My Formula for Getting Dressed

Getting dressed is so hard for me. Managing to find something every. single. day. Not spending too much time on it, but still looking good, making everything match, somehow taking the weather into consideration, plus accessories... I am terrible at being a woman, I think. But I would still like to look nice, so I need a simple formula.

Anna Dorfman from Door Sixteen recently wrote a couple of wonderful posts about her wardrobe here and here. She basically has a uniform that works for her and she mixes and matches according to that uniform. Her clothes are fabulous and actually pretty close to what I would want to wear. I love this method of planning outfits-just a basic uniform and I can mix and match the pieces.

I've got this on my mind because I'm planning a big shopping trip soon celebrate the end of my credit card debt (!!!) but in the past I've never shopped with a plan. I've just bought things here and there that I liked, then I came home and had no idea how to put them together.

So here's my plan: decide on my uniform, figure out what pieces make up my uniform, buy those pieces in different colors.

Here's my uniform:

legging jeans or pants + top + cardigan or blazer + scarf + plus boots, flats, or wedges + jewelry

Easy.  Maybe a belt thrown in here and there if I'm feeling skinny.  But this is pretty much it.

Anna is very lucky that she can wear jeans to work, so she says she mostly lives in skinny jeans.  I'm very jealous, because I can't wear jeans to work most days. So, I'm just going to make sure I have plenty of skinny dress pants in my work clothing rotation. Here's a look at my shopping plan:

Legging pants

All of these are from the Gap, where I can pretty much always buy my clothes and be happy. These are their legging jeans and I LOVE wearing them. I recently bought a pair of their Always Skinny jeans and I don't even wear them.  For me, my jeans need to be just denim leggings that take the shape of my legs.

The top two rows are pairs I would wear outside of work, since they are denim. The bottom two rows are khaki, so they would fit my work dress code. But all of them would fit into my basic formula, and pretty much year-round.

Easy. Let's move on.


Tops would be the easiest category to shop for.  All of my shirts are basically some version of these four--button up or basic v-neck. I really need a new white button-up, though, and the bottom left has cats on it, so I need it. I tend to get tops from anywhere, though, especially resale shops. If I can stick to the styles I know, though, I can worry less about whether or not to tuck, button, etc.

Cardigan or Blazer

Layering drives up the wall. I always feel like something's bunched up or things aren't laying right.  But, it's my best bet for being prepared for different temperatures, since being a teacher means teaching inside but standing outside for recess duty, and looking more put-together. So it's blazers and cardigans for me, and these are my favorites from Gap. A basic black, a fun stripe, a crew neck and a v-neck.  And neutral colors here, since I can't have as many.

Scarf, shoes, and jewelry

Scarves and jewelry...I don't know.  I'm not really shopping for these items since I already have what I need for now. I think the scarves and jewelry I really want will have to wait for another post for another shopping trip.

But let's talk about shoes.

I'm hoping these will be my shoe purchases this time around. First we have the Toms floral!  That floral reminds me of the 90's for some reason, which I'm convinced is where I really belong.

Below that is the J.Crew Cece printed ballet flat. Not sure if that's the final choice, but being an elementary teacher means flats most days. I usually buy the cheap ones from Target, but I'm ready to try a higher quality flat to see if they'll last longer.

Next is the Toms Desert wedges. I just think these will always work with my legging jeans.  Always.

And finally, the Steve Madden Troopa boot. Love these boots since the first time I saw them on Janae.

So there you have it, my easy formula for dressing myself. Pick one legging pant + one top + one cardigan or blazer + a shoe + scarf and jewelry. Then go. Am I crazy or does anyone else do this?

Now I just need to learn a formula for hair and make-up, and maybe I'll look okay most days.

How do you figure out what to wear?

How long do you spend getting ready in the morning?

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