How I Decreased My Getting-Dressed Routine to 11 Minutes
Hi, it's me, a self-proclaimed overthinker. Not only do I overthink in most capacities, but when it comes to what I wear, it seems my habit reaches its peak. If I'm not drifting off to sleep each night mentally dressing for the next day's itinerary, I'm spending way too long in front of the mirror in the morning while carefully considering every element. Yes, sometimes this strategy works for me, but other times I'm left running an extra 20 minutes late because I couldn't decide which shoes went with which bag. It's not a good habit to fall into.
In the interest of cutting through all the mental white noise (and time, so much time) involved in my getting-dressed routine, I challenged myself to limit the process to just 10 short minutes. (As you've already guessed, 10 minutes just wasn't enough—although it was close.) While some might call this a formula for lazy outfits, I like to think it simply helped me dress more efficiently.
Just like adopting a minimalist style or building a capsule wardrobe can be seriously effective ways to streamline your closet and morning routine, my self-imposed time limit helps me get out the door quicker, and honestly, as a community of fashion fans, don’t we all have inherently stylish things in our closets anyway? Below, I'm sharing exactly what I learned throughout this style challenge and how you can cut down serious time spent in front of the mirror.
Never underestimate the power of "one-piece" wonders
It's 7 a.m. on a Monday and you're already anticipating the two cups of coffee you'll need to function properly? Forget everything else in your closet and just reach for that one hero piece that's your one-and-done outfit. You know the one—maybe it's a printed dress you know looks great with sneakers and heels alike, or maybe it's that lone jumpsuit you have. These are the pieces that stand alone as their own outfit, and trust me: They will save you precious time when you "just can't."
Take note of which combinations work
So, now you're ready to graduate to a two-piece outfit? I bet there are already pieces in your closet you always wear together. For me, it's a yellow polo shirt I almost always pair with dark-wash denim because I love the way the colors complement one another. But it can be as simple as a cropped top that meets perfectly with high-waisted trousers. These combinations are proven to work, so take note of them. That way, the next time you reach for a certain piece, you'll immediately know what to wear with it.
Don't be afraid to repeat outfits
We know it's a taboo topic to broach, but it's something that we all do (admit it). So, when it comes to spending 10 or 30 minutes picking out an outfit, now's not the time to be experimental. If it works, it works, and honestly, no one will really remember you've worn it before.
Stick with the same bag all week
I can't tell you how many times I've gotten ready only to run back into my room at the last second to swap out my bag. Innocent as it may seem, I've accidentally left things like my favorite lipstick (sad but not earth-shattering) and my wallet (maybe a little earth-shattering) at home. Stick with the same bag each week so you don't accidentally forget the essentials when you're running out the door.
Skip the accessories
This was a tough one for me because I'm a big fan of statement earrings and usually will switch them up daily. With precious time on the clock during these fast-paced mornings, I found that skipping the statement-making accessories saved me an extra one to two minutes of getting dressed. A relatively small time-saver, but with just 11 minutes to put together an ensemble, those seconds made all the difference. Instead, I reached for the same everyday staples like simple gold hoops and a signet ring.
Put your mirror outside your room
This is a weird one, to be sure, but for me, just putting my mirror out in my hallway stopped me from having to consider every different combination of clothing and footwear I could possibly put together. It motivated me to just throw on an outfit first and then assess.
Don't overthink it
Once the ’fit is done, it’s done. I always waste time in the morning going back and second-guessing what I have on, but this just means I’ll plummet into a vortex of trying on half of my closet and won’t emerge for at least another 20 minutes. So now, once I’ve pulled the look together, there’s no time to reconsider.
While this strategy won’t necessarily work for dressier occasions when more attention is warranted, it will definitely help you to be more efficient in the morning and (hopefully) more focused throughout the day.
Shop wardrobe essentials you'll wear time and again
These are general rules I abide by when I need to get dressed in a pinch. Lazy outfits, technically yes. Lazy-looking outfits? Definitely not.