May 19, 2014 at 3:40 PM ET
Try these shortcuts for pulling together a flawless wardrobe look in no time flat.
Keep your accessories by the door
You have favorite accessories that you reach for every day — say a pair of versatile earrings or a watch — try keeping those pieces in a bowl by the front door. You can reach for them quickly in the morning as you go for your keys — and even save a few precious extra seconds by putting them on in the car or subway on your way to where you’re going.
Turn the shower into a clothing steamer
Before you get the shower, hang a wrinkly garment on a hanger in the bathroom and keep the door closed. You’ll find the steam helps remove wrinkles from your clothes without the need to take time out to iron. (As if you even have time in the morning to let that sucker heat up!)
Pack an inner bag
If you’re the type of girl who frequently swaps out her handbag, you can make the switcheroo quickly and easily without forgetting anything: Simply pick a small, soft bag to use as an inner pouch that holds all your essentials — wallet, lipstick, antibacterial gel, or whatever “essential” means to you — and just drop it into the new bag you pick each day.
Stick with a basic purse
Of course, you can avoid that last step altogether by opting for a neutral, go-to bag that matches with absolutely everything. Spend a little more on a high-quality piece that goes with brown, black, gold, silver and everything in between. The result will be not only a time savings — but will add up to a cost-per-wear figure that you can totally live with.
Choose wear-with-everything work shoes
Instead of accumulating a closet full of fun shoes that never — ever — seem to go with that outfit you’re putting together in a mad dash in the morning, opt instead of a couple of pairs of neutral, stylish — and comfortable! — kicks. Even if they’re a little more expensive than you’d usually spend, you’ll find you can reach for them in no time flat to complete just about any outfit.
Have a go-to blazer
The thing about a nicely tailored blazer (or even a mediocrely tailored one, frankly), is that it has the power to pull together an entire outfit, no matter how disheveled it might otherwise be. Use it to hide stains on a blouse that you didn’t have time to clean, or dress up a too-casual work wardrobe when everything else is at the dry cleaner.
Stock up on dresses
Separates can take tons of time to locate and then to match, whereas throw on a flattering frock and you’re out the door quick.
One of the most frustrating time sucks in the mornings can be trying to match the various components of an outfit. Make like New York girls, known for wearing lots of black for any occasion year round. It looks smart, and it’s practical too — since every piece matches!
Eat before you dress
Eat your breakfast while you’re still in your robe (or heck, birthday suit!). If you dribble something down the front of your fresh outfit, you’ll be scrambling to put together a new look or remedy a stain — and who on earth has time for that?
Let your closet work for you
It might seem like a huge time commitment to organize your closet — but a tidy space can slash your getting-dressed time every single morning. When you know where everything is, you can reach for it quickly and be on your way. This might mean keeping like colors together, or like styles (blazers together, blouses together, dresses together, and so forth). When it’s still dark outside and you have five minutes to be out the door, you’ll be glad you committed to that time in advance.
Check the weather forecast the night before
If you wake up to find it’s pouring rain — and yet you have no idea where to find your rain coat or umbrella — well, that’s going to add quite a bit of time to the morning routine. Do yourself a favor and check the forecast the night before so you can have all the accessories you need at the ready.
Act like every day is school picture day
Remember school picture day? Channel that preparedness by picking out your outfit the day before. Lay it out somewhere free from pet hair, or hang everything on a single hanger in the closet — accessories and all — so you won’t forget a thing. You’ll be dressed in a few minutes flat.