10 Strategies to Help You Save a Pile of Time When it Comes to Your Fashion.
The one commodity every single business owner has in short supply is time. We have have so many demands, priorities and things to do, and in amongst it all, we need to make sure we look our best to really represent our brand appropriately to the outside world. Who has the time?
Suzy Menkes, a fashion critic and journalist, with an incredibly busy schedule, says she “doesn’t believe in very complicated clothes”, because she simply doesn’t have time for them. Suzy adds, “I want my clothes to work as hard as I do.” This can mean focusing on quality over quantity and choosing simple pieces that work every time in a variety of situations.
There are more female entrepreneurs and business owners than ever before (the fastest growing entrepreneurial group are women 55 plus). Many of us play multiple roles in one day running from a client meeting to childcare to a dinner with prospective business partners. Because of this meshing where our work life meets our private life , we need clothing that enables us to look chic from morning to night.
We need a collection of clothes that enable us to choose quickly, with the assurance that we are going to look and feel fantastic. Some of the women I’ve worked with said that they used to spend up to an hour and a half choosing what to wear every day. Who has the time?
It starts with thinking strategically about our fashion. Making sure we have a well curated collection will help us save time and make it so much easier to choose what to wear each day. In reference to apparel choices, Arianna Huffington has spoken about the fact that men don't have to waste the kind of energy that women do. Huffington says to “never be afraid to repeat your clothes” that "women should deliberately repeat the things they love.” Hence the reason to have a well curated collection.
Saving time is about knowing who you are, how you want to feel, understanding what you want your look to portray and what is needs to say for the various scenarios you might find yourself in during the day. And of course, establishing really good daily routines.
To help I suggest the following ten strategies that will save you considerable time on a daily basis:
1. Develop your own uniform
This means developing consistency in your look and having outfit combinations that you can rely on. It could be always wearing a soft chiffon blouse with a pencil skirt and changing it up with the types of heels you wear. It could be always wearing a three quarter length top with a specific style of pants and interchanging it with a particular style dress. This is all about having a few signature looks and wearing them in different colours and fabrics. If people repeatedly compliment you on a look and you feel fantastic in it, you may want to consider it for your uniform. Remember, it doesn’t have to just be wearing a black t-shirt every day. The term uniform allows for much more creativity than that.
2. Stick with garment shapes and silhouettes that flatter your body
Find out what the best necklines are that compliment your face shape. Understand the skirt, pant and dress styles that highlight your best features. Know the right hem lengths for your height. All these elements will make it so much easier to choose new garments. If you buy right, and get used to having some tailoring done to make sure the clothes you buy fit you well, you will look into your closet and be able to wear virtually anything, which will once again save you a pile of time.
3. Streamline your collection with neutral coloured pieces that will work overtime
Neutral shades allow you to interchange garments easily. Develop your collection around a few colours that suit your skin tone. Make sure they all work together. Having a neutral collection of clothing doesn’t mean being boring its all about the types of pieces you put together. You can then personalise them even further with signature shoes and accessories.
4. Make comfort a priority
If you wear clothing that makes you feel great and that makes you feel comfortable you are more likely to wear it. Some women think that comfort has to be sacrificed for the sake of the look, but I don’t think so. To me comfort comes from having garments that fit properly.
5. Repeat your favourite outfits
Just like Arianna Huffington, feel confident about repeating outfits. If the look works, repeat it. Particularly if they are the outfits where you always get compliments when you are wearing them. You can make them look fresh with a different pair of heels or a splash of colour in a scarf. If it works for you use it, don’t be obsessed with coming up with a new outfit every day.
6. Keep your closet organised
As obvious as this might sound, one of the biggest time wasters is a disorganised closet. For many women their closets are disorganised because they don’t really like the clothing options they have, so over time, the closet falls into a semi-unloved state. So where do you start? Choose how you want to organise your closet. You can either break it up in to outfits, colour code or separate by garment type. As part of this part of this keep your outerwear in a separate closet or section. These are the pieces you will choose last. And shouldn’t interfere with the main garment selection. There are many ways to organise your clothes, what is most important is that you have a system that works for you.
7. If you have multiple events in one day plan in advance
If you are going from day to night, choose one outfit that can work in both settings. Neutral shades go a long way to achieving this. Think about the events you are attending and choose a simple polished outfit. You could bring a different jacket or shoes with you to change from day to night and keep the main ensemble throughout the entire day. Also try to choose fabrics that can be layered and will transition well between indoors and outdoors, hot and cold.
8. Do some prep work the day before
Something as simple as ironing your clothes the night before can save you precious time the next day. It’s always good to plan time to prepare your clothes in advance. What else can you get ready ahead of time? (Just as a tip, you can also use the shower as a clothing steamer for silk and cotton garments simply by hanging up your garments in a dry area of the bathroom, while having a hot shower - it works a treat).
9. Invest in a stunning, perfectly fitted Blazer
A signature Blazer will give a polished look to many outfits. It will pay to invest in one that fits you perfectly. This jacket will give you a sense of confidence as soon as you slip it on, because it is a statement in itself. A good Blazer will work with just about anything else you might want to wear making it one of the most versatile, time saving pieces that is well worth the investment. You will be able to wear it with everything from a smart casual to sophisticated evening event.
10. When in doubt don’t
One of the biggest time wasters of all is the deliberation process of “should I or shouldn’t I buy this piece?”. My advice is very, very simple here - if in doubt don’t. Simple as that. If you have any doubt at all about an item, walk away. Odds on that doubt will translate to the item hanging in your closet and never being warn. This tip alone should save you many hours of deliberation.
All of these time saving strategies work best if you create a signature collection of clothes that are truly representative of who you are. Once you know which garments give you a winning, signature look, that makes you feel great and is truly representative of your brand, be brave enough to repeat the formula. When you’re onto a good thing keep it going.
When I’m working with my clients, we develop a strategy around this theme. My goals are to save them time, save them money, help them to make better buying decisions, enhance their look to make them feel strong and confident in all of their clothes and to ultimately create their own fashion collection that they love and can’t wait to wear, every single garment, every single time.