Updated: May 2, 2019
Do you ever walk up to your closet and think: "I have nothing to wear"? You stare at your wardrobe at a loss not knowing what to pick? If the answer is yes, join the club. Most of us have been there. I sometimes wake up to a yelling match of my toddlers, lousy weather, or a slew of work emails. None of which makes me particularly happy and excited about getting dressed.
On days like that, I stare at my closet for a long time. I wonder back and forth from my kids closet (where I store my dresses and skirts) back to the master bedroom's closet with no ideas. Nothing feels right. On days like these, I follow my bulletproof plan.
This amazingly simple plan saves me every time:
First, I need to get the children ready and out of my eyesight. We do the morning routines, and they get dressed. As soon as they are ready, I send my hubby and toddlers into the kitchen to get breakfast. Phew. Me-time now.
Second, now that I am alone with my thoughts or lack of them, I head into a shower. Then comes a short ritual of makeup application. It is a very efficient and effective routine: mascara and eyebrow gel. After that, I am back at my closet. Now what?
The third, and final (the most important) step is to pick a color. Just select a color in your mind. I choose red. So I grab a red top. Now, I just need to find perfect bottoms - jeans, this time. Voila! I am ready to go. Almost.
A little bit of color psychology. Red signifies strength, energy, and love for life. It is a statement color that will make you stand out in any crowd. You will project leadership qualities, ambition, and determination.
If red is not your choice today, maybe try a lovely bronze or copper color. Let's say a copper skirt. Copper works well with white and natural tones. The color signifies warmth, charm, and confidence. If you have a client meeting, an outfit that has copper in it will be perfect for the occasion.
If your color of the day is purple, you will project poise. This color stands for royalty, wisdom, and independence. Purple matches well with yellow (my favorite combo), grey, blue, orange, and green.
If all else has failed, stick with the lovely blue or navy. Any shade of blue projects strength. You will convey calm, confidence, stability, and security. Blue is friends with many colors like yellow, red, grey, purple and other shades of blue. I am sure you have a pair of jeans and enough tops to pick the perfect combo.
I hope you understand where I am going with this. Limiting your choices to a particular color frees your brain. We all have too many things in our closets. On days when we are overwhelmed and stressed, the mind cannot process all the possible outfits to give us an option. Instead, all you get is an "error" message: nothing to wear.
By limiting your choices, you are freeing your mind by giving it fewer options to analyze. As soon as you zero in on your color of the day, the ideas on what to wear and how to style will start to surface. The limitation will also force your brain to improvise. You might surprise yourself with bold styling choices.
I cannot put it any better than psychologist Barry Schwartz who states that too many choices paralyze us. When we have too many options, we are unable to choose. And this is somewhat counterintuitive. One would think that the more options one has, the better. But no! The more choices present, the harder it is, if not impossible, to make a selection.
"Because the truth of the matter is, if you shatter the fishbowl so that everything is possible, you don't have freedom. You have paralysis." Barry Schwartz.
Give it a try. You will be surprised how much easier it is to get dressed once you limit your options. If limiting by color is not your jam, try selecting pants, skirt, or dress as a base for your outfit.
So to recap, here is the amazingly simple three-step plan:
- Get rid of distractions: Children, pets, or better halves need to leave the room to allow the brain to settle down.
- Refresh and settle down: Quickly washup or do your morning routine to allow the mind to relax into the familiar pattern.
- Pick a color or category: Select a color or an item category and feel the inspiration bubble up inside of you.
Additions are optional but hugely beneficial.
Once you choose an outfit, do not forget to add a necklace or earrings. Accessories give an outfit more depth and character. You do not need to add a lot; you are not a Christmas tree. Just add one or two items, and you are all set.
When you are selecting accessories, keep in mind color combinations. Anything yellow will work well with purple. A pop of any color will transform an outfit into an edgier version of itself. Jeans and red top will look stunning with navy blue, green, or silver accessories.
A statement necklace is a great option but use it cautiously. Make sure that color pairs well with the outfit; the jewelry is not distracting or overwhelming.
For the shoes, you can never go wrong with white sneakers; they are a staple item in fashionista's closet — white pairs well with all the colors. Not to mention sneakers are always in style.
Of course, feel free to add any pumps, boots, or sandals with a heel (of any hight). A little bit of a heel makes any look more polished and feminine. If you have had a bad experience with high heels, there are many brands now that claim to make comfortable heels; you can give them a try.
If you feel like you do not have enough staple items in your closet, check out my post on wardrobe basics. The article is an excellent guide that will bring clarity and focus to your wardrobe.
Photos by Oksana Kovneva