Planning outfits might seem the height of fashion-victim behaviour (even as I write this I'm picturing Cher in Clueless running through her computerised outfit generator), but it does have its benefits.
- Of course, the major advantage of advance outfit planning is not having to think in the half-hour before leaving the house. Whether you've selected the main garments and potential accent colours in your head the night before, have a jotted note to remind yourself to wear those earrings with that blouse and skirt, or have a notepad of detailed sketches laying out precise garment and accessory combinations, it's a perfect way to look carefully co-ordinated at a moment's notice.
- Another consideration is that planning helps get more use out of the clothes at the back of the wardrobe - the ones that usually get passed over in favour of your "go-to" everyday staples. If they really don't go with anything else you own then perhaps it's time to pass them on, but some pieces are worth putting a little extra thought into finding ways to wear them - it's just that you don't want to be doing that fifteen minutes before going out. Plan more, and defeat the 80:20 rule! (you know, the one about wearing 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time).
- It encourages you to be more creative with your wardrobe. Rather than reaching for the same cardigan every time you wear that dress, actually making yourself think through different ways you can wear the same garment makes for more interesting and stylish outfits.
- It also helps when shopping - if you get in the habit of planning outfits, then when you're out shopping, or browsing online, or planning your sewing list it becomes second nature to do a mental run-through of different ways to wear that dress/skirt/blouse/accessory before deciding to part with cash.
- And inversely, it even helps identify gaps in your wardrobe, if you find yourself coming back to the same "what this needs is X" time and again.
How to plan outfits? Usually mine start from a particular garment - it could be a main piece like a dress or skirt, or something small like a pair of gloves or a necklace - and then I work out from there. Other times, I'll be inspired by a photo or magazine feature which I want to emulate.
Whatever the spark, I build the outfit up in my head, thinking about potential colour schemes (I try and challenge myself to use at least three colours if possible) and considering all the accessories - from gloves and hat to shoes and handbag to scarves and jewellery - then note them down. Generally it's in simple list form, but (for example when I was planning what colours to make my sew-along pencil skirts) I have been known to sketch the outfit and its accessories (which is obviously more time consuming - especially as I'm a bit rubbish at drawing - but also kind of fun as a quick reference guide).
However you do it, spending a little time outfit planning helps maximise your wardrobe's potential and will ensure you look sassy and stylish every day!
Do you plan your outfits in advance? Do you have a system? Any tips or advice to add?