May 14 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On those days that's when a comfortable jersey dress, slipper soft ballet flats and a never fail finisher piece are your best friends.
Tan and brown it is… Hope things go better all around soon. :)
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.
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.
I would love to have every piece of the warm in my wardrobe.
I love this! This describes most of my mornings.
Hmmmmm. This is how I dress every day. I do feel stressed out a lot.
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.
Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen says
Ah, stress days. We all have them and you've definitely gotten us prepared.
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.
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.
I do the navy blue version. I stress dress most mornings!
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.
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
Ardyth Eisenberg says
I'm sorry you had a monochrome day.
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…
This is an area I have to work on, because I often feel overwhelmed and unable to get dressed without stress, but I have yet to build a functional “safety net” for this mood. Part of the problem is that, while I prefer wearing contrasting tops and bottoms when I’m in an “okay” mood, I too seem to lean monochromatic when feeling down, except I shop for good moods, so most of my bottoms are dark, and most of my tops are light or accent.
I’ll have to think about this and strategize…
One of my favourite posts. I put together a grey “stress dressed” capsule after first reading this post a few years ago. It made sense then, and even more now.
It got me through some really rough patches.
Janice if you’re reading this, it’s what got me into your blog here. This idea of yours was & is brilliant. Heartfelt thanks!
When everything is going nuts I don’t like coping with colour at all!!!
Grey, white & silver is my security blanket. Goes with my black everyday shoes and purse without a pause. I’m still searching for a nice pewter tote and loafers.
I started with 2 dressy casual grey pants and a cosy grey cardigan jacket with a thin grey merino wool top & a white & grey tunic.
I added a couple more blouse type tops in white.
I found a grey & creamy white abstract print silk then a black, grey & cream leopard print silk scarf.
I added grey jeans and a creamy off white wool Irish knit type pullover last winter instead of the dress. I feel chilly when stressed and big cozy sweaters help.
I set aside a pair of cream pearl earrings and silver hoops, with a silver watch. I use them regularly but when I am stressed out, I don’t want another decision to think about. I know I can count on these old regulars.
Having this group ready to pack in a suitcase or just pull out and wear got me through 2 funerals of my father and father in law, my husband’s (thankfully non cancerous) brain tumour, my sisters bout with serious illness, my own bouts of an auto immune disease etc. All in the last 2 years!
I love having this soft soothing security blanket of a capsule to fall back on.
Janice I appreciate what you do, so very much. Thank you.
I’m reading, and you’ve made my day by letting me know that I have helped you. That’s why I write The Vivienne Files!