How much time do you have to get ready in the morning? If 30 minutes sounds generous to you, it might be time to consider doing some night-before prep.
One thing that helps keep my mornings be easy breezy is having a steady routine and an outfit picked out so that all I have to do is spend half my time lazily scrolling through social media and the other half rushing through all my obligatory hygiene needs (sometimes both at the same time, lol).
Picking out clothes the night before sounds easy, but it can be challenging if you, like me, have a chair with piles of previously discarded or mildly worn clothes to sort through. Here’s my formula for making the process of getting dressed as easy as possible.
Start by checking the weather.
Does this first step surprise you? For me, the weather greatly influences what I decide to wear, and how many layers of leggings and camis I need to maintain a lukewarm temperature in my frigid office.
For most of us, by choice or by default, the weather app is somewhere on our home screen. Check the weather Sunday night (or whatever night of the week you consider to be your Sunday) and screenshot the 7-day forecast. Easy, right? Then you can refer back to it throughout the week for your planning.
*Note: I prefer to check the weather every night, and I will explain why in a later section.
Decide on an outfit theme.
A theme is sort of like your fashion mood for the week. The theme should be based on the weather and your schedule. I only go to work during the week, so all my picks are office-appropriate and lend well to layering. The more your schedule varies, the more your outfits will vary; although the more need there will be to plan ahead. The more routine your schedule, the easier it is to stick to a theme.
I am greatly influenced by the weather for my weekly theme. For the past 3 weeks, we’ve had nothing but sunshine and clear skies in The Bay. Though I’ve been dying to weave in heavy sweaters and winter colors, the weather has called for ripped jeans and pastel dresses with tights.
Craft a (fashionably) evil scheme.
Next, we want to think about our scheme, but this is somewhat optional. A scheme can refer to silhouette, color or style. Some of us have an informal scheme or uniform – jeans, cute top, flats and stylishly messy low pony. This might slightly vary during colder months when our cute tops get replaced with sweaters and flats are replaced with varying lengths of boots.
Whatever your uniform is, do you girl! Stick to it. Or don’t if it isn’t your thing. For uniform-lovers, I would recommend laying out a few separates to choose from, and then replenishing midway through the week. Examples will be below.
BOTTOMS | boyfriend / high waist jeans | tapered trouser| favorite leggings |
TOPS | cotton shirtdress | cold shoulder blouse | knit sweater |
SHOES | riding boots | western booties | fur lined loafers |
EMBELLISHMENTS | daily watch | cluster of rings | fuzzy scarf |beanie |
On the other hand, there are those of us who don’t have a set uniform or can’t stick to a clear scheme. Some days I dress like I wanted to wear my entire closet, other days I can barely be bothered to put clothes on at all. For us erratic fashionistas, my recommendations will be below.
SINGLES | overalls | tailored jumpsuit | sweater-dress | wrap dress |
BOTTOMS | distressed denim | a-line skirt | wide leg trousers |
TOPS | cozy sweater | turtleneck vest | satin / velvet blouse |
SHOES | thigh high boots | platform sneakers | studded booties |
EMBELLISHMENTS | dazzling brooch | silk headband |plaid scarf |
*I mentioned earlier that I check the weather every night. Part of the reason why, is that the weather forecast gets more detailed throughout the week, but another reason is that I’m a bit indecisive with clothing. I check the weather every night because I’m often planning just clothing for the next day. Also because I have about a million screenshots and photos in my phone and my weather screenshot would be buried too deeply.
Let’s see some rotation.
Now we need to decide on rotation. This depends on how many outfits are being prepped ahead of time. Most often, I start planning an outfit only to finish and think, “I’d prefer to wear this another day,” or I end up with a couple options laid out. This is where rotation comes into play. This is also useful for the uniform lovers because you’re able to pre-plan in bulk.
I like to rotate my outfit based on colors and silhouettes. For example, if I know I have two dresses picked out for the week, I’ll spread those out and mix it up in between with skirts, pants and a jumpsuit or romper. This also applies if you’re re-wearing a staple item like jeans or a cardigan.
I’ll be honest and admit that I tend to wear pink quite often. If I’ve already worn pink during the week and I’ve slipped it into another outfit, I try to mix up the silhouette. Basically, pink dress on Tuesday, black jumpsuit on Wednesday, then pink skirt and chambray shirt on Thursday. See the pattern? For those of you that can stick to neutrals, I envy you.
Use the accessory wall very thoughtfully, per Tim Gunn.
This rule actually applies to both accessories and shoes. Most of us don’t think about these ahead of time. Do we? I don’t. I literally just kick my shoes off when I get home from work, and in the morning, I spot the first pair that are nestled together and slide into those. With accessories though, I tend to be a little more purposeful.
This step is more of a loose suggestion. I like to choose shoes, bags and jewelry that flatter my outfit and lifestyle. For example, if I know I’m going to be out walking all day, I won’t choose a heavy tote back or high pair of heels. I generally tend to avoid bracelets at work because I type all day. Little decisions like these go into my overall look. Crazy that we have to think about these tiny details.
My best recommendation would be to rock one accessory that you’d consider an “everyday” accessory – for most, this would be a watch or pair of stud earrings. Next, add between 1-3 items on for flair that flatter your outfit and your plan for the day. For example:
-If you’ll be ice skating with your sweetheart, throw on a scarf or hat.
-Heading to brunch with the girls? Oversized sunnies are a must. Maybe throw on the Gucci belt, too. #oohkillem
-When planning to run errands, a watch might be helpful, and maybe a cross-body bag instead of your everyday lugga-I mean, purse.
-If you’ll be typing away at your desk, add a fun pair of “reading” glasses or statement ring. I guarantee someone in your office will notice and compliment you or at the very least, it will start a conversation.
I can tell you from experience, on days when I don’t plan my outfits, I waste a whole lot of time. Of course, there is always room for spontaneity, but a bit of structure and planning now and then helps the ship run smoothly. Do you guys plan your outfits, or do you prefer to throw on your mood each morning?