When it comes to prepping for the work week, most people schedule & plan out meals for lunch during work, but also at home, whether you’re single or providing for an entire family. However, on top of that, something that I try to do to make my harried mornings a little easier is outfit prep. A typical Sunday night includes me picking out 5-6 full outfits & folding them in a neat pile in order of when I will wear them so that I can get ready steadily each morning before I’m about to get my pre-schooler dressed & fed, along with embarking on my hour-long commute. Here are my steps to outfit prepping success:
1. Check the weather & your schedule. No matter the season, checking the weather will be helpful. For me, hot days mean dresses & laser cut flats with a lightweight sweater for the air conditioned office. Likewise, snow or rain mean that I need to be conscious of footwear & hair styling. Also, if you have an important meeting or post-work event, take into account how your outfit can transition.
2. Build the whole look. Even if I know I’ll be removing a cardigan or other layer for most of the day, I always keep one handy. I’m a cardigan girl, so all of my outfits include either a button-down, flyaway, or cropped topper to complete the look. I try to mix it up each day with length & color, so it doesn’t look like I’m wearing the same piece each day. Also, I put together a top with pants or a skirt & make a note of the shoes I’ll wear somewhere on my phone. I have too many shoes, so it’s worth it—for me—to ensure that I’m varying them each day. If it’s going to be a hectic week, of course, I’ll repeat out if sheer comfort needs!
3. Pre-select accessories. I have little dishes on my bedroom dresser handy for accessories, in addition to my jewelry boxes & trays that are organized by metal type. Upon selecting the outfit pieces, topper, & shoe, the accessories come next. I usually only do this for 2 days in advance to avoid cluttering my dresser Monday through Friday. This also ensures that I’m putting my jewelry away each day too. I have 5 piercings in each ear, so I select which earring will be the main one, if it’s a drop, hoop, or stud, & then grab a card or 2 of smaller options for my other holes that I’ll grab easily as I’m getting dressed. This applies to necklaces & bracelets too. Also, if I need a belt, I pick one that coordinates with my jewelry.
4. Check for imperfections. I don’t really own much that needs to be ironed or steamed, but I like to plan in advance for those outfits. Rather than folding them on my dresser, as seen below, I’ll steam ahead of time & leave the item hanging somewhere they won’t be in the way if I’m not wearing it until the end of the week & where it will remain in tact. The same goes for checking for fit, holes, missing buttons, stains, etc. You don’t want to be halfway to work when you realize that there’s something irreversibly wrong—in the moment—with your outfit, especially right before a major meeting too!
5. Grab an extra look. I sometimes get overly ambitious with an outfit that I plan, but then when the day comes & maybe the weather changes or I’m feeling bloated, I change my mind & want something more comfortable. Also, I consider factors before & after my work day, such as any errands to run or stops to make, so I’m comfortable & capable to perform those tasks & my outfit doesn’t interfere.
6. Hair! I’m curly all summer long & since my work days have been light lately, I’ve relied on a claw clip or barrette, but once the cooler weather arrives, I’ll straighten my locks & turn to scrunchies, bobby pins, or hair ties, so I plan in advance if I have something that coordinates well with a particular look. It usually ends up on a dish with the jewelry too.
7. Keep it up. The usual Monday mornings when I realize I’ve forgotten to outfit prep somehow always become my most stressful days, setting the tone for more stress. The more frequently I outfit prep to get myself mentally & physically prepared for the week, the calmer I can start my day. Also, by maintaining a weekly outfit prep schedule, at least for a 9-5, I spend more time with my wardrobe & then remember better what I’ve worn recently to make sure I’m getting the most out of my investment by not wearing the same handful of pieces each week & rotating old favorites that make me happy.
8. Adapt as necessary. If you keep grabbing the same top each week, planning to wear it & then you change your mind each time, maybe it’s time to donate it since you may never actually wear it. Similarly, you might find that you’re wearing all black all the time & you’re missing other brighter colors; then, set a goal for the week to celebrate patterns or include a neon each day or coordinate a different take on animal print on Fridays.
To conclude, there definitely other things we all worry about that are way more important in our lives, but if feeling prepared for the week & expressing yourself through your clothing are major facets of who you are, try to outfit prep. Playing dress-up doesn’t have to be just for special occasions. Having fun with what you wear helps with confidence & definitely reduces my anxiety about what lies ahead each week.
What do you do to prepare your work looks? Do you outfit prep or do you just grab something quick in the morning? What are your style goals? For more stylish posts, check out: the prettiest polka dot flats from Amazon, fun leopard print pencil skirt options, & fabric headbands for fall from Old Navy! Happy Styling!