We’ve all been there. You’re staring into your closet thinking “I don’t have a thing to wear!” Luckily, creating your professional or casual outfit for the day doesn’t have to be complicated. (And I always recommend doing it the night before.) When you use the simple system I’m sharing you, you’ll have a great outfit every time and be out the door in no time.
- Choose your pants or skirt. Of course, you’ve already thought about what your day will entail, client meetings, a luncheon, running errands, etc. And of course, the weather might dictate your decision. If it’s 5 degrees and snowing, you might decide to choose pants. (But that’s just me!)
- Select your top. Ideally, you want your closet organized by garment type, i.e. all pants together, tops together, etc. so that you can go to the top section and immediately see what top with go with your bottom. Next, not necessarily a step, but don’t forget to consider any particular lingerie the outfit may need. Does it call for a Hanky Panky thong or Spanx for control and to banish visible panty lines? Do you need a special bra or a camisole? You’ll want to choose tights/hosiery that coordinate when you are wearing a skirt. Need direction on hosiery or tights?
- Once you’ve put your top and bottom on, the next step is to pick your shoes. Remember, you only want your pants to be ¼ to ½ inch off the floor when you have your shoes on, so choose accordingly.
- Next is your layering piece, i.e. cardigan, jacket, vest or even a scarf. Not every outfit needs a layering piece; however, layering is a cornerstone of professional dress, and I’m a huge fan of these pieces.
- Now that you’re dressed, always, always, always accessorize! Do you need a belt? An open neckline usually calls for a necklace. If you have pierced ears, be sure to coordinate your earrings with the necklace. Choose your handbag that will finish your outfit perfectly. Many women I talk to don’t want to change their handbags daily; however, I recently helped a client create outfits, accessorizing with several purses, and I was absolutely delighted to see how much panache the bags added to her look. And I was even more delighted to see the look on her face that came from knowing she looked fabulous!
- Last but not least…your outerwear is important! If your Style Recipe is “Classic” and “Polished,” showing up in a killer skirt and blazer with your ski coat over it will kill your whole look. It’s certainly not necessary to have a different coat for every outfit, but it is crucial to match the formality of your coat with your outfits.
Now that you’ve created your great ensemble, be sure to document it! As I suggested in 6 Steps to Polish Your Image, it’s best to carve out a couple of hours here and there to coordinate outfits you can have ready to go each morning and for every occasion, but there are plenty of times your outfits will come together organically like this. Why not record them, so you can duplicate them with ease next time!
P.S. on this…I’m a realist and know mornings are hectic, so when you’ve created an outfit you love in the morning, go ahead and get out the door. Simply write it all down when you get home that day.
Even though there are other ways to create outfits, this one is simplest and quick. It’s the system I use when I create outfits with clients during their closet edits and after we’ve shopped. As you may have seen in my recent Facebook post, the other day I created and documented 38 outfits in one session with a client! Check out How I Work to learn more about how this is done.
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One comment on “6 Steps to a Perfect, Professional Outfit”
Dana, As you know, your blog is the first thing I read in my inbox. it NEVER disappoints, nor do you. Loved today, love your new website. dont know why my yelp never worked for you, but I will try again! Millions of blessings to you in 2015. You bring JOY to getting dressed with confidence and I am grateful I was in your physical space when I lived in Denver! God bless you!