Getting dressed is a process these days. My clothes are in about six different locations around our apartment, and after finding a box of clothes, I then begin the Russian roulette of “what fits today,” a game that has more loaded bullets by the day. But the process of packing up my clothes and sorting through them has reminded me that getting dressed can be one of the most stressful parts of the day, and yet is really important. I am not a fashionista, not overly bold with my clothes, and not someone who invests a lot of time in following fashion. But I do love clothes, do pay attention to what I like, and do believe that the clothes we wear affect how we feel about the day. When I feel confident with how I look, I act confident, and feel stronger for whatever the day holds.
I am not qualified to give out fashion advice, and I am happy to leave that to the legions of fashion bloggers out there. But here are my tiny life hacks for feeling content with my clothes — not some mythical wardrobe that I don’t and will never have — and feeling equipped to make getting dressed something that prepares me to face the day instead of an afterthought.
- Purge your closet. You know how I feel about a good closet purge! Ever since my giant purge last spring, I have kept up a policy of only keeping things in my closet that I love and it is so freeing. Yes, I have some items that might only get worn once or twice a year – cocktail attire, Easter dress, etc. A minimalist might ditch those. But I love them, so they stay.
- Stop buying clothes. Towards the end of last summer, I decided to stop buying any sort of clothing until Christmas. And it was wonderful. It gave me time to really push my wardrobe to its limits and more importantly, it helped me realize that the average American woman does not need as many new things as she compulsively buys. For pregnancy, I have purchased two items, received three as gifts, and then got a couple bags of hand-me-downs from a friend, and I am hoping to not spend any more money on this temporary time.
- Imagine what you want when you “have nothing to wear.” Sometimes, you really do have nothing to wear and you need to buy clothes. But instead of just buying, make it intentional. When I am staring at my clothes and finding nothing, I imagine what I wish I were finding in the recesses of my closet. My shopping thus becomes intentional and actually fills a void. When I first moved to DC, I kept on feeling poorly dressed every time I had to go to something marked “business casual.” I kept hoping to reach in my closet and some sleek black dress that could pass for business, if people showed up in suits, or cocktail, if everyone else turned out in sequins. Instead, I kept coming up with cute Target sundresses and short Parisian miniskirts, accented by the occasional polyester blend printed dress that was holding on from early college. I spent the next year buying a couple dresses to fit this bill, and letting go of the others, and I now feel 100% confident when I have to show up to one of these ambiguously labeled events.
- Organize your closet. You might have wonderful clothes, but can’t find them – can’t wear them.
- If you know it’s going to be a rough day, take extra care with your hair. It’s like having a super power. And once you’ve done your hair once- dry shampoo that head as long as possible! I curl mine using this flat iron (pricey, but I’ve had mine for 5 years and it’s still going strong!), and I can make it last 2-3 days (unless I go running) with some generous dry shampoo application. I am by no means monogamous with my dry shampoo and have tried many, but I am currently crushing hard on this one.
- Wear bold lipstick and simple stud earrings. They coves a multitude of sins. For me, I like to think that they cover the one where I actually have no clue how to wear makeup and always forget to put on jewelry. My favorites for lipstick are ever and always, this line and this line.
But now, I’m asking you people who are snazzy dressers and always looking enviably. What are your hacks to looking awesome every day? Give me all the secrets.
Image via here.