Hi everyone, I’m new-ish to posting here, though I have been reading on and off through the years, and have always loved the supportive atmosphere in this community.

To make a long story short, I feel like I have lost all my sense of style, and could use some input! I have always loved clothes, fashion and dressing up, but since struggling with chronic illness for the past four years (just turned 40 last month) I feel like it’s all gone out the window. I have barely bought anything new throughout this time, and instead of accepting my new life and circumstances I have more or less lived in my one pair of black joggers, so I am long overdue for a wardrobe refresh. The main issues I have with my current wardrobe is that it consists of mainly structured pieces, and with my current health I have a lot of joint and muscle pain and can’t wear a majority of it anymore. I have also gone up a size, so a lot of it is ill fitting anyway, and I would also love to introduce some color, as I am so bored of wearing black!

Now, in theory I feel like I have a good grasp on what my style is, what kind of pieces I like and how I can adapt it to my new life circumstances. I have done a lot of thinking, planning, cleaning out, etc. I have gone down the seasonal color analysis/kibbe rabbit holes, capsule wardrobe planning, and my Pinterest boards are overflowing. But trying to put it all into practice is a whole other matter. As my energy is limited I am not often able to go into stores and trying things on, so I rely mostly on online shopping. Since Christmas I have ordered and returned dozens of pieces and am getting more and more overwhelmed by the day. I keep getting the wrong sizes, fits, colors, I just can’t seem to get it right, and I feel like I have lost my ability to put together an outfit!

I basically feel so sad and frustrated with my clothes. I have two pairs of stretchy dress trousers that I am able to wear when I leave the house, both black (one slim and one flared), and my default outfit at the moment is black pants, black turtleneck sweater (which I have in all kinds of variants, from thin modal and merino knits, to soft cashmere, to chunky wool), with either black winter boots, black Oxford shoes, or black Adidas Gazelles. I do have some nice long coats in different colors, fortunately.

The thing is, fashion and clothes have always been a sort of escape for me when things have been difficult, dressing up as a sort of defiance against whatever I was going through, and now I can’t seem to find that comfort. It’s no longer a source of joy. Maybe it’s that it is yet another thing that I have lost. Obviously there are deeper psychological issues that I am working through in regards to my health, and it feels frivolous to be focusing so much on clothing when a lot of the time I am not even able to leave my house, but I think if anyone will understand it is a community like this. When I try to get a conversation going with family or friends to get some input of help, they tend to brush it off and not taking it seriously (which I understand).

To be honest, I am not entirely sure where I am going with this, and I am sorry for rambling. Maybe if anyone has any input on how tackle this problem? All my thinking and planning is obviously not working for me. Has anyone been in a similar situation?