my life?”
Of course, the answer could be “both,” but in all honesty, I have to say that my life is more the problem. I feel ungrateful and even “bratty” to say this, because I have a good life compared to most people in the world, but my life feels really “small.” I spend most days at home and don’t interact with many other people on a regular basis. My husband and I live in a two-bedroom apartment with our two cats and we share a home office. I adore my husband and cats and feel incredibly grateful to have them, but I also crave more interaction with others.
Life Transitions and Interpersonal Challenges
I have worked primarily from home for the past twelve years in a variety of employment, contract, and freelance roles. Much of the work I’ve done is rather solitary, with little ongoing collaboration with others. I used to be involved in more extracurricular activities, including business networking groups, Toastmasters, comedy improv classes, personal growth seminars, and volunteer work. I also used to have a small circle of friends with whom I got together on a semi-regular basis. My husband and I even had some “couples friends” to interact with from time to time.
Much of that is now gone, for a variety of reasons. Friends moved away or we simply grew apart, and I either tired of my activities or they ran their course. While I am still lucky enough to have a few friends, most of them don’t live near me or are very busy with their own activities. I don’t have children, so that avenue of connecting with others (kid’s friends’ parents, etc.) is not open to me. It has become increasingly difficult to make friends as I’ve aged, and the fact that I’m an introvert doesn’t help matters much. I’ve attended some Meetup groups, but it’s hard to make the leap from activity co-participants to friends.
Shopping as a Hobby and a Business
So, what do I do to add excitement and fun to my life? You know the answer… I shop! Shopping, creating new outfits, and managing my wardrobe have been my primary hobbies for a number of years. In 2011, I had the bright idea to turn this hobby into a business, so I became a wardrobe consultant.
While the work I’ve done with clients has been very rewarding, the extensive marketing required to gain new customers has made it difficult to grow the business beyond a sideline venture. Not only do I have concerns about the viability of this business, I also wonder if it’s even a good idea for a compulsive shopper (who very much wants to change) to have a business that centers around shopping and clothes.
The Real Problems…
I’ve changed jobs and careers a lot throughout my lifetime, and I fear I will have to do so once again. I have a lot of confidence issues related to my lack of career success and I feel ashamed of my struggles in this area. I also feel sad that I have so little interpersonal connection in my life. In addition, I suffer from a number of health issues for which solutions have been eluded me. These are the real problems in my life, not my “boring wardrobe” or the fact that I only have 33 garments to choose from during April through June.
Shopping Won’t Fill Our Emotional Holes
Perhaps some of you can relate to my struggle. I know that most compulsive shoppers shop for a variety of reasons beyond actual wardrobe needs, and even if we actually do need new clothes, such items won’t fill the emotional holes in our hearts.
There are no easy answers, but admitting the problem is an important first step. Now that I realize I’m bored with aspects of my life, I can set about to determine how to inject more excitement into my days by means other than shopping. Writing my blog is helping, but I also need to get out more and pursue new hobbies, interests, and relationships. As for work, that’s a big question mark at present, but packing my closet with more clothes won’t help me to find the ever elusive career success I desire.
If you find yourself feeling bored with your wardrobe, or if you look in your closet and declare that you have “nothing to wear,” you might want to pause for a moment. Ask yourself if it’s really your wardrobe you’re bored with. Perhaps, like me, there are larger issues at play. I don’t have all of the answers, but maybe I’ve helped you to ask some of the bigger questions.