Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How to get "stress dressed"...

I am asked this question often - is there anything I can do to be prepared when I have one of those mornings and I just can't get dressed?

Today's a particularly appropriate day for me to write this, because I'm wearing my version of this today - head to toe black with accessories...

For me, the best way to be prepared for this is to have ten items - six garments and four accessories - specifically assigned (in my mind, at least) for these days when everything feels like it's falling apart.  You can work this in any color scheme, and the garments in question are an excellent base for both a travel wardrobe or a new simpler closet.

You have to accept that you're going to wear a very simple monochromatic outfit, flat shoes, and no more accessories than maybe earrings or a scarf...

If you don't wear skirts, you could easily substitute another pair of pants.  If you don't wear dresses, I strongly encourage you to reconsider - dresses are the single easiest thing in the world to wear. (it's the one advantage we have over men in the wardrobe department).

Simple flat shoes that you can wear with pants or a skirt, a simple, solid-colored bag, stud earrings, and a scarf; you have 10 outfit options now.

A simple black capsule wardrobe for stress dressing
Clothes – Uniqlo, scarf – Radical Chicflats – Vince Camuto, earrings – 21 dgrs, bag - Fossil

10 outfits from a 10 piece travel capsule wardrobe for stress dressing

If you prefer grey to black, don't feel that you have to match the shades exactly.  And when you're looking for accessories, consider looking for "pewter" - a more muted silver that blends well with all shades of grey.
10 piece travel capsule wardrobe for stress dressing
Clothes – Uniqlo, scarf – Radical Chic, earrings – Maya Magal, flats – Me Too, bag – Jack Germain

10 outfits from a grey 10 piece capsule travel wardrobe for stress dressing

This also works with warm colors - bronze accessories and a variety of shades of beige, tan and brown are a morning "no-brainer" for those days when you can't be bothered.
a 10 piece beige and tan travel capsule wardrobe for getting stress dressed
Clothes – Uniqlo, scarf – Radical Chic, earrings – V by Valkeniers, flats – Ecco, tote bag - Braccialini 

10 stress dressing outfits based on a simple beige and tan capsule travel wardrobe

Looking Back:

2012 - In what turned out to be among the most popular posts I've ever written, I built A Bonus Fours... in navy and grey, very relaxed and more trendy than my usual...

2013 - I adore these colors... Red, black, white, and two Hermes scarves; another travel six-pack.



  1. Hope you're ok Janice... On such days I think I would rather turn toward the greys you show here (beautifully selected by the way). Grey feels comforting and reassuring, while I find black depressing, but I think that's very personal. I've been working toward putting together a grey mini-wardrobe.

  2. On those days that's when a comfortable jersey dress, slipper soft ballet flats and a never fail finisher piece are your best friends.

  3. Tan and brown it is... Hope things go better all around soon. :)

  4. The gray is beautiful and I like the variants of shade in the brown set. Hmm maybe a gray set with varying shades of gray from charcoal to pale gray?

    Hope the stresses of the day fade soon.

  5. I like the tan beige as it goes better with my colouring. Would also consider navy and white.

    You will feel better after todays full moon.

  6. I would love to have every piece of the warm in my wardrobe.

  7. I love this! This describes most of my mornings.

  8. Hmmmmm. This is how I dress every day. I do feel stressed out a lot.

  9. I have both a black and gray version of this and by comibining them can easily get dressed for long periods of time from those peices. Adding various black/white patterned blouses adds even more options.
    A few accent colored blouses for when I want to spark up the look, and that is my basic work wardrobe.

  10. Ah, stress days. We all have them and you've definitely gotten us prepared.

  11. When real stress sets in, I tend to dress myself in what my grandmother used to call a "housedress" (zip-front is recommended) and slippers. If this housedress/duster has pockets, so much the better. Stressful conditions call for pockets.

  12. A very timely posting! I just hurt my knee and was preparing for getting an x-ray and then possibly a few days in hospital with my husband having to pack for me as I couldn't stand up...I was very glad I'd simplified my wardrobe after reading Janice for a few years!
    Luckily the anti-inflammatory tablets have worked and I can now stand up but it is a lesson that we all need to be prepared for sudden accidents.
    Also we all do have the mornings Janice talks about! An unexpected early phone call with bad news, a teenage drama, house problems, a run to the emergency ward in the middle of the night. It helps to be able to dress quickly in something that looks even slightly put-together!
    Janice, again thank you.

  13. I do the navy blue version. I stress dress most mornings!

  14. I love this concept for easy dressing but I wonder what you do on those days when you don't want to look put together. I know it sounds strange but when I am sick or out of sorts I like to signal my status by appearing less put together.

    1. The opposite is the case if you have to front at the office looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on no sleep or after some

  15. I'm sorry you had a monochrome day.

  16. On days like that I find that key pieces that I need to get dressed are in the wash!

    I think the closest I get to monochrome is dark blue. I've got a lot of dark blue, but not much else that matches... I should probably work on that...

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