My heart pounds. I click on the light switch, staring into the claustrophobic space. Sweat pools under my arms. My breath hitches.
I have to find something to wear.
I'm a decisive rule-follower perfectionist. But I'm also an over forty, plus size, work-at-home (so, sometimes, on the road) mom.
I desperately needed to develop a system for planning out clothes ahead of time.
1. Decide on outfit type.
When creating a daily docket, I look at my schedule and decide the "type" of outfit that I need to wear.
In today's example, I was meeting a friend for coffee and beignets in an outdoor area in south Louisiana. It was going to be hot. I would also be running some errands at stores.
I had nothing work-related or more formal to do. I didn't need to wear workout clothes, since I would come home and change before working out.
I wrote some notes in my planner (circled in the above picture).
A tank top (due to heat), shorts (due to heat, but tailored ones since I had a social engagement), and comfy shoes for lots of walking (but not my running shoes) were in order.
2. Have some standard "uniforms" that fit your body type.
TIP: Write this out in the Notes or Files section of your planner.
My standard uniforms include:
*Workout - longer stretchy shorts or yoga pants, t-shirt/long sleeved t-shirt, sweatshirt if chilly, socks or yoga socks, running shoes
*Casual (Hot) - v-neck tank top or t-shirt, shorts, walking shoes
*Casual (Mild/Colder) - Add pants or jeans and a sweater. Add a scarf. Maybe boots.
*Business Casual - Dressier v-neck or blouse, skirt, dress shoes.
*Dressy/Business - One of about four suits/dresses. I stick to the basics since I don't wear this often. Little black dress (actually, gray), dark gray suit, a party dress, and a funeral dress.
*Cold - It's Louisiana. I own one big coat. I wear it once every five years or so.
3. Know YOUR "what not to wear" rules and follow them!
No matter the fashion trends, there are things that you just know look better on you. Stick to those things.
I look much better in a v-neck. Even for tank tops, I try not to get square or round collars. Also, because of my body shape, I look better slightly longer sides on my shirts. I try to find those whenever possible.
A certain cut of sweater looks best on me. I have that cut in short and long sleeves, in several colors.
I also have a color palette that works for me (neutrals - blues and browns and grays; colors - deep reds and purples, oranges, and blues).
Don't waste your time or money on what looks bad on you!
4. But try on clothes that break the rules.
Normally, a top heavy plus size short lady cannot get away with horizontal stripes. But I love the look of horizontal stripes. It reminds me of reading, from left to right. Horizontal stripes appeal to me.
So I get away with them like this:
Note that they are light-colored pin stripes, so they are more texture than color. The additional contrasting color on the sides of this tank make the middle more slimmer. The sides of the tank are not just darker, but also slightly longer, elongating my body. The tank skims away from my body due to a nice cut. And the shorts are shortish because my legs are short so I can get away with showing more of them!
Sometimes, if you just try something on, you realize that some items can break the rules and still be flattering.
TIP: Make a list of accessory ideas for your planner.
I wear a lot of necklaces, scarves, and chunky bracelets (to draw attention to the ends of my arms and my face). But I have mighty calves, so no socks that show, fewer flats and more wedges, and no to most boots on my legs.
THE RULES THAT YOU SHOULD NOT BREAK:
I am doing the following, consistently:
-bringing fewer pieces of crappy clothes that are unflattering into the house,
-streamlining my closet with a one in/two out rule,
-keeping the closet organized by type - pants, shorts, tank, shirt, long-sleeved shirt, sweater, etc., and
-consistently deciding the night before and setting the clothes out based on my daily plan.
So get out your planner and decide what to wear.
BONUS TIP: If you need something desperately and keep needing it (like shoes to go with a particularly favored outfit), put it on your shopping list.
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