NB This is not an article about body shape - no pears, apples, triangles or hourglasses are mentioned. I also won’t tell you not to wear horizontal stripes if you’re plus size (I wear a 22 top and I love horizontal stripes). All these decisions are up to you. What I will tell you is: whether you wear a size 14 or a size 26 - dress in a way that makes you smile. Develop your own sense of style and embrace it daily with calm confidence.
Create your own uniform
In unimaginative moments I refer to set outfits as my uniforms. By uniform, I don't mean one with a name on the pocket.
I mean having an outfit for every day of the week that’s ready to wear. A top that goes with a certain pair of pants, or a dress that gets worn with those leggings.
The benefit of having set outfits (aka a uniform) to wear, is not having to think twice when you get dressed each morning.
The fewer decisions we make each day, and the more we can build things into our routines, the more energy we have for making better choices for more important things in life. If you’d like to read more about this, here’s a link to an excellent article in The Conversation.
Other benefits of having a set outfit for every day of the week include:
- Not searching the dryer, clothes horses or laundry baskets for the top that goes with that skirt.
- Being able to field questions or plan your day, while simultaneously getting dressed.
- Knowing with a calm certainty that you absolutely have a pair of clean undies or socks to wear today.
- Looking forward to getting dressed in the morning.
- More time for other things like family, coffee, pets or breakfast.
No fairy godmother? Here’s how to do it
So how do you gain this peace of mind and dressing-happiness on a daily basis, without a fairy godmother?
You build a functional wardrobe of clothes and accessories. Here's 5 steps to get you started:
- Pull your clothes out of the cupboard.
- Put together an outfit for every day of the week or fortnight (include weekends).
- Think about where you’ll wear things and the types of clothes you need for work and home.
- Do you have several complete outfits and a couple of ‘almost outfits’? If so, write down what you might need to purchase.
- Get rid of, or store elsewhere, any clothes that don’t truly have a place in your life.
The five-step process above might sound too simple, so here are some guidelines to help you:
- If you can wear an item more than once you can pair it with several outfits. For example, trousers, jeans, skirts, vests, jackets and cardigans can go with several outfits.
- Don’t plan to wear anything twice in the week if it needs to be washed after each wear. Be nice to yourself and only wash once a week.
- If you want to change an item of clothing each day of the week (e.g. underwear) without doing the laundry too often, make sure you stock up and have at least 10 pairs. Underwear doesn't really go out of fashion and it's quite a relief to know there's always a few spares in the drawer.
- Only keep outfits you enjoy wearing. If clothes make you sigh, cringe or feel frumpy then ditch them.
- Make sure you’ve kept one set of old clothes (just one set) for gardening, painting etc.
- Check the shoes and accessories required for each outfit. Need some extra earrings or fab shoes, tights or a scarf to make it work? Treat yourself, because it might mean you get more wear out of the clothes you already own. I've included some of my favourite suppliers at the end.
- Hang them back in the cupboard, but turn the hanger around so the hook goes over the far side of the rail. If they’re still hanging this way around in 6 months or a year then maybe it’s time to say farewell and give them a new life with someone else.
- Store them in a vacuum storage bag and include a scrap of paper with today’s date before removing the air. Next time you look at that bag you’ll know exactly how long you haven’t worn those clothes.
So, how did you go? Do you have something to wear each day of the week, or even on a two-week rotation? Will you actually wear it?
Do you have one item/outfit put aside for a special occasion or impromptu party as well?
Let’s check - do you have everything you need to wear an outfit comfortably?
You don’t want to get halfway through getting dressed in the morning and have to change because you don’t have the right leggings, tights or jumper.
For me, it’s scarves and earrings. I love bright coloured printed scarves, but they only seem to work well when I wear plain colours. So I purchased one black scarf and now it gets heaps of use because I can wear it with my printed tops.
If you need a few extra pieces for your wardrobe to get through the week, we have some upcoming blogs on how to choose good ones (or download our ebook here) and below we have some stockists and suggestions.
Treats + Stockists
Jewellery, scarves and bags: Here are some Aussies who can help joosh your wardrobe: Elk, Adventures in Resin, Jill Sharp, Oh Hey Lovely and Rare Rabbit Designs.
Comfy Broad-foot Shoes: I live in my Birkenstock Sandals in summer. Have you tried their ‘Soft Footbed’ range in the regular width? The softer footbed makes all the difference. Closed-toe shoes that are fun and fit my full foot orthotics are from ARA brand -their Courtyard shoe is width H. And I love my Mary Janes from KEEN.
Tights and Stockings: SNAG Tights have tights, stockings and chub rub shorts. They even have merino wool tights. Their size range is from 4 to 36. I have some teal tights I wear in winter.
Cotton Undies: Marks and Spencer. All my cotton undies are from Marks and Sparks. You can purchase online and they deliver to Australia.
Got any tips, stockists or suggestions for us? Email me.