Ever snoozed to the last minute before?
Put on the closest thing to your bed so you wouldn't be late?
Odds are it wasn't a crisp button down.
We've all been there.
In a rush. No time to get dressed properly.
How does one stay organized in this whirlwind of a society?
The difference between success and mediocrity is having disciplined systems.
This is especially true in the area of personal style.
Do you know someone who is consistently well-dressed?
Are they busy?
Most likely, yes.
Their life is probably more hectic than their attire would allow you to guess. And yet, they maintain high sartorial standards because they adhere to disciplined systems.
You can too.
You don't have to learn the time management secrets of billionaires to have great style. All you need is to make some time to set up smart systems that save you time in the long run while elevating your style.
If it’s important, you’ll make the time for it.
Where do you start?
Here are 5 simple steps to get you started on the road to your best style:
1. Plan Outfits The Night Before
In the mornings, we run on cruise control.
When in a rush it's automatic pilot. The fewer decisions to make the better.
Having your outfit for the day laid out and ready minimizes the time it takes to get dressed. When your mind is still foggy, taxing it with simple choices like your options of clothing for the day is going to take longer when your system is still in wake-up mode.
Plan before you hit the sack what you are going to wear the next day. Lay out your clothes, shoes, and accessories and ensure that they complement each other.
Investing in something like a valet makes this habit easy to own. When there is a mechanism of organization it's easy for the excitement of using it to take over.
There are several advantages to making this simple act a daily habit:
- Time saved in the morning, so you don't feel rushed.
- Enough time to fix any problems (broken zipper, iron a shirt or mend a broken button) the night before.
- Better choices (your mind is clearer for these decisions at night).
2. Have A Morning Ritual
This brings order to disorder. When you're in a rush stress takes over because control is lost.
Rituals help bring control back into your life. They are constant.
Having a morning routine in place allows you to take a close look at how you start your day and figure out how to get the most from it.
Have a set system for getting out the door. Use a checklist initially, until the sequence of your morning ritual becomes a habit.
A morning ritual makes it exciting to wake up. Simple domestic tasks like making your bed as soon as you wake up give you a sense of achievement that motivates you to kickstart your day.
Rituals help you accomplish mundane tasks without having to consciously think about how to do them. This saves precious mental energy for more pressing matters later in the day.
Doing them in the same order every day helps calm the storm before the day starts.
Here are some examples of rituals that take 10 minutes or less:
- Shaving (10-minutes)
- Meditation (10-minutes)
- Walking the dog (10-minutes)
- Enjoying a hot cup of coffee (5-10minuts)
- Making the bed (3-minutes)
- Taking a shower before work (8-10 minutes)
3. Keep Your Closet Organized
Messy closets cause stress.
Keep your wardrobe organized so you don’t have to wonder where things are when you are in a rush.
Time is wasted trying to find a missing sock or a tie that you forgot to hang up in your closet the last time you wore it.
Adhere to a simple system of organizing your clothes, shoes and accessories to save time when dressing for work in the morning.
Keeping your closet organized will help you eliminate old and worn-out clothes. Donate old and unused clothes, keeping your wardrobe free of clutter.
Keep this old proverb in mind when your wardrobe starts to get messy – a place for everything and everything in its place.
Less clutter results in less time finding the items you need.
The perfectly organized closet looks like this:
- Suits should have their own section
- Pocket squares and/or lapel pins are pre-set in their jackets
- Separate button downs from polo's (organized from most to least interchangeable)
- Give blazers & sports coats their own section (organized from most to least interchangeable)
- Have an isolated but visible section for accessories (ties on tie hangers, belts on belt hangers, etc)
- Shoes should have a rack or floor space to neatly organize them
- Each hanger should have about 1 inch of space between each item to clearly see the garment and prevent bunching or cluttering
4. Minimize Clothing Decisions
If the majority of items in your wardrobe can be worn interchangeably, you don't have to think about which shirt or tie matches a particular jacket or trousers.
That's the power of an interchangeable wardrobe.
It's a simple rule of multiplication that involves mixing and matching few items of clothing to leave you with a large number of outfit combinations.
What you want to avoid are items that you may love individually but don't match anything. These items will be distractions. The decisions involved in filtering through pieces waste precious time.
Examples of versatile items are:
- Gray and navy suits.
- Dark denim trousers
- Gray flannel trousers
- Blue chambray shirt
- White dress shirt
- Micro pattern light blue shirts
- Grenadine tie
- Brown double-monks
- Brown semi-brogue oxfords
5. Use A Subscription Service
No time to shop?
Have stylish accessories and grooming products delivered to you by signing up for a monthly subscription service.
For a monthly fee, a subscription service will send you a curated and pre-approved box of fashion goodies.
Why should you consider a Subscription Service?
Not only do subscription services save you time spent shopping for the mundane details, but they save you money too. Most items included if bought individually would cost around $150. By skipping the middleman and shipping directly to the consumer, they are able to send a bundle of items for 40-60% less than retail.
Another benefit to subscription services is the surprise factor. You may get an item that you wouldn't normally purchase on your own. Now that it's yours don't be afraid to try it out and see what people say. It could become a new favorite accessory for you. The point is, it can help get you out of you comfort zone.
Subscription services are always in season. It's exhausting to keep up with what colors or fabrics to wear in each period. Subscription services take those decisions away. The items sent are always curated for whatever the current season is.
The last benefit they pay attention to the details. Often times there are things in the back of our mind that we would like to purchase, but it falls to the wayside in exchange for higher priority tasks. These services help build your wardrobe so you become someone who is attentive to the small things.
Examples of items that you may need but forget about are:
- A pair of cufflinks
- Collar stays
- lapel pins
- a nice pair of patterned dress socks
- A bowtie
Having systems in place ensure less decision making, more organization, gaining back the precious time that you need to accomplish the important things. Don't let style be stressful!