So this is our first post as part of Fashion/Beauty Friend Friday, directed by the lovely Modly Chic, and we couldn’t have asked for a better first set of questions! P and I have often discussed our very different approaches to getting dressed (usually in the form of him pestering me about what I’m planning to wear and me snapping that I have no earthly idea) so I think we were both pretty excited to read the other’s response. I think I can safely say that we’ve both learned something about each other (which should contribute to enhanced domestic bliss) and we hope you find it as interesting as we have.
L: Grab and go? Sometimes there will be a particular item that I’ve been thinking about and I’ll build around that, but the entire premise of my wardrobe is that everything goes with everything–basically theme and variation–or at least everything is recognizably me, so anything goes, anytime. I do tend to prioritize comfort and function, so jeans, boots and layers are my usual building blocks. I go in cycles with how much I’m dressing up or down and how much effort I’m putting in and that can have a big impact on how much I mix it up. Frequently I’ll start with one thing–a shoe, a jean, a jacket, a piece of jewelry–and add complements around it, or just things that I feel like wearing on that day. I do this standing in front of my closet and a big part of my decision is just whatever catches my eye. Or just reach for the jeans I wore the day before. It’s all pretty haphazard.
P: There is about a fifteen minute span of time in the morning when I am still lying in bed knowing that I can’t go back to sleep, but don’t really have to get up yet that I use to plan my wardrobe for the day. I make my determination based on what the weather will be like — I wouldn’t wear suede desert boots on a rainy day — and what I feel like wearing. I try to give my outfits a bit of variation every day, even though the base items may be the same — jeans for days off and wool slacks for work days. From there I can diversify into shirts, t-shirts, jackets and accessories that I will wear for the rest of the day. I actually think this is a bit difficult. I have been in environments where work meant suit and tie every day, which was comparatively easy since all of my colleagues would be similarly attired and each day meant a different suit and tie combo. However, when having that safety net removed I have to match separates which for me can get tricky.
2. Do you plan outfits out in advance for a whole week, month, weekend?
L: Totally no. Not at all. Ok, well maybe if there’s something specific I’m getting dressed for–like a wedding. But otherwise, no. I don’t have that kind of attention span.
P: Not really. I do it on a daily basis, unless I am traveling and will be forced to pack for a certain time period, then I will do my best to plan what I will be wearing for each day of the trip in order to pack accordingly. That being said, sometimes the best wardrobe contingency planning in the world fails, so then I am forced to improvise. For just that situation I try to have a go-to clothing combo that would fit into any situation.
3. Do you have any specific way of tracking outfits and items already worn so you don’t repeat?
L: I have an encyclopedic memory that allows me to track outfits in my head. I don’t really stress about repeating things though because there’s always a little tweak–a different jacket or shoe, maybe more or less jewelry? I’m really drawn to the idea of a uniform, and something I like I’ll wear over and over happily, be it a silhouette, a color or an item of clothing. Remember my favorite jeans? I also buy multiples of items I wear a lot, which equates to wearing them even more. If something makes me happy, then I’m going to wear it and be happy.
P: I know exactly what pieces are in my clothing arsenal at any given moment and which are in the laundry pile, or at the cleaners. An unintentional repeat isn’t really a problem.
4. How do you discover new combinations of items in your closet? (Trial try-ons? Hanging items together?)
L: Trial-and-error in the morning in the closet. I pretty much put things together in my head and usually have a fairly good idea of whether it will work in reality, with the caveat that “working” is loosely defined as “I like it.” We don’t have a full-length mirror so a certain amount of guesswork is involved. I tend to rely on P a lot, although there are plenty of times when P disagrees with me (he’ll like something I don’t, or vice versa).
P: I try things on together to see how individual items will match. I have always done it that way, and always privately. This spares me from any ridicule from others and means that the poor combinations will never make it beyond a bad reflection in the mirror.
5. To streamline the process for 2011 what is one new thing you can do to cut down your dressing time?
L: Have everything ready to go from the outset–well fit, clean, in good repair. And organized and where I can see it. Visibility definitely increases speed and efficiency.
P: My dressing time is minimal as is. I know where all of the individual items are located. The only way I would cut down on my dressing time would be to wear the same thing every day, and I’m not sure that is something I would want to do.