How To Stop Settling For Clothes You Don’t Love (or Even Like)

“New Trench!” That was the subject line of a recent email my styling client sent me. She wanted a new trench coat for spring. But not the voluminous, double breasted camel color style that’s so popular now. She wanted single breasted in dark red!

Settling For Clothes trench coat settling for ashion fountainof30

While the shopping assignment was quite the challenge, (we’ve yet to find it!) I was so proud of my client’s tenacity to hold out for what she wanted.


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Unfortunately, this is not the case for many. One peek into most women’s wardrobes and you’ll find a collection of clothes they don’t love (or even like!) anymore. And to make matters even more complicated, they’re still wearing those pieces! (Go here to see if you made a smart style purchase).

Settling for clothes we don’t love is like a bad habit that’s hard to break. In fact, my trench coat client told me that she felt as if she had a 20 year smoking habit, and I helped her quit! She’s simply not willing to tolerate clothes that aren’t “Her”.

fashion choices shoes

But why settle when clearly there are so many options out there? Well, that’s part of the problem. We are inundated with stuff — from the beautiful jacket we saw on instagram to the interesting pair of shoes our friend wore the other day — the temptation for new options will always be there! But the reality is that most of those options won’t work. Finding clothes for your style and building a cohesive and versatile wardrobe isn’t easy. Hence, we settle.

To break this down even further I’ll share the two main reasons we keep items in our wardrobes that don’t bring us joy and what to do to break the habit.

Settling For Clothes We Don’t Love

The truth is that curating a wardrobe you love takes time, patience and persistence — which many of us don’t have! So we give in. Sometimes we find things that are almost perfect but not quite there yet. We tell ourselves that we won’t find exactly what we’re looking for, and we should just take what we can get.

But what if we didn’t give in? What if we waited for what we really wanted? For example, if we can’t find the perfect outfit for an upcoming event, we can wear what we already have in our closets and keep looking for the ideal outfit for the next occasion.

It’s Easier To Settle

If the first reason we settle is because we don’t believe we’ll find what we want, the second reason is that we can’t be bothered to look. Maybe you need new leggings for your workout, and the ones you found are fine but it feels like too much work to do better.

And what about your undergarments? I know a lot of women who are still wearing ratty bras from over a decade ago because they can’t deal with doing anything about it! Yes, it takes effort to upgrade your wardrobe, but you are 100% worth it!

happy woman not settling for clothes you don’t love

Breaking The Habit Of Tolerating Inadequacy

In order to stop settling for clothes you don’t love, you need to know what you want. This means having complete clarity on your personal style and what works for your wardrobe. (Click here to take the free quiz to find your on-camera style).

Think back to my trench coat client, she knew that camel looked terrible on her. And the voluminous, double breasted silhouette would drown her petite frame. She knows her style! (Click here to discover your unique body shape so you know which styles will work best for you).

Once you have the vision for what you want, stay persistent and don’t settle for anything less! You deserve to have a wardrobe that you love!

– Eylsha Lenkin

Elysha Lenkin is an expert personal fashion stylist whose mission is to help women feel good about how they look. Throughout her 20 year career, she has styled women of all shapes, sizes, and ages, including Carrie Underwood, Tina Fey, and Serena Williams. If you’re interested in putting together a fresh outfit with your existing clothes, be sure to check out her free style guide here! And for more style tips and inspiration, head over to Elysha’s website: and follow her on instagram: @elysha_nyc.

Photos: Canva and Istock

You may like to read more of Elysha’s styling posts like Am I Too Old To Wear That Trend? 3 Questions To Ask and How To Know If You Need A Wardrobe Overhaul: Expert Stylist Advice

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