How to put an end to the morning ‘what to wear?’ stress-out.

Are you a Daphne or a Velma?

As a child, I used to watch a fair bit of TV. One programme my brothers and I enjoyed (though goodness knows why) was Scooby Doo. I’m not going to ask if you ‘remember’ Scooby Doo, because, amazingly they are still churning them out! My kids watch them sometimes.

Even though I loved that show, there was one thing that I found supremely disappointing: Velma and Daphne had to wear the same outfits in every episode! They literally had the same clothes on every, single, freakin’ day. Those poor, poor teenage super-sleuths. Oddly, they are still wearing them now – 35 years later! (AND they haven’t aged a day, the gits.)

Nowadays, I can see how this happens. In the morning you’ve got to get up and out of the house fast, with the minimum of fuss. Those evil villains are not going to catch themselves. Sometimes the easiest option is to reach, yet again, for your trusty orange roll neck and matching knee socks.

Admittedly 6am is not the ideal time to be putting together previously untried combinations of clothes or rummaging about to find the perfect shoe for a wide-legged trouser (great advice on this tricky subject here, from The Pool, by the way).

If you are a bit of a Daphne or Velma, you probably have a wardrobe full of clothes but are only wearing the same three outfits on rotation. To compound the ‘groundhog day’ effect, those three outfits are most likely all versions of the same thing but in slightly different fabrics or colours.

Dressing like this, in a set of strict clothing combinations, is a clear sign that your ability or confidence to try new things have taken a walk. You feel safe in your familiar clothes, but you are utterly bored by them. Wearing the same gear more or less every day, is not anxiety-laden, but it is dull, dull, dull.

There are other ways to reduce the stress of ‘what to wear’ in the morning, without resorting to a uniform. Here’s how to turn it around:

A friend of mine coined the term the ‘If In Doubtfit’ (IID). I love this phrase. It describes a look that you know works for your body. The sort of clothes that you can be confident about looking good in, every time you wear them. They can be dressed up or down according to the event you are going to. When you are ‘in doubt’ about what to wear, you turn to these little wardrobe superstars.

Instead of having one ‘uniform’, aim for three IIDs, all distinctly different from each other.

Tips for creating your IIDs:

  1. Consider your silhouette – are you best with loose tops and structured bottoms or vice versa?
  2. Use that silhouette as your base. Choose different colours and fabrics. Move away from black for springtime. Try a lighter neutral if you can’t face colour. Perhaps grey, beige, mid-blue, cream or white.
  3. Add a piece of jewellery. This makes your IID look pulled together, and shows that you have given thought to what you are wearing. Make sure the jewellery is the right size. Different body types suit different styles and sizes of jewellery – I call this ‘scale’. If you wear a piece that is too dainty for you, you will look bigger. Wearing one that is too large for your body will overwhelm you. Experiment to find your best scale.

Here’s are some examples of great IIDs for springtime:

  1. Wide-legged trousers (the new season shape), a stripy (Breton) top and wedge sandals. Add a cocktail ring.
  2. Wide legged trousers and a light sweater in a flattering colour for your skin tone. Pointed toe, low heeled/flat ankle boots. Add a necklace.
  3. Wide legged jeans with a t-shirt and trainers. Add a fitted jacket or cardigan.

These three variations of the same silhouette would be suitable for very casual days, smart casual and more formal occasions. Each top should work with each trouser. So that’s five pieces of clothing and two pieces of jewellery – giving at least eight different mix and match options. (Love a bit of Image Consultant mathematics!)

This silhouette or style may not be the right one for you, it’s just an example of how it can work. For this theory to pan out you really do need to know which style and cuts of clothes most suit your body shape.

I’m going to be discussing putting together IIDs and more at my next webinar:

No-Brainer Mornings. My 3 no-stress style secrets to looking good every single day.  

I’ll be hosting this free, online training at two different times during April. There are limited spaces, so if you want to learn more, and enjoy calm, serene mornings, get your spot reserved now.

I’ll be lifting the lid on all my best techniques for taking the stress out of dressing. I’ll also be sharing how to organise your wardrobe and shop effectively. Choosing what to wear each day will become quick, easy and fun – leaving you with plenty of time to wax the mini-van and prepare the Scooby snacks.

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