Does it feel like it takes you forever to get ready? Do the minutes tick over as you stare in horror at your bulging closet, freaking out that you have nothing to wear?
I’ve got you.
I’ve been there. Before work or an event, I would stand in my knickers, with minutes before I had to leave, still deciding on an outfit.
There’s nothing glamorous or elegant about a mad dash out the door, harried and unsatisfied, after a wardrobe decision crisis.
Since working from home I haven't had to worry about those moments too often. I have a basic staple wardrobe.
Usually, I’ll channel Audrey by sliding into a slinky black dress, a black tee, or an oversized shirt/jumper with leggings.
But when I was working as a legal assistant, it was a different story. If my outfits weren’t nailed down by Sunday evening, mornings were a hot mess.
I developed a habit of curating a good wardrobe, maintaining it, and preparing my outfits on Sunday night. It's the recipe for effortless style (and wardrobe sanity).
Since working from home, I've complacently slipped out of this habit. But it's definitely one I increasingly feel the need to get back into.
Let’s face it, I’m not home all day every day.
If you want to look effortlessly fabulous all week, “meal prepping” your outfits on Sunday evening is a must. Here’s how to do it so you can always feel that aura of confident "I woke up like this" chic.
STEP 1: KEEP A DATABASE OF OUTFIT INSPIRATION
No joke, I have an actual outfit inspiration library on my laptop.
I find inspiration from:
Googling or Pinterest searching celebrity style looks
When I've found outfits I love, I save them to carefully curated folders based on the season, activity, and mood I’m in.
God, I’m such a Virgo.
You don’t have to go whole hog like I do (though you certainly can, and I do recommend it). But you can simply start with a little folder on your laptop or phone and save looks you love.
When I’m out shopping, I keep an eagle eye for similar pieces to those I’ve saved.
Also: shop your closet! Go through your wardrobe and get inventive!
Try on each item in your closet to see what skirt goes with which top, or what belt looks cute with that vintage dress.
Think about the whole look: from tee-shirt to shoes, from dress to jewelry. Also, think about what underwear would pair perfectly.
When you’ve put together a look, snap a selfie with your phone and save it to your inspiration folder.
When you’re looking for something to wear, you can swipe through this folder for inspiration, a la Cher Horowitz from Clueless.
STEP 2: BE A RUTHLESS SAVAGE WITH YOUR CLOSET SPACE
Last year, I uncomfortably transitioned from a gigantic built-in closet of my own to a small shared wardrobe. Needless to say, there was some culling to be had.
There was zero space for clothes that didn’t fit, was faded or stained, or that I just didn’t wear often.
Even still, my closet is bulging and in desperate need of another cull. Apparently, I kept too many pieces purely for sentiment, and odd bod items that “don’t go” with anything else.
I’m not saying you need to Marie Kondo, be a minimalist, or confine yourself to a capsule wardrobe if that’s not your bag.
Hell, I’ll freely admit I’m a maximalist when it comes to style and having options. There is no way a capsule wardrobe would ever work for me.
However, when it comes to your closet, quality over quantity is key.
There is no point in having a closet overstuffed with clothes you hate, or that don’t fit.
It is a LOT easier to compile outfits when every piece in your closet works.
The hideous jumper you got as a gift that doesn't fit?
The blouse with the button that popped off mid-boardroom meeting?
The cute dress with the broken zip?
They've got to go, unless you’re prepared to immediately repair them.
Make your wardrobe the most exclusive piece of real estate in town. Every item has to pay its rent.
It must serve a purpose.
It must fit well.
And you must feel fabulous in it.
It stings a little, but getting rid of the dead weight in your closet feels so freeing and refreshing. Now you can easily find each item in your closet, and you’re happy to wear it all.
STEP 3: KEEP UNSEASONAL ITEMS OUT OF THE WAY
I store items I wear seasonally on the top shelf of my closet. This includes swimwear, bulky knits, or heavy overcoats - things I only wear part of the year but are a total space suck.
You can get these amazing vacuum-seal bags on Amazon which suck all the air out of your clothes and compress them into a rectangle that packs flat. It’s an amazing space saver, plus it keeps all the dust, moth and silverfish out.
STEP 4: MEAL PREP YOUR OUTFITS
Allow time on Sunday afternoons to “meal prep” out your outfits. This just saves SO much time through the week, and you’ll never be scratching about for something to wear.
Go through your Google calendar and weather app. See what events or activities you’ve got going on and what the weather will be like through the week.
Also, think about how you’re feeling. Do you feel fresh and flirty?
Do you feel kind of rebellious and punk rocky? Or are you feeling like you need some extra comfort and space?
Plan your outfits accordingly. Go through your inspiration folder and pull appropriate outfits for your mood, the weather, and your schedule.
Pro tip: Make sure you have a few “last minute” alternates ready to go. Don’t forget your gym gear, jammies, and underwear!
STEP 5: TRY YOUR OUTFITS ON BEFORE YOU DECIDE
Try on each outfit. Make sure everything fits properly and that there are no potential wardrobe malfunctions.
Sometimes an outfit looks great laid out on the bed, and just doesn’t fall right when it’s on. Make sure everything feels comfortable, practical and wearable, and that you love the look.
Make sure you also have shoes, shape wear, a bag and underwear sorted too. You don’t want an outfit to fall apart at the last second because you don’t have the right shoes for your vintage skirt.
STEP 6: PERFORM RUNNING REPAIRS
There’s nothing worse than being ready and glancing in the mirror to find foundation on your collar, a loose hem, or a creased skirt.
It will completely mess with your qi and defeat the purpose of outfit planning.
STEP 7: HANG EVERYTHING UP, READY TO GO
You don’t want to perfect an outfit for your hot Saturday night date only for it to become the bed of choice for your cat’s afternoon nap.
Once you’ve put together an entire look, hang it up with a sturdy coat hanger, and put your shoes and bag underneath.
This keeps everything together, clean and crease free.
STEP 8: TAKE NOTE OF WHAT ISN'T GETTING WORN
As you go, notice what you continue to fling onto the “Nah” pile each week. If an item of clothing never makes it into your rotation, it may just be time to donate it.
And there you have it!
You are ready to rock your week with effortless chic! No more stressing about your outfits, having a “bad wardrobe day” or messing with last-minute wardrobe malfunctions!
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to having a high functioning, organized wardrobe that always has your back, so you can look effortlessly fabulous and put together all week long.
Now I would love to hear your thoughts! What are your tried and true outfit organization hacks? Do you like to "meal prep" your outfits? Comment below with your favourite tips!
- the edit: shop the story -
- save some for ‘ron’
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