I Have Nothing To Wear!: A Painless 12-Step Program to Declutter Your Life So You Never Have to Say This Again!*

I Have Nothing To Wear!: A Painless 12-Step Program to Declutter Your Life So You Never Have to Say This Again!*

by Jill Martin, Dana Ravich


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You know the feeling: the anxiety, the dread, and the utter certainty that in spite of all of the options in the overcrowded closet before you, you have nothing to wear. The advent of discount retailers that offer up-to-the-minute fashion trends has only deepened the problem. Though our dresser drawers are overflowing with options, the daily crisis remains the same.

Help has arrived! In I Have Nothing to Wear! fashion expert Jill Martin and fashion stylist Dana Ravich have teamed up to create a fun and practical 12-step program that promises to help even the most seemingly hopeless cases.

Learn how to edit your wardrobe, figure out the fashion basics, get organized, steer clear of flash-in-the-pan trends, and pinpoint and project a personal style all your own.

And have fun along the way!

Jill and Dana will steer you through the steps, which include admitting your closet is a mess, determining how clothes fit in with your lifestyle, and finding friends who will tell you the truth about what needs to stay or go!

I Have Nothing to Wear! is the perfect guide to help you make your way through the minefield of modern fashion and choose the perfect ensembles for work, play, and love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605290775
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 08/16/2011
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 9.18(w) x 7.84(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Jill Martin is an Emmy Award–winning television personality, fashion expert, and coauthor of Fashion for Dummies. She is a contributor on NBC's Today show and is known for her wildly popular "Ambush Makeover" and "Steals and Deals" segments. Martin is also a reporter for the New York Knicks, conducting celebrity interviews at halftime. Jill resides in New York City, among budding fashionistas, who never want to say, "I Have Nothing to Wear!"

Dana Ravich is a fashion stylist and coauthor of Fashion for Dummies. She works in the fashion and entertainment industry styling models and celebrities for editorial, catalog, advertising, and television shoots. She lives in New York City and—whenever possible—Miami Beach.

Read an Excerpt


Admitting You Have a Problem

Is your wardrobe a confusing mess? Do you go through the same grueling process every day when trying to pick an outfit? Do you have too many items in your closet--or all the wrong ones? Do many clothes still have the tags attached even though you didn't purchase them this week, or even this year? Do you shop just to lift your mood?

Let's go a step further. Most days do you find yourself in an outfit that is OK, but not great? Do you turn down evening invitations because you're not happy with the way you look and feel in your outfit, and don't have time to go home and change after work? Would a stop home help even if you did have time?

Do you lack the confidence to ask for that promotion, or even to speak up in a meeting?

Do you avoid eye contact with the hot guy in your building because you never feel like you look hot enough?

Are you always running late because you can never figure out what to wear? Does everything just spiral downward from there?

Have you, on more occasions than you care to admit, stood in front of an overstuffed closet saying, "I have nothing to wear!"

Well, if you answered "yes" to any or all of the above, the diagnosis is:

Have you, on more occasions than you care to admit, stood in front of an overstuffed closet saying, "I have nothing to wear!"

You have a dysfunctional wardrobe.

Now take a deep breath. Everything's going to be OK. Don't feel bad. You are in the vast majority. The good news is there is a cure. So go ahead, admit it! Once you realize that this is a real problem, you're on the way to fixing it. Yes, fixing it.

You know how different you feel on days you throw yourself together as opposed to the days you put yourself together. How you feel on the days you wear unflattering clothes because, for whatever reason, they are in your closet and will do, for work anyway, compared with those days you are in a dress that looks like it was made just for you, and you had your hair blown out to boot. Then there are those days that you can't wait to go home, crawl in bed, and hope for better tomorrow, as opposed to the days you never want to end and feel like you could dance all night.

Are most of your days the thrown-together, crawl-back-in-bed kind of days, rather than the hot-dress, dance-all-night days?

your closet is disorganized

Let's dive into your closet and see what's going on in there. We're envisioning shelves holding piles with no rhyme or reason. Pants are mixed with tops, T-shirts with sweaters. The colors are not grouped. Nothing is neatly folded. (You were rushing after you tried everything on in a last- minute panic.)

The rack is overstuffed. You can barely see what's hanging. Some dresses are mashed behind others. Everything is wrinkled. The pants are not hanging together, nor are the tops, skirts, or dresses. The clothes are all randomly put away, in no particular order, and not arranged by color or any system. Some pieces are even dangling by one end of the hanger. Sound familiar?

Allow us to continue. Your shoes are piled on the floor of your closet. No wonder it sometimes takes twenty minutes just to find the mate to the one you want to wear. And most of them aren't even comfortable.

How can your day possibly start off right if you have to contend with this mess every morning? We're exhausted just thinking about it!

Bags are shoved up high on a shelf. You can't see half of them, let alone reach them. Like your clothes, they are squished and crushed. This is probably not how you planned to treat that bag the day you happily carried it out of the store.

We're not even going to go into coats and jackets right now. We only hope they are in a separate closet.

Underwear, belts, jewelry. Please tell us these have a proper place. Right now, our best guess is that some belts are still in the pant loops, your jewelry is tangled together in a big pouch, and your underwear is all mixed up.

How can your day possibly start off right if you have to contend with this mess every morning? We're exhausted just thinking about it!

you have too much stuff

One reason your closet looks like this is that you are afraid to get rid of anything. You think maybe it'll come back in style. Or you don't have the time or energy to deal with all that stuff. Or your weight goes up and down. Or you love your college sweatshirts even if they are all XXL.


A few years ago, I bought a pair of Christian Louboutin stilettos. I had to have them. I was shopping at Saks, and when I tried them on, I said to myself, "I can't really walk in these, but that's OK, I will just be going from the taxi to dinner, and won't have to walk that far." (Can you say "rationalize"?) Those shoes sat in my closet for three years. Every time I got dressed up to go out, I thought about wearing them, but then quickly realized I didn't want to be uncomfortable and thought better of it. Finally I took them to a consignment shop. They sold them for me, and I made half of my money back! Some other woman is now walking around in my fab, must-have shoes, but I am comfortable and $275 richer!


I totally used to be "that girl." I always thought there might be an occasion when I would need something (even for a Halloween costume!) so I didn't want to get rid of it--just in case. I, too, held on to shoes that I never wore. One pair in particular was these beautiful turquoise, strappy, high-heeled Michel Perry sandals. Something was wrong with one strap when I bought them. I chose to ignore that fact, but every time I went to wear them, the offending shoe didn't stay on my foot properly, and I had to take them off before I even left the house. Finally, one day I realized that I was being ridiculous, and that no matter what I got rid of, I would still be able to find something in my closet to wear--no matter where I was going. And you know what? If I really needed something new, I would just get it when the time came. The reality is, I always have something to wear, even in my minimalist wardrobe.

You spent so much money on those pants. Your sweats are so soft and cozy, even though they have holes and stains. The T-shirts are still sort of white, so you can get away with them. The shoes are only a half-size too small, and you're not walking very far.

Some people would call this saving for a rainy day. Others would call this hoarding.

However you justify it, rationalize it, or sleep at night with it, having too much clothing is a problem. Don't worry--help is on the way.

Are you really going to fit into clothes you wore in high school? What if you saved just your favorite college sweatshirt, since it makes you happy? What if you let those expensive pants go, the ones that don't fit you well? The stained and ripped sweats and the yellowed T-shirts--really!

What if you had a sexy pair of stilettos that actually fit? Instead of all that junk, what if your whole wardrobe reflected the fabulous you of today? Flattered your figure? Made you feel sexy and confident? What if your closet was organized so that finding an outfit was easy and even fun? How would your day be then? Your mood? Your life?

The truth is, the more you collect, keep, and yes, hoard, the less you will value each item. And the less closet space you'll have! When you keep adding without subtracting, you find yourself in a real closet situation. When you have too much, you can't possibly see everything you have, can't keep track of what you have, can't keep it in perfect condition, and can't easily find things!

What if your closet was organized so that finding an outfit was easy and even fun? How would your day be then? Your mood? Your life?

you have too many different styles

It's easy to accumulate too much when you don't know your own style. This leads to buying what the magazines say is trendy, what the salesgirl recommends, or what you don't already own just for the sake of having a miniskirt or a top in bright orange. Sound familiar?

It's easy to be overwhelmed by all the options in the stores and the constantly changing (and returning) trends. However, grown-ups need to know their own styles. If you haven't yet found yours, well, that explains your closet confusion!

It is very frustrating to follow trends that don't flatter you, speak to your personality, or allow you to express yourself. We want you to feel comfortable in your own skin and let the world see you at your best. Have the confidence to go get that new job. Be brave enough to go on that blind date. You deserve all those things. Don't let your dysfunctional wardrobe hold you back any longer!

A lot of factors will shape your style. Your personality, career, and lifestyle are all part of the mix. We'll explain them all and help you find your own personal style. For now, just understand that you are not shopping smartly when you don't know your style. You end up buying a bit of everything, in a wide range of colors, and shopping way too often. When you don't know your style, every new thing you bring into your wardrobe makes it harder to figure out what goes with what, further clutters your closet, and takes away the fun of getting dressed.

We want you to feel comfortable in your own skin and let the world see you at your best.

there are clothes with the tags still on

Here's another sign of trouble in the closet. How much money are you wasting on clothing that you don't even wear? We're talking about clothes that still have the tags attached. Funny how there can be brand new clothes in the closet, and you can still exclaim, "I have nothing to wear!" Again, you are not alone, and again, this is not right.

In Sex and the City, Carrie realizes she has spent the equivalent of a down payment for an apartment on shoes! Wouldn't you rather have a fabulous and functional wardrobe without spending a dime more than you need to, and have the money for the other fun things in your life?


I love wearing white, and I love statement jewelry. These are part of my personal style. My clothes are classic, with the jewelry adding a little flair. If you bump into me in the street, day or night, I will likely be in something white with a bold necklace, bracelet, or ring. I like to be the girl "who wears white and fun jewelry." Decide what you like the most and go with it. There are so many serious things to worry about. Your wardrobe should not be one of them. Have fun!


I definitely have a bohemian vibe in my wardrobe, personality, and lifestyle. Over the years I have come to know who I am, and my wardrobe reflects that. I have found my favorite stores (Calypso and Tomas Maier) and I stick to shopping primarily there. Each time I add a new piece to my wardrobe (since it screams "me") I can create several new outfits. By being true to myself and my style, I know each new item will work with most of what's already in my closet. When I purchase something that isn't "me," it ends up sitting in the closet unworn because I don't know how to incorporate it. The truth is, this doesn't really happen anymore. Lessons learned!

If your closet is disorganized, you probably don't know half of what's in there-new items included. If you tend to hoard your clothing, you probably "save" new purchases for a special occasion-the one that hasn't happened since you bought the item two years ago.

If you have too many different styles going on, because you don't know your individual style, then you probably bought a lot of pieces that were "in" at the time, but didn't really flatter your figure, or were a color that wasn't "you," or just didn't fit your lifestyle. Whatever the reason, we need to fix this ASAP!

you shop to improve your mood

One last sign of a dysfunctional wardrobe: You shop to make yourself feel better. You just went through a breakup, you didn't get the promotion you were counting on, or your family is driving you nuts. Doesn't everybody run straight to the mall? This is not about them, but about you. It's time to admit you have a problem and decide that there are no more excuses.

Do you know what happens when you shop in a bad mood? You overspend. It feels good to spend money, and you think those trinkets are going to make you feel better. You buy things that you probably won't wear, because the bright color is making you happy in that moment. You might not even stop to try anything on. You just want it all. Who cares if it fits right? You'll worry about that later, even though the boutique doesn't accept returns. You aren't even thinking clearly about what you already have in your closet, so you end up with duplicates. Sound familiar?


I shop when I am depressed. I walk around a store and say things like, "I am going to wear this $350 dress when I go with my fabulous boyfriend to St. Barths for the weekend and we are walking alone on the beach." The dress in question is actually see-through, so my made-up scenario involves us being solo with no one else on the beach. I bought the dress two summers ago at Calypso. Mind you, I have not gone on that vacation yet, and that beautiful dress that I bought on a spending-while-depressed splurge just hangs in my closet. The worst part? Dana got it at the end of the summer for $49 on the sale rack. Did she ever wear it? No--but at least she got a great deal.


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I Have Nothing to Wear! 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
pinzon More than 1 year ago
'I have nothing to wear' has been the best read of the summer. My bookclub will enjoy it in september. i was the poster child for overstuffed closets with decades of clothes and shoes from sizes 8-14. Now I can see what i have, I love each piece and feel that i look my best each day. I guess the old saying 'less is more' is true! This book is clear, fun, and full of practical advice, especially regarding what to do with all of the things that really don,t belong in your closet. i feel good about giving things to dress for success and other people who are in need, and even made some money at a consignmemt shop. Thank you jill...love watching you on the today show....Now i,m a '10' too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So helpful - points out a lot of things you "know" but would rather ignore. It's inspiring me to go through my closet & not feel like it is quite as daunting a task.
Donnalee Dodson More than 1 year ago
This really does help you articulate in your mind's eye what your particular style is and how to sort things more easily and make that purging process more palatable. This got me over that wasting money/guilt thing. Even if you don't follow it step by step, this book frees the soul as well as your closet and drawer space!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love watching Jill on the Today show, and I am truly fashion challenged. Had my doubts about another "fashion makeover" book, but I am so glad I did. Her way of helping in the book is very easy step by step and she is open about her own fashion blunders! I really needed someone to help my to know where to start and this book is not "dated' as far as going out of style. She doesn't tell you what to wear, just what to wear to feel like a "10"! I really recommend the book if you are looking to find your closet!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book helped me to declutter and get a new outlook on clothes. I used to get upset shopping because i didnt know what to try on and what to wear it with. Now i know and couldn' be happier. Read this book and actually follow the steps ;)
cvk168 More than 1 year ago
With the help of this book, I am able to look at my closet with clear eyes, what to keep and what to throw out. This is a head game, not a heart game. Thanks Jill and Dana. If only I can find the proper vintage/consignment stores to park my unwanted but still fabulous cloths and purses and shoes!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great. It really helped me find what my clothing style is and how to make that work with my wardrobe. Not buying or keeping something that isn't a 10 has helped me get the wardrobe that works for me every day now and to stop wasting money on clothes I never wear or that were poor quality and wouldn't last.
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Hey i am the leader of 95.5! My name is...........
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
just want to say that the Kindle edition is 1 dollar cheaper--why??????