It happens to all of us: you have to leave for work/dinner/party in five minutes and you have no idea what to wear. UGH!!! Here are some things I do to help avoid this stressful situation.
1. Plan your outfits the night before OR, better yet, on the weekend for the whole week ahead. That’s not as extreme as it seems, and the little bit of time you spend doing this on your day off will give you such a sense of calm and control for the entire week ahead. I take a quick look at my calendar for the week ahead AND the weather, and I select the days’ outfits accordingly. I connect the hangers of the different items in the outfit and hang them either at one end of my closet rack or on a separate garment rack that is sometimes set-up in my bedroom. Doing this in advance also gives you an opportunity to notice if anything needs to be washed, mended, dropped off/picked up from the dry cleaner, etc., so you can do that BEFORE you realize in the morning that a part of the outfit is missing or dirty. PS – if your schedule or the weather changes, you can always reach for the NEXT outfit instead of “today’s,” and just come back to today’s another day (that wasn’t a confusing sentence at all).
2. Part of #1 is trying your outfits on before getting ready in the morning. Things shrink in the wash and even at the dry cleaners. Or things you THINK will go together and look fine together hanging on the hanger, just don’t look right together on your body. So be sure to actually try the outfits on in advance.
3. Always have a couple super comfy back-up outfits in your closet, so if you ever wake up in the morning and just feel blah about heading out to your day, you can by-pass the scheduled outfit and put on your favorite “feel good” outfit instead. Sometimes just feeling cozy in a favorite outfit is enough to turn a day around.
4. This is part of longer-range planning, but work on making your wardrobe as mix-and-match as possible. I’ve talked before (see video here) about using base layers with easily swapped-out “third pieces” to make lots of outfits. If you have one or two base layer outfits in your closet, and several different toppers – cardigans, kimonos, vests, blazers, etc., you will always have easy go-to outfits.
5. This is also part of #1 and #5, but work on making sure that you have the appropriate accessories (shoes, bag, scarf, etc) for all your outfits. There’s nothing worse than coming up with a great outfit and then realizing that none of your shoes are going to look right with it, so…it’s a no-go. I’m actually living in that particular hell right now, and this season I’m really working on rectifying that situation.
6. After wearing your clothes, HANG THEM UP NEATLY. Another dressing horror is thinking you’re going to wear the grey turtleneck with the black jeans and black blazer…only to discover that the grey turtleneck has been smooshed into a crumpled heap under a pile of whatever and is not in any condition to wear to work. Not that that EVER happens to me. Ahem. (Do as I say, not as I do. I want more for you, my children).
I hope these tips help you. When I do them, which honestly is a little better than 50% of the time, they really help. It’s hard enough getting up and out the door in the morning, it’s such a help to take one thing off your plate and know you’re all prepared.