Una, you are positively one of the last people I would describe as frumpy. You have received lots of great advice already just sending a hug your way.

I feel you :/ I feel frumpy, grumpy & totally uninspired most days too

But you....you always look great, Una. Weight fluctuations can be a total bi**h...so hang in there.

Fake it till you make it! Nothing wrong with FFBOs....though I agree, they do get boring as hell.

I second the advice of boxing away stuff that doesnt feel "you" anymore. I did that recently and felt insanely better when I peeked into my closet afterwards.

Great suggestions here! Whenever I have a frumpy day (and we all do), I put on some music and dance. It makes me feel beautiful and lifts my spirits. (I'm glad only my kitty can see me, though!)

Oh, WOW. I posted this diatribe of self-pity before bed last night and woke up to all these lovely and comforting messages. Where do I even begin? Thank you to each and every one of you who took time to write something and share your own feelings here, especially when know many of you have things going on in your lives that are far more stressful and serious than closet complaints.

First off, I need to realize I am incredibly lucky to be whining about something as fortunate as "I don't love my body and closet situation". Privilege, anyone? *move along there*

Second, I need to take some proactive steps to change up my outlook. My plan is finding some way to exercise and other outlets for my spare time besides closet churning. Some things that are already in motion: the mini-elliptical, a dance party in the works, and painting. I've also found a friend who can climb at the rock gym on my schedule, and the mini-elliptical will go under my desk at work. Janet, if you're interested it's this one:


although I got mine locally on Craigslist because Amazon won't ship here.

Third, I need to focus on better eating. DH and I discussed how often we eat out because it seems easier with our hectic lives. But in reality, it's more expensive, unhealthy, and not really a good example to our kiddo. I've come up with a list of meals both my boys will eat (not an easy task!) and am going to start putting more effort into homemade meals. DH does more than his fair share of child care and work around the house already, and cooking is actually something I enjoy when I have the time and am organized enough to do it right. And at work, I need to avoid all the candy and other sweet treats that everyone seems to have around at this time of year.

And last, I do need to face up to purging the closet. I have been slowly getting rid of so-so things that just don't love anymore, but it's harder to do with those "maybe" items of value that I formerly adored, like the Equipment shirts. A holding zone may be the way to go. Can you believe I've never done that? I've always left things hanging around until I can't stand the sight of them.

I do think much of this is age and life stage, and I can't tell you how much your kind words and empathy help. I will do a separate post on what is and isn't working for me now more specifically. Meanwhile, just knowing I have the forum to help me through is a huge relief!

Just lots of hugs... And everything is gonna be alright....don't you worry...

Una - I can highly recommend cooking at home, but it doesn't have to take a lot of time. Take advantage of those cut up veggies at the grocer if need be - frozen brown rice cooks up in the microwave in 3 mins. My new "fast food" meal is stir fried frozen veggies over brown rice.

I make an easy sauce that can be customized and is sweet enough for kids to enjoy. It uses real maple syrup, tamari or soy sauce, lots of garlic, micro-grated frozen ginger (easy way to keep it on hand), a little toasted sesame oil and if you want a little heat, add some Chile sauce.

You can add other things (I add chopped cilantro sometimes) but it's a great easy Asian style sauce that is as good on baked fish in parchment (easy cleanup), veggies or even as a salad dressing if you add a splash of vinegar.

Soups are also one of my favorite things - zucchini curry, mexican corn chowder, tuscan bean - they can all make a quick mea l-- you can add a little mixed green salad or make a toasted cheese or something to go with it.

Holding zone sounds like the way to go. Especially for those clothes that you may like again.
Glad to hear that you are taking all these positive steps. I need to emulate them. Especially as I do have a bit of a rough patch with winter. Right now the weather keeps alternating between warm days and cooler temps.
Hugs, and whatever else helps you feel better.

Would it be possible to have a couple of simple items made up in prints you adore?

This probably sounds terrible, but I found your post inspiring. If it can even happen to _you_, then there's hope for me. Your example has helped me in so many ways, even though our styles are different. A few days ago, I followed your DIY jeans-uneven-cropping example, and the results brought me a whole new openness to having fun with fashion rather than leaving edge to the youngsters. Thank you!

And privilege, well. This _is_ a style forum, and nobody here imagines that closet conundrums are the worst thing going on in a member's life, I don't think, even if they're not putting personal struggles and challenges out on the table. An old friend calls me sometimes about manipedi mishaps, and that's not because she's spoiled; it's exactly what she needs to vent about in the moment, perhaps _because_ of the stress of caring for a terminally ill family member and everything else she's going through. I feel like YLF is a "safe space" in that regard; no scolding for wanting to look fab while dealing with darker sides of life, no ranking of priorities on others' behalf.

Food-wise, in the past I had a bulk-cooking buddy, a co-worker with compatible dietary needs and preferences. We each cooked large batches once a month, and swapped half. That covered two meals/week for the month. It required a lot of freezer space, though.

I think you've gotten some good advice on the clothing issues.

This is a good blog/website for freezer crockpot meals: http://newleafwellness.biz
The recipes are assembled but not cooked. I made 10 recipes before soccer season started and they've been a sanity saver. I just plop one in the crock pot before work and when we get home we eat a quick meal before running out the door again to practice.

AG, sorry you are feeling this way. I am feeling somewhat similar with work sucking up all my time and energy and have been thinking that I need to make some changes. On the exercise front, I have been trying out intervals of skipping rope. It's hard, it doesn't take long and you can do it almost anywhere. On the style front, I second the all the advice about a holding zone. Some new fun accessories could be a pick me up. I hope you feel better soon

Minimalist, may I just say your post made me cry in a good way. Thank you. It is so true. We are all dealing with lots of stuff but sometimes the closet is where it goes to roost and here we can support each other. Una, you are a rock star. A closet edit will feel so good.

Ugh, I am feeling the same way about nothing being inspiring. The other day, I wore a plain long-sleeved t-shirt and white jeans, and it was so boring. On a whim, I took a small neckerchief from Urban Outfitters out of my closet and tied it around my neck, and immediately, the outfit had a bit of a seventies vibe. I put my hair in a ponytail, which showed off the scarf, and I felt great all day. I think that I could have put in some big hoop earrings too, to complete the look.

So what I'm saying is...do you think you could make your current wardrobe work by adding some interesting accessories? Even your hair--is there a different way you could wear your hair that would give a different vibe to your outfits?

I'm sorry to hear you are feeling the way you do. You've been through quite a bit in the last few months and I hope you feel back in the swing of things soon. I like what Gigi says about small items making a difference, perhaps a play with textures too? Thinking of your gorgeous OTK boots in suede and may be scarfs / statement necklace / earrings / bangle / bag in a similar colour range but different texture.

It's just the stress talking, AG. I can't imagine that you could ever look frumpy, but I know it's easy to feel that way when you are a bit down. I'd like to bet that others are seeing you as the stylish person that you always are.
Be kind to yourself and give yourself a few treats along the way - makeup, accessories or just your favourite food. You've had a tricky year, so please take care.

Una, sending you lots of virtual hugs. I think your "action plan" is a sound one. Getting exercise, healthy eating and doing fun and enjoyable things for yourself should definitely help to feel better. As for closet issues I do not have any advice on my own as I myself is in the "style hiatus" this year. Maybe we need it as a reflection on moving forward?
Again, more hugs and love for you!

Oh yes. I know this feeling. And now I'm in a job that is more casual than ever!

First, your move to grey has been bold and fab enough to carry you through a whole year of doldrums! I second Anna: choose a couple accessories, and maybe a couple pairs of great footwear (perhaps with texture, or avoiding black). You might also undertake some mini-challenges: wearing one item 3 times in a week, or creating 3 new outfits with a well-fitting item, for example.

I feel like, even more than dedication to exercise, it's important for me to live and move mindfully -- to be fully present and aware of my body, instead of trying to subdue it. For me, this involves gentle walks in addition to true "workouts," and a few minutes of stretching and/or restorative yoga morning and night.

There has been some great advice here, and often fashion funks, well for me anyway, are a symptom of life funks.

I am no expert, but I think exercise, simplicity and being gentle to yourself are important. You always look great.

WRT clothing, I think that many of us are bored with the same old, that has been around for a while, but as we have gotten older, we are not quite sure how to make the new silhouettes work for us again. Well that is a bit how I feel. I have struggled for the past few winters with colours and patterns, and as a result have ended up with quite a minimal winter wardrobe.

I can see here that there is a change too in fashion, and that many of the labels/brands/retailers are struggling in the current market...they are not quite sure who their target is any more. There are some success stories out there though - I can think of three or four newer labels locally to me that are doing well through social media marketing. They are not following what the mainstream fashion industry is doing at all, but sticking to their target market with funky fashionable wild prints.

Una, your post really resonates with me, and I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this funk. It's especially challenging when fashion shifts in a major way, which requires having to become reacquainted with a variety of designers' sizing, never mind whether the fits themselves are flattering.
Something that has helped me the past few days is logging my outfits on StyleBook. The outfits themselves seem more fresh to my eye, probably because my body is removed from the look. It makes me feel better about my sartorial choices, and in turn, makes me feel better about the outfits that I've chosen. This might seem to contradict the advice "don't wear it if you don't feel fab," but the fab feeling comes from recognizing the coolness of the outfit from more of an "objective" stance.

I just love this post, Una. Thanks for being open about the funk, and let me say, I'm feeling it too -- and it's so frustrating because this is my favorite season and I want so much not to feel this way. Empty nest is really settling in, and I haven't traveled in quite a while, and my weight is fairly stable but it seems the pounds have just shifted and gotten softer so nothing is fitting quite the same anymore. Plus, this election is really a drag on my heart.

I hear you on the eating. Michael and I eat out a lot since it's just the two of us, and I also have begun snacking again .... and then getting lost in the cycle of self-loathing that accompanies it. Food is such an onerous trap. But I'm also trying to take some positive steps -- recommitting to Ashtanga and trying to carve out space for creative work and trying to find some joy in fashion. But it's really hard right now.

I'm not sure anything I am saying is remotely helpful especially since I seem only to be vomiting out my own story. But maybe just knowing I am yet another one having "a moment" will help in some small way. I'm thinking of you.


Thank you for posting this and sharing what many of us often feel. I don't tend to post WIW but my style is similar to your and when I felt this way earlier this month, I did what Aida suggested. I put away all the clothes that felt wrong (fit or boredom or whatever). I splurged on a few easy pieces that hid what felt like trouble spots.
I also started doing a 1-2 minute meditation, I sit in my car, put on my sunglasses, hold my phone in my hand, set the timer for 2 minutes and just breath before going to work or wherever I'm going. It's been hugely helpful and slowly I'm coming on track.
I hope you can see that sharing has opened so much compassion for all of us because so many of us feel the same as way as you.
Big hug!