Okay, you ready? I'm gonna give away a lot of secrets about how I plan my outfits in advance, so pay close attention!
On Sunday night, about an hour before bed, I mosey on into my closet (and yes, I do have a little walk-in closet, which I had custom-built about 7 years ago), and I start pulling outfits together.
So, you want to do this too? Here's what I need to think about:
- What events do I have on at work this week? Will they require me to do a lot of standing? Will I need to be very active in my clothes? Affects: tightness/looseness of clothes, heel height.
- What events do I have after work this week? Will I be spending up to 12 hours in my clothes? Longer? Do I need to transition from office to casual/dressy? Affects: additional items brought to work to change into/out of (think change of tights, jewelry, belt to jazz up an item, or removing a piece like a jacket to be dressier, or a change of heel height).
- What's the weather going to do this week? Cold means lots of layers, rainy means my hems could get dirty or my shoes could get wet. Affects: fabrics worn (lighter/heavier), additional underthings for warmth, accessories as layers (scarves, for example).
Your requirements might be different, but think about what's going to impact you sartorially for the upcoming week. Planning and forethought is key!
Here's what this week looks like for me, from Sunday's perspective. The weather will be grey with a bit of rain, so I'll layer slips under skirts, and add camisoles as needed to stave off the chill.
- Monday: always busy at work, on my feet. Meeting a photographer (hi, Matt!) after work to discuss styling for his photo-shoots. I want to look polished yet eclectic for work (another new person starting), but want to look artsy for the coffee meeting.
- Tuesday: I deal with catering and will need to do some washing up as well as running dishes back to the restaurant. Weight Watcher meeting that night means I should wear something light (for weighing myself), but also fun for my members (they like to see what crazy stuff I wear).
- Wednesday: catering at work, but that company is easier clean-up. No plans after work. Could do a funky outfit!
- Thursday: catering at work, but another easy clean-up. Book Club after work, so I want to wear something fun that I can sit around and drink wine in.
- Friday: busy work day, but no catering. I like to wear a piece of denim or leather on Fridays - it's almost the weekend, so be a bit more fun. No plans after work on Friday, so I could do a heel if I wanted.
I go into my closet and start looking around. Yes, I do have my clothes all grouped by type, and sorted by colour, and I can see nearly everything in my closet. I'm not getting into actual closet organization, but it really helps.
I start pulling out single items that I want to wear again, either because they are:
- new/only worn once or twice;
- something I haven't worn for a long time, and it's time to see if this puppy is going to stay in my closet; or
- something I haven't worn for a long time, and I feel like wearing it again.
So here are the things I pulled together right off the bat.
|Etro blazer and vintage red wool suit skirt|
Next item is this purple pouffy blouse.
|Purpley blouse with vintage wool skirt - I've already started thinking about shoes|
Don't stress out if it doesn't really look like much right away. Just put the two or three items together and hang them up (I jam them in on one of the lower bars, shoving all my blouses and skirts to one side).
Next: I haven't worn this denim jacket in forever. Looks like I found my Friday denim piece.
I really like my sheer dark floral top:
|Eeep, bad closet lighting|
I want to wear the purple leather skirt again:
Now, that wasn't so bad, was it? Do you see my little "rules" for myself in these outfits?
- Defined waist;
- If the top is fitted, do a fuller bottom;
- If the top is pouffy, do a fitted bottom;
- One to two colours or patterns;
- At least one neutral.
I do consider all of those when grabbing stuff. I know what looks best on my figure (the hourglass shape), and I like to accentuate that. Your guidelines for yourself might be different.
Now your 5 outfits get hung up in the closet all side-by-side, ready for you to wear.
But, Sheila! How do you get 2 pieces to look like an actual outfit?
Jeez, patience! We're getting to that. We have to pick out shoes first.
First outfit: I have wine/red, a bit of cream on the cuffs and hint of yellow in the lapels.
Next up: the pouffy shirt/skirt combo. I need a neutral, so black.
Next: crazy plaid Friday outfit. Note that I haven't actually assigned any of the other outfits to days at this point. I'm just building outfits and I'll sort that out later.
Next: the magenta cardi/dark floral outfit:
And the last one: I don't really want to do purple shoes (too matchy), and black would be too harsh so...
|An assist from Vizzini|
Putting the above 5 outfits together took me about half an hour. That's it! And it makes it so much easier to then deal with one outfit at time, knowing I have the rest of the week taken care of. Sometimes I even go poking around in there on Saturday. I find it very relaxing. I pull stuff out, look at it, put it back, hold it up to the skirts or jackets. Paw through my dresses (too cold right now!), look at the shoes.
Don't stress about the details of each outfit! Think about the Big Picture. You've built 5 outfits. Give yourself a pat on the back. Well done, lil' camper!
But of course, you DO need to think about your Monday outfit now. I find this the most fun part (the funnest? More funnerer?). So let's do Monday together.
Accessories! As mentioned, I like a defined waist. Why? I carry a whack of keys around at work on a reel clip, so I need something to hang that on. I also have a small waist and I'd like to keep it that way. I find that a belt makes me both sit up straighter (posture!) and reminds me not to poach too many sausage rolls off the catering order (nom nom, sausage rolls...).
So my options are: a black belt (bo-ring!), a purple belt (yeah, okay, that could work) or a red belt. Since I'm doing a red-toned shoe, I'm going to go with a red belt.
|Belt ready for duty, tights are clean and ready to pull on when I'm half-asleep|
I'm wearing silver (on the belt), so let's keep in the silver family for our jewelry:
|Pins go on the clothes before you put the clothes on!|
This pin is so pretty, and I only paid $2.00 for it - and I've never worn it. Time to wear it! The neckline on this blouse is very bold and would visually fight with a necklace, so a pin where the two lapels join looks very appealing to me. Sort of a vintage-y look going here.
In keeping with the floral and scrolly shape of the brooch, let's do scrolly shaped jewelry:
This outfit was hung out facing (like in the top pictures) in my closet, with both pairs of shoes on the floor, with all the accessories grouped together. There is no scrambling around for pieces or trying to find the missing shoe - it's all ready to go. I do not try stuff on the night before - I know how my clothes fit and 99% of the time, the outfit works out fine.
In the morning, put it all on and go! Sometime when I'm in the shower, I can't remember what I'm actually wearing for the day - it's a surprise! I never, ever change what I planned to wear, unless there is a mark or stain, or something else catastrophic.
So...how did it actually work today?
The cardigan was last seen here at the Unlimited Woman Awards in November, on my dear friend Cat, but it was last worn by me here with black satin tux pants.
here with last Friday's red leather skirt. I do like the dark florals - very "soft Goth".
here with...the same blouse! back in September when I first bought it.
here in September with hot pink and my Chinese tunic jacket.
Cardigan (Jacob, thrifted), blouse (no label, thrifted), skirt (vintage 80s, Gianfranco Ferre, thrifted), shoes (Sencha Teapot, Fluevog), belt (Plum), pin (thrifted), cuff (St. Paul's Cathedral gift shop), earrings/ring (homegrown vintage 80s, Mom and Dad).
Also taking a moment to wish my brother Dave a very Happy Birthday!
And now, I'm off to my closet to put together tomorrow's outfit. Whatever will it be??
I hope you enjoyed seeing how I plan ahead. I'll get into the details of how each outfit comes together so you can see how I'm accessorizing and taking it from Big Picture to (hopefully) fab fashion. Questions?