Written by: Lisa Patulny
Getting ready in the mornings is calm and effortless…said no one, ever. Some of us function better in the AM than others, but if you’re on the clock from the moment you wake up, you’ll know how time can seem to tick away faster than usual, no matter how organised you are. (This is especially true if you have small kids who are undoubtedly the masters of unexpected morning chaos!) You can’t control whether the bus is on time or your toddler will have a tantrum at daycare drop-off, but you can streamline getting dressed.
To help, we’ve pulled together a few simple tips to take the stress out of selecting an outfit. The barista might still burn your latte, but at least you’ll look and feel your best.
Here’s our advice on how to get dressed in 5 minutes or less.
Step 1: Utilise a capsule wardrobe
We talk a lot about creating and maintaining a capsule wardrobe because it helps make getting dressed easy. Having basic wardrobe pieces on hand means you’ll always be able to pull together a great outfit last-minute. If you work outside of the home, focus on pieces that are versatile. A sharply-cut blazer in a timeless colour like black, navy or beige instantly elevates plain trousers, skirts and dresses to executive status. If your wardrobe essentials skew more casual, invest in quality separates and accessories that you can mix and match.
Step 2: Pre-plan outfit combinations
If you don’t feel confident deciding on what to wear under time pressure, set aside time to think about potential outfit ideas in advance. By doing this now and then, you’ll have a list of outfit inspo and ensembles that you already love handy to draw from when you’re in a rush. There are many ways to do this – keep references on file in your Instagram Saves, create a dedicated Pinterest board, or start an image folder on your phone. We've even put together a free lookbook of 100 outfit ideas you can download and save on your phone for easy reference. To get dressed, all you’ll need to do is check the weather and choose a saved option that works.
Step 3: Get on top of your calendar
Being prepared means keeping your calendar handy and up to date. By knowing what you need to dress for in advance, you’ll avoid being caught out – or worse, panic splurging on a one-off outfit you’ll never wear again. If your closet is full of wardrobe essentials, you probably won’t need much time to decide on outfits for the week ahead unless there’s a special event coming up. If you know you need something new, give yourself as much space as possible to choose pieces that work for the event as well as back with what you already have.
Step 4: Embrace outfit repeatingDon’t ever be afraid to repeat outfits. Contrary to what you might see in certain corners of social media, having a functional wardrobe is about investing in pieces that allow for more than one wear. If you struggle with this, consider how you can tweak your favourite ensembles to reinvent them. If you love wearing a particular pair of black trousers with a knit and sandals, switch it up with a sweater and sneakers for a different vibe. You can also update your looks simply by swapping jewellery or adding statement outerwear.
Step 5: Lay out your outfitsIt’s classic mum advice because it works – set aside your clothes, shoes and other accessories for the following day, the night before. If you have everything ironed or steamed and ready to go, you’ll have nothing to do but get dressed. (The dream, if you ask us.) If the weather is looking iffy, you might want to have a handful of options ready, i.e. a top with a longer sleeve for cooler days or a pair of tailored shorts for warmer temps. Either way, you’ll do away with the pressure of deciding on an outfit from scratch first thing in the morning.
Looking for outfit inspo? Download our 100 Outfits Ideas Lookbook using our go-to list of 40 Wardrobe Essentials.