I recently collaborated with bloomingdales Dubai to promote their Spring Summer 2016 campaign “Be Like No Other”. They filmed a short video of me at home getting dolled up and I let the team in on a little secret of mine; it only takes me 10 minutes to choose an outfit every morning. And it’s the truth! If I end up taking longer than 10 minutes, I get flustered and confused and spend an hour trying on different outfits. It’s uncomfortable and frustrating to say the least. We’ve all been there!
I received lots of messages from my followers after the video was released asking me how this was possible and so I decided to let you in on a few tips I find helpful, both with regards to the grooming process as well as outfit selection. Realistically speaking, this is how I approach getting dressed in the morning; it takes me about 15-20 minutes to shower, 5 minutes to dry my hair and 5 minutes to apply make make up. I spend 5-10 minutes selecting my outfit. So I spend roughly 40 minutes “getting ready”.
I decided to share a few tips that you may find helpful and which may save you a lot more time in the morning. Looking great and feeling great go hand in hand for me. Bear in mind that many people actually enjoy taking their time getting dressed, this is just my personal guide to waking up in the morning and hitting the road running feeling confident and comfortable. Here goes!
- Coffee. or tea. Whatever wakes you up in the morning. I like to drink two glasses of water followed by a Vanilla Latte.
- Music. Nothing puts me in the mood to get dressed like a good playlist. It makes all the difference in the world.
- Skip the polish. If you haven’t had a manicure this week, apply a top coat on your way out the door and finish with cuticle oil. Make sure your handbag is ready. Do not place your phone inside your handbag because you’re going to need it. If you haven’t had a pedi either, choose closed shoes. (Book yourself an appointment ASAP)
- Save the shave. If you haven’t waxed or shaved your legs, choose pants. Don’t rush a quick shave in the shower- you will cut yourself. Nothing will delay you more than a razor cut.
- Ready and Steady. Make sure you do your hair and make up before you select your outfit. Anything you try on will look 10 times better if you’ve got your glam on.
- Love the skin you’re in. Make sure you maintain a good skin regimen because a break-out can lave you feeling frustrated. No amount of concealer will hide that feeling. I wear very little make-up (I don’t really know how to apply it) but I never leave the house without mascara or lipstick. Sometimes a deep red lip makes your entire outfit!
- Order of events. Work your way up. After you choose your shoes, you choose your bottoms, your top, and so forth.
- Dive in- feet first! The first thing I do when I’m about to get ready is choose my shoes. Shoes determine my mood and set the tone for the rest of my day. I am almost always in heels- but sometimes a pair of Nike FlyKnit’s can add a laid-back ‘Je ne sais quoi’ to your look. Think of what errands you have to run and the places you need to be and choose your shoes accordingly. I would suggest a pair of Manolos but taste is subjective. Invest in a pair of gorgeous pumps and a pair of sneakers.
- Back to basics. Invest in good quality basics tops to create a go-to platform in your wardrobe. I would suggest brands such as Joseph, Alexander Wang, Theory, DKNY, and Cos. Stick to a neutral palette; black, white, gray, navy, and beige. This palette will give you the versatility you will need to quickly select your look. I am in no means implying that you should avoid prints! However, if you want to dress an outfit up or down, it’s always best to work with a neutral base.
- Jacket Racket. Make sure you have at least one of the following outerwear essentials; A denim jacket, a black blazer, and a white blazer. Throw one over your shoulders with a white-tshirt and you’re as chic as a 2009 chateau Margaux.
- Good Jeans. A pair of jeans is almost always my go-to option when I’m picking out my outfit, so make sure you have a few pairs in different cuts. I would suggest a skinny, a flare, and a boyfriend. I buy my jeans at Topshop or Current/Elliott because they fit me best.
- Black is King. A pair of tailored black trousers can take you from a business meeting to drinks with the girls. Make sure you have at least two pairs in different cuts. Cigarette trousers are my favourite!
- T-shirts on t-shirts. I can’t stress this enough! Make like Kate Moss and invest in good quality T-shirts. I’m talking Rag & Bone, Sandro, Acne, and even The Row. Good quality t-shirts don’t get ruined in the wash. They look brand new every time you wear them and add an effortless flair to your look. Fabric is key here! I opt for slub cotton or lightweight jersey.
- THE L.B.D is no J.O.K.E. The little black dress is as essential to your wardrobe as water is to your life. It’s just the way it is. With a blazer, with a denim jacket, with sneakers, with pumps, with earrings, with a necklace- there are literally thousands of ways to wear it. Get creative.
- Get with the flow. I could design a flowchart to show you the thousands of outfits you can create with a limited high-quality wardobe but I just didn’t know where to find a template on Microsoft Word. Pick out a pair of sneakers, choose to pair them with a pair of jeans or even a pair black cigarette trousers. choose an essential; a t-shirt or top. Throw a denim jacket over your shoulders and you’re sorted. I know you’re thinking it’s much easier said that done, but whatever look you go for will automatically be on trend if it’s quality; denim on denim, normchore, sport-luxe, preppy. The keyword here is quality.
- Ankles like a Ballerina! Buy ballerina socks in order for them not to show when you wear sneakers. Socks are underwear, and underwear is only for you to see. I find that if you fold your jeans up and show a bit of skin, you can add a playful and youthful element to your look.
- Making a statement. Whether your mum’s hand-me-downs or you splurged on a pair of Oscar De La Renta tassles, a pair of statement earrings go a long way. You can slip them on for a fancy lunch with a t-shirt and jeans or with your LBD and a denim jacket for date night.
- Use your imagination. Everyone has a style icon they look up to. Once dressed- think of that person wearing the very same outfit you’ve just selected. Not bad eh? It applies in reverse too. Fashion is meant to inspire you. Don’t be afraid to imitate you favourite style icons. Who’s to say you can’t look just as good or even better in an outfit your favourite style icon has worn?
MostSome of your favourite style icons take looks straight off the runway! There are no rules. Make a Pinterest account and get inspired. Be brave with your fashion choices and the confidence will ooze through.
- Keep it simple. Coco Chanel once said, “before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” If you’ve over-accessorised, take it down a knotch.
- Trust your gut. Do not second-guess yourself. If you chose it to begin with, don’t think twice about it.