We all have our definition of being "dressed up." To some it means putting on business style clothes and going to work. To others, dressed up might mean nice boots with jeans and a sweater or blazer for going out. Whatever your definition, we all know the feeling of combining that with our hair, nails, make-up freshly done, which makes our confidence go through the roof!
Oh what a feeling, right?
BUT... is it possible to have that same feeling when you’re rushing kids out of the house for school or work, dashing to the grocery store so you can finish dinner, or heading to the gym to for a stress relieving workout?
It is! Or at least come really close. There are a few simple things we can add to our routines to help with this, but the question you may have is, “Tonya...why bother?”
Well, I have a perspective for you to consider!
Let’s say that your goal is to finally go after that new promotion at work. One afternoon leading up to the big interview, you run into the store “just for a quick sec” and nearly run head on into, guess who? Your boss's wife. Great.
You greet her hurriedly as you think "uh oh", while taking a quick glance at your— too messy of a hair bun and old faded out yoga tee in the mirrored window. Oops.
First impressions last.
In the case above, we hope that a little grace will been given, but you never really know, right?
As an Image Professional, I am expected to look presentable more times than not and "practice what I preach." After all, I never know when I come may face to face with my next client :) Admittedly, looking the part it can be tough at times though!
I, too, have those when days I don't feel my best, my kids are in a really bad mood, or I'm just running late, etc. But I’ve tried to prepare for those inevitable days beforehand, without making things overly complicated.
Before I share, I ask that you figure out what your weak areas tend to be when pressed for time. Is it your hair or makeup routine? Or is narrowing down what to wear the problem?
Here’s a loose outline of the plan I use, specially formulated for any time I may need to get out of door (or hop on a video call!) in a jiffy:
-For Skincare and Makeup, I’ve come up with my personal "5 Minute Face.” This has especially come in handy for last minute Zoom calls lately, where I definitely don't want to show off my under eye circles, if I can help it!
But if I’m really in a pinch when heading out, I may just reach for one of my face flattering sunglasses, a cozy scarf (in fall/winter), a quick lip liner topped with gloss... and I’m DONE ;)
-For hair that won't seem to behave sometimes, my hats have come to the rescue. This works especially well in the winter when we are all wrapped up anyway! Now, I’m not talking about just any old baseball cap, but fedoras, simple caps, or wraps that reflect my style personality. (You can sometimes find great deals on things like this around late February during Winter Clearance Sales.)
Besides that, I’ve found that a shorter hair cut makes styling more time saving and a little less complicated for me, but the opposite may be true for you! Do what works for you.
-For clothes. When I'm really pressed for time but don't want to LOOK that way, I reach for three key pieces: a great pair of stretchy jeans, an EASY fitted jacket or tee in one of my WOW colors or neutrals, and comfortable flats or pull on boots. That's it. There are 2-3 styles of each that I know I can grab in a snap that look presentable and fit comfortably.
But even with a plan, RELAX and don't put too much pressure on yourself. The goal is not to look "perfect" all the time. Even celebs, some with their fleet of stylists and such, do not look show ready 24/7. Contrary to popular belief, they're human too!
So what’s your “polished and put together" plan for those inevitable hectic days —while keeping it real, of course?
Okay, so Iet’s admit it: We will never forget 2020, right?
For now, let’s just discuss the impact that it undoubtedly had on our clothing and style choices!
If you’re like me, part of you didn’t mind the leggings and sweatpants mentality adopted from the early days of quarantine and lockdowns.
Whether you still worked outside of the home, had to quickly pivot to a new work or homeschool environment, or any situation in between— the collective feeling that many of us had then of comfort first, can still be felt even now.
But there’s good news! The feeling of #ComfyAllDay doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
Could it be that just a few shifts here and there can help make make our transitioning back to “normal” a little smoother?
Here are just a few patterns or habits that you may have fallen into over the past months —and how you can possibly translate that as you seek to transition back:
Pattern #1: You’ve gotten very used to the convenient no ironing lifestyle. I mean, this is definitely one of the perks of athleisure, weekend, or workout wear, right? Being one who definitely does not find ironing fun, I understand!
Solution for transitioning: First, think of things in your wardrobe that are considered easy care or made from “wrinkle guard” or “wrinkle resistant” fabrics. Noticeable wrinkles, in person or on Zoom, can be an image breaker! So if this is a pattern you’re in, check your closet now for low wrinkle fabrics you may have already in blends of polyester, spandex, or silk....
I love the my top (shown above), snagged on sale a few months ago from KOKOON, because it’s a perfect no-iron grab and go. It’s also very soft and comfortable! The fabric mix is 95% poly, 5% spandex.
Then, look for new ways to mix and match your new "no iron" discoveries into different outfits. (Ones that make sense of course!) The point is that you will still look put together, without all the extra ironing!
Get more of my tips about shopping your closet here. (It’s actually a video guide so you can see firsthand! And its free.)
Pattern #2: More relaxed rules for home, work, or play has made you forget about what it feels like to get dressed for real!
Solution for transitioning: As mentioned earlier, I know that our work situations vary greatly depending on the industry we’re in. So let’s just touch on one commonality that most of us strive for no matter what: COMFORT!
One way to translate this to the workplace, is to figure out what I call your signature comfort style...
Personally, one of my personal major players in this are one piece jumpsuits. Thankfully, I’ve found many styles over the years that I can dress up or down AND their versatility has helped me through many transitions of life, including the pandemic!
Your signature comfort style may be a certain style of shirt or pant that you love, but would just like to find a more polished version, suitable for work or special events.
For example if you’re a fan of, say, jogger pants, look for those slightly dressier versions that you can throw on with short boots, in lieu of your at-home ones that can only be worn with sneakers. See what I’m saying? Win win!
Pattern #3: You’ve somewhat “paused” your clothes shopping, since most of what you have in your closet is not being worn anyway!
Solution for transitioning: Trust me, I understand. But let’s put a positive spin on this. If this is the case, now just may be a really good time to take a close look at what’s hanging /folded in your wardrobe and evaluate what deserves to stay versus those things that it may be best to say goodbye to!
And I’m willing to bet that the sting of a closet clean out from that mindset may not be as bad now, as opposed to waiting until everything’s back in full swing again to do it.
Then, you can just make a shopping list with the goal of simply filling the wardrobe “holes” left from your clean out. That way it won’t feel so much like money wasted on things you’re not wearing. And when it’s time, you’ll have a closet that’s all ready to go!
Can you relate to any of these patterns or habits? Do you have any other ideas about how we can use these to our advantage moving forward? Let me know below!