How To Get Dressed In the Morning: A Study in Navy, Berry, and Wine
There are two mind exercises I utilize while getting dressed in the morning:
1. What is the context of which I will be wearing this outfit? What's my environment for the day, and who will be looking at what I have on? There's always an excuse to dress up, of course, but some days I have to look more stylish because I'm dealing with clients, and other days I have to wear a dirty onesie because I'm doing chalk art on the sidewalk, and sometimes I just have to wear red - because I have to wear red. Every look, every day, tells a story - and that story must have a setting. An office that you visit five days a week still counts. What about an important meeting on Tuesday at 2pm? Interviewing interns on Friday at 9am? There is something valuable to starting your day with such intention.
2. When combining colors, I flatten the hues of my look to simple, paint sample-like circles. It takes away some of the guessing game of, "does this ___ go with this ____?"
One of the last steps of my getting dressed process is the picking of scarf. As a rule of thumb, my core look centers around navy, black, white, or gray. (Tone on tone is encouraged, like dark denim with a navy blazer, as seen here.) After I've picked the bag and my shoes are on and I'm grabbing for a "cravat", I go for no more than two or three separate hues. A small number of contrasting shades from similar sections of the color wheel - like peach with magenta, mint with bright blue - make things subtly intriguing. Sometimes, I'll match the scarf to the bag. Other times, my lipstick will match my scarf.
One timely message regarding the blazer: this time of year is Grade-A for sporting all your interesting blazers and jackets that are too thin for winter and too hot for early fall. Make a point of pulling them out now.
As for the get-up, which I wore for a day of working-girl things out and about in Georgetown, I chose:
- a vintage Talbots blazer I found at the Salvation Army in Ann Arbor (the shoulder pads in this wool jacket became a flattering asset after I had a tailor tighten up the armpit, sleeves, and hem) (there are anchors on the gold buttons - so cool),
- Levi's high waisted skinny jeans I'm currently in the process of "breaking in",
- my Madewell boots I just brought home from the cobbler,
- a pink scarf my dear friend Greer gave to me for my birthday. (I'm wearing a version of look #16, the New York, from 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf),
- a good fake leather bag.