Planning to Break the Fashion Rules | Giftie Etcetera: Planning to Break the Fashion Rules

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Planning to Break the Fashion Rules

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.

planner, weight loss, daily docket, note

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:

tank top, bag

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.

5. Accessorize.

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.


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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Unknown said...

If I was smart, I would know how to do this. I can do it for others, but not for myself. But that is probably because I've just...given up. But in a good way - I go by colors or characters. If the color looks good and bright, I wear it. If the character is good, I wear it. My clothes are to make me feel awesome, I've given up on caring what anyone else thinks about it xD So, horizontal striped long sleeve shirts, because the green and dark blue are good colors! If it makes me look wider, *shrug*, meh. I should, though, organize my closet. I've done it many times in the past, but it always ends up just a bunch of shirts all scattered together!

Jaime Barfield said...

I am good at keeping my clothes organized. I always keep pants, long sleeves, etc at the very back on space saver hanger (the kind that will hold five items of clothes and then fold down. I keep some dressy outfits up front, something I could wear both for work and a funeral. I keep sundresses and capris at the front during summer and switch them with the wintery stuff when winter comes around. My shorts, tanks, and t-shirts are kept in my dresser year round. So are my workout clothes. Makes it for easier access.

As for planning what to wear the night before, it depends on what I have going on. If it is just going to be a casual day, my "go to" is tank, shorts, and sometimes my ugly shoes (rubber crocs) or tennis shoes. The shoes always depend on what I will be doing (will I be in the house or out around town).

Mary Wimbley said...

I had never thought about putting what I plan to wear in my planner. The extent of my wardrobe planning usually only goes to "yep, that looks decent with that," grabbing the pieces and throwing them on. I stick to what I know looks presentable in public and/or is comfortable. Beyond that, I don't think too much about what I wear unless it's a special occasion. I may try this, though. It would probably help streamline my mornings a bit. Thanks for sharing this!

Anna said...

I've learned to have fewer clothes, but find things that I like. Even if it fits & is right for me, if it doesn't make me happy to wear it- it has to go. It's not as hard to decide what to wear when you have fewer choices, and you like the choices you have. I don't generally put what I'm going to wear in my planner, but I do set out my clothes the night before. I am so not a morning person, and the fewer decisions I need to make in the morning, the better. When traveling, I have made lists in my planner to make sure I have what I need. I like to limit what I take by having some basics, and then some things to mix & match. I want to make sure I have a plan & don't forget anything.

muzsi said...

In clothing I'm for keep it simple and comfortable. I don't use accessories (too much to thinking on is not for my ADD brain). I'm lucky that I can where whatever I want, because I work from home, and I don't have meetings with anyone... Or my "usual" clothes works also well. In summer: tank and short, with sport sandals. Not summer: T shirt or longarm, jeans, sport shoes (or boots). This way I have never thinking on, what I wear :D