Jan 10, 2018

Outfit Planning

Image courtesy of Pretty Chuffed

One thing I have been working on (and will hopefully continue to improve on in 2018) is weeknight meal planning. It's never been my thing.  Maybe because I was single for so long, I would just sort it out on the fly (frequent visits to the corner sushi shop or the local soup guy).  And, let's be honest, my creativity lies more in the closet than in the kitchen.  But now it's no longer just me, we have been working on being more organized so we don't have to grapple on a daily basis with the "what's for dinner?" question.

So many of you have this down.  Organized, creative and whip up delicious dinners with ease.  I love learning new tips and getting inspiration - slowly, I'm getting there.  

Many people experience their quandry at the start of the day.  Blankly staring at the closet:  "what am I going to wear?".  "How can I have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear?".  This - I can help with.

As with meals, some advance planning can lead to stress free mornings, getting you out of the house feeling pulled together in a timely fashion.

Set aside time:

On Sunday, before the start of the work week, I set aside some time to put together outfit combinations. This takes me about 20-30 minutes but feel free to give yourself more or less.  Have fun with it - this is a time to be creative and shop your closet.  It is difficult to feel inspired and come up with innovative ideas first thing in the morning.  Planning ahead usually results in more interesting looks and maybe even help you gain a few extra zzzzs...

Check the weather:

I would do this anyway.  I like to know what to expect for the week.  Before puting together outfits, I always do a quick weather check so the looks I set aside align with what is going on with the elements.  If it is going to be really chilly - maybe some cozy sweaters. If the temps look like they are going to climb (it will happen), maybe some layers.  You get the idea.   

Start with a few looks at a time:

Above:  an example from my closet.  In the corner, I always set out a series of outfits.  Here I have:  1)  printed embroidered dress with printed bomber jacket 2) red striped blouse with pinstriped pencil skirt 3), metallic sweater, black shell blouse, animal print pencil skirt, pendant necklace 3) embellished cardi-style jacket with knit dress 4)  over sized blue suede cardi, black knit dress, plaid fringe scarf

Starting with a week's worth of outfits might feel too much when you are getting started, so maybe begin with 3.  I usually set aside at least 4, so I have options in the morning depending on my mood.  I may have put an outfit together, but for whatever reason, am not feeling it on a particular morning.  Mid week - I look at the outfits that remain and how I've been feeling and quickly add in a look or two.

Consider the 20/80 principle:

I know you've heard this and when I work with clients I've found it to be pretty accurate:  most of use wear 20% of thier wardrobe 80% of the time.  When planning outfits you will definitely have your basics and go-to pieces.  But, this is a time to bring out those gems that you have (but rarely wear) and try and work them into a look.  Planning outfits might lead you to start to wear more of the garments hanging in your wardrobe.  Shop those before spending more $ on new pieces!  Also, if you are taking the time to make outfits and still don't wear these pieces, it's probably a sign to let them go.  

Complete looks:

When putting outfits together don't forget to add in a completer piece (this could be a blazer, cardigan, light bomber jacket etc.) to add dimension to the look.  Think about your accessories (this is where you can express your personality) and footwear.  


If creating outfits doesn't come easily, remember you can always look to others for inspiration.  Magazines, blogs, style apps all can help.  A lot of my clients are loving the virtual closet - they look at outfit combinations I've made for them using their own clothing via an app they can access on on their devices.  It's like I am in the closet with them, they just need to pull the outfits that speak to them each week.

Above:  sample outfits on ipad using the Virtual Closet service

Fail proof looks on hand:

It's good to always have a couple of go-to looks at the ready that you feel amazing in and that are easy to throw together.  These could be comprised os some of your favourite basics or neutrals.  Some mornings, all you need is comfort and something familiar despite your fabulous pre-prepared outfit creation.  

Let me know how it goes - hopefully if you set a side a little time in advance, the start of your days will go that much more smoothly.  And I will continue to work on my evenings (with a little help from Jamie Oliver - my New Year's gift to myself).