I like to lay out my work clothes before I go to bed at night. In fact, I try to get everything set up so my morning routine can be as quick as possible...and, therefore, sleep as long as possible. I even set my deodorant out on the bathroom counter every night. As in, I take it out of the medicine cabinet and place it onto the counter. I'm not quite sure if this started because I thought it'd save time or if I was worried I'd forget to put it on if it wasn't right in front of my sleepy face every morning. Either way, it is now (an admittedly silly) habit.
Laying out clothes is easy when you only wear one of 4 pairs of pants combined with any (of many) solid colored sweaters. But in an effort to break from this rut, I set out a challenge to wear a skirt or dress at least once per week this year. (Part of my 2012 goals.) So far, it is going well! I can already say that I'm wearing different things to work, trying new clothing combinations, and caring a bit more about my appearance...in a good way.
I was especially smitten with this outfit.
I thought it was cute, fun, and flattering. And it prompted me to curl my hair a little bit and even put on some mascara. Fancy.
But picking out outfits like this is still trial and error. If I had gone with what I had originally laid out, I wouldn't have been nearly as happy with it. The thing is, I actually looked in the mirror, figured out what I didn't like about what I was wearing, and tried different things until I found something that worked. Granted, it took a bit more time, but I think the 15 minutes was definitely worth it. Plus, now I know that I like how this combination looks, so it will be a quick choice in the future.
Here's how this outfit evolved:
-First, I saw this blue blouse hanging next to this pink sweater in the laundry room and liked the color combination. While trying to decide what color pants to pair them with, I remembered that I hadn't worn a skirt yet that week. I grabbed a simple black skirt and hung the 3 items up in my bathroom (where I get dressed in the morning.) Then I realized I'd probably be cold so I dug through my drawers until I came up with a pair of black tights. I chose ballet flats and a sparkly bow necklace to round out my uber-girly attire.
-In the morning, I put on the clothes I had laid out and decided they look pretty frump-tastic. The sweater was shapeless and pretty much hid the feminine blouse. And the skirt was too long - it made me look short and boxy.
-I ditched the sweater and swapped out the skirt for a shorter wool one that I recently got from Goodwill. It is a bit high-waisted and has pockets, so there is a little extra volume around my hips. I think this is cute with a more form-fitting top, but when combined with the flowy blouse just seemed like a bit much.
-I tried a few belts to help define my waist (blue, pink, & red.) I liked how the red one looked the best, but something was still off.
-Finally, I decided to try tucking in the blouse. Voila! All of a sudden my body looked like the right shape again.
I love how the belt and waistband of the skirt meet to make it almost look like one piece.
So, yeah, it took a few extra steps. But it was worth it, don't you think?
Hopefully with more practice, I'll be whipping up cute outfits all the time. At least for the times when I'm not in sweatpants.