Fifteen Minute Fashion

It takes me about 15 minutes to get myself ready in the morning before work. Let me break that down, 15 minutes for makeup, hair and outfit. (I shower most evenings.) As a working mom, I don’t get that much time with my kids in the day and my favorite part of the day is morning – I love morning snuggles when they have bed head, rosy cheeks and are toasty warm to the touch so I’ve worked hard to actually get time with them in the mornings. Our morning routine is snuggles, cartoons, breakfast and then getting ready quickly. My part is about 15 minutes of that time. I get complimented on my work outfits frequently, so I thought I’d share how I do this because I’m always looking for ideas on how to make life smoother and better!

Before I dig in, here’s some things to know about me: I’m a financial advisor and daughter of generational frugality, so I do not like to spend a lot of money, but I do love fashion and I want to look good for my professional career. I work better when I feel pulled together and polished.

1. Only buy what you absolutely love. Experiment until you know what you love and what works for you and then stick with the same brands and colors. For makeup I know that I love Mary Kay eyeshadow and I stick with neutral shades – I also love the price. I started awhile back with my clothes – I ONLY buy what I absolutely love. If the cut is off or the color doesn’t look quite there – even if its only one dollar – I don’t buy it! This makes putting on clothes pretty darn easy in the morning.

2. Purge frequently. I am scrupulous about ridding my wardrobe of the clothes that don’t fit or I don’t love anymore. If I haven’t worn it that season, its getting donated. This keeps my wardrobe only full of the things I love and wear – this again makes picking out an outfit really simple. I purge by taking the clothes I want to get rid of by putting them in a bag in my closet and if I haven’t missed them over the course of a month or when the bag is full, I donate.

3. Keep with the same color scheme. I stick to neutral colors and then add in reds, oranges and greens because those are the colors that make me feel good. When I have purchased colors that I don’t generally buy, I have nothing to pair it with, so, guess what? It collected dust.

4. Keep a wish/need list. I try and keep my wardrobe slim – you saw the size of my closet – but I’ve also found that if I have too much of similar things (i.e. three pairs of black pants), one item always wins out and then I don’t wear the other item and it collects dust. Now, when a white shirt starts to get dingy, or my black pants are getting washed out, I write it down on my wish/need list (I always have a padfolio in my purse with the last page for wish lists) and then when I see it on sale and have the money in my budget, etc its top of mind. This also keeps me from buying silly purchases on the rare occasion that I’m out shopping for fun because I have some “needs” in mind.

5. Buy online. I started shopping online about a year and a half ago and found it has saved me a lot of money, earned me lots of rewards and kept my wardrobe up to date. Following my other advice, I stick to what I know and has worked for me. I personally have had great success with Express for work clothes. I have a rewards account (free) app on my phone. When I have a wish/need list item I search using all the filters to find exactly what I want and pretty much only shop in the clearance area. I put it in my cart and when there’s an extra 40-50% off, I purchase – if its not available then, I know something else will come up later. I try everything on when it arrives with multiple other things in my wardrobe and it I don’t love it or I can’t wear it with at least two other items, it gets shipped back. I’ve earned lots of free money by sticking with the same brand and their items go together better because the materials are similar, etc. Again, the result is that its incredibly easy for me to pull together an outfit in 2 minutes based on weather and my mood for the day!

Except for workout clothes – this is my entire winter and summer wardrobe.

6. Pinterest. I use pinterest for inspiration. Type in an item “pink blazer outfit” and see your wardrobe expand with ideas!

I wish I would have known this back in my early career days when I bought based on what was on sale even if it wasn’t what I needed.