Personal Branding: It Is All In The Mixing And Matching When It Comes To Grooming

“Oh no, I have absolutely nothing to wear to the office!  What about that black pencil skirt with this green top and throw on a little blazer?  Yikes, but I just wore that two days ago, did I not?”

Have you ever heard yourself mutter these words some mornings while trying to get your outfit together?

A couple of years ago, I was one of those people, who, despite the growing array of outfits in my walk-in, still find the audacity to complain, “I’ve got nothing to wear.”  I often hyperventilated – what to wear to the office, without having to do the same outfit three days in a row!  In fact, there was a time a client actually pointed out I was wearing the same outfit when I met him the week before – awkward! Then I stumbled upon the idea of putting together a wardrobe for days, with what I already have; I cannot be happier.

So, before you become a self-declared-no-clothes-to-wear-to-the-office-person, let me tell you something; you can have a whole new wardrobe staring at you in no-time, with these tried, tested and approved method. Hard to believe, right?  Read on.

First and foremost, you will need about two to three hours of your time.  Then scramble-off to your wardrobe; grab a pencil, notepad, clothes rack and a full-length mirror while on your way. Now, from your wardrobe pick out all bottoms like your tailored pants, skirts and jeans.  Jeans must be the non-tattered classic piece that is respectable enough for a dress-down Friday.  Spread them out one by one and check their condition.  If still good, place them on the rack. Otherwise, put them in another separate stack to be chucked-out.

Next, you will have to explore your wardrobe for any tops, jackets and blazers.  The good ones, place on rack.  The ones not good enough to make the cut, put them in the other stack together with the not-too-good bottoms.

That done, now you will have to slip on the bottoms you have put aside on the rack, one at a time.  Match-up the pants and skirts with all the shirts and blouses you think will look well together.  Also, remember to throw in jacket and blazer combinations.  Keep trying until you find several looks that you are really happy with.  It is an amazing feeling to be able to churn together a completely new outfit with what you already have; beats the feeling of buying new ones anytime.

Once you have ascertained which combinations of the tops and bottoms are your favourites, place them on the clothes rack.

Now, you want to go to your wardrobe and collect all of your favourite accessories.  By accessories, I mean earrings, rings, belts, shoes and bags.  Earrings can be a little tricky for the office.  No matter what industry you are in, the dangly earring is a no-go; save that for the after work engagements.  My go-to pieces are often the pearl or diamante studs.

After you have decided on the accessory pieces, go back to your clothes stack on the rack and begin slipping into the outfit combinations again, one at a time.  Then, piece together selected accessories to what you are wearing and see which ones work the best with each combination.

Play around, twirl and look at yourself in the full-length mirror, from all angles.  You have to ensure a 100% satisfaction.  If it comes up to only about 70%, you might want to go back to your stacks of outfits or accessories to re-evaluate.  Go ahead and make as many combinations as possible.

Once you have decided on the few full ensembles, take a picture of each one of them and save these in a folder on your computer or mobile phone.  You might also want to write notes with details or remarks.  This is just to make sure you will not forget anything when re-creating the look later.  You can repeat this process whenever you bring in new pieces of the outfit.

What I love about this concept is that there will be no time lost, no scratching heads, no tardiness, no dowdy combinations and of course, no repetition.   Your morning will be flowing seamlessly now that the outfit situation is in control.

With that extra time in the morning, you can do something more rewarding like sitting down and enjoy your breakfast rather than gulping them down while trying to put on your shoes and making a beeline for the door. So, have fun mixing and matching and enjoy this morning-changing routine!

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