Editor’s note: This is regular series in which we help Styling You readers solve a particular wardrobe or clothing crisis with a little advice and some shopping suggestions. If you think you’d like to be considered as part of a Wardrobe Boot Camp post, then please email me ([email protected]) with a couple of photos and a brief run down of what specific help you would like.
Katy is a mum who works outside the home and has one-year-old twins. She also lives 40 minutes from where she works. And she blogs here.
Wouldn’t weekday mornings be fun at Katy’s house? NOT.
That’s why Katy contacted me. She estimates she’s got about 10 minutes to get herself sorted as part of the morning rush and she has to get dressed in a corporate-ish kind of way for work at a university, 40 minutes drive away.
I am in a bit of a funk and need things that are really quick throw on but look nice. After reading your blog posts, I have swapped my daily full face of primer/foundation/pressed powder with BB cream. I also quickly dash on Napoleon highlighter for the cheeks and Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm (in Tigerlily colour) instead of lipstick and liner. This is saving time. (I had never heard of BB cream before reading your blog – love it!)
I don’t even know where my iron is. Can you tell the dress I am wearing is not ironed – oops?
I would love to wear heels again but don’t have any in my wardrobe that really fit my post-baby feet well so I have been living in Siren ballet flats.
None of my old work pants fit me again yet post-babies (two years on – sob), so I really want to find a nice pair of black pants that don’t need to be ironed and that will look sharp at work.
I have been into Portmans and Cue a couple of times to look but I don’t really fit well into their sizes.
I am a 10 up top and a 12/10 down the bottom depending on the brand – I actually think I am a size 11 down the bottom but most places don’t seem to do half sizes.
I usually wear dresses these days as they help with the time factor and often don’t need to be ironed if I get them in the right fabric. I usually save up and buy myself one new dress each season from the Myer or Tigerlily sales.
My hair is what suffers the most with the 10 minute routine – I usually braid the fringe (I have a blunt fringe like yours was before you grew it out) and it pretty much lives in a pony tail.
Long gone are the days where I would wash and blowdry and GHD it every morning.
Help me know how to get out the door faster.
1. Ok, so my hat goes off to Katy. She’s already taken on my tips for the two-minute makeup. Yes, it is possible. If you’re wanting to minimise your makeup routine, really think about the bare essentials you need for an everyday look and have just those products on top of your cabinet or in a separate makeup bag. If you put them in a makeup bag and something delays you getting out of the house, then you can easily throw the bag in your handbag and finish putting your face on in the carpark at work!
2. On the hair front, I hear you. I don’t have babies and I’m still a slacker with my hair. My tip to help you mix up your styles during the week would be to wash it on a Sunday afternoon, let it dry naturally or blow dry. Before bed, whip those ghds through it. It won’t be perfect the next morning but it should just take a few run-throughs (two minutes) on the top layers to keep it looking good all day. This style should keep for two days, then you can revert to popping your hair back in a pony … the braid is a great idea and looks like you’ve gone to a lot of effort.
3. Ensure that your wardrobe is organised so that all your work clothes are front and centre. Before going to bed, remove from the wardrobe and hang on your door the outfit you’ll wear the next day – everything down to the shoes and accessories. No time for thinking in the morning. Remove any clothes from your wardrobe that don’t fit you (store them elsewhere if you like but don’t keep them in your main wardrobe).
4. As you already know, dresses really are your working wardrobe friend. It’s a one-garment-per-outfit no-brainer. And there are lots of non-iron options around. Only buy these going forward.
5. Finding the basics, like those black pants, does take a bit of time and persistence. Honestly, tailored pants can be as tricky to buy as jeans as they need to fit your shape. If you are between sizes, then look for styles which have a stretch to them (which definitely means no ironing!) as the size down could work.
6. With shoes, I would suggest working towards a wedge or a kitten heel for your work shoe of choice. It will give you a more polished look but still be wearable. Flats – ballets and loafers – look great with pants for autumn and winter.
7. I love that you’re wearing a jacket with your dress. Jackets are a key wardrobe essential for making you look polished at any time. With the choices below, I’ve kept that black jacket in mind so you could work it back with either the dress or the peplum top/pants. For variety, you could add a coloured jacket to your wishlist – something to work back and “pop” winter grey and black.
Do you have any more tips for Katy to help her get out the door faster but still looking professional for her job?
Katy bought the Target dress and couldn’t be happier … sharing her “after” photo here: