As the mother of teenage daughters I am increasingly finding myself standing by the front door saying "it's time to go...but you've had an hour to get ready...your hair looks fine...I don't care which shoes you wear...no, you don't have time for make-up...we really need to go...JUST GET IN THE CAR, FOR GOD'S SAKE!!"
I confess to having very little patience with people who take ages to get ready. This is probably because for the last 16 years or so, getting myself ready has been very last thing on the list, after organising kids and food and drinks, packing bags, checking directions, making sure pets are secured and doors are locked. As a result I can have myself showered, dressed, made-up and ready to go in 7 minutes. Ten minutes if I'm going somewhere fancy. And still be waiting by the front door for the rest of the family.
Of course, if you have an abundance of time it is a lovely luxury to spend hours choosing your outfit, experimenting with accessories and perfecting your hair and make-up. But it is also important to be able to get ready quickly when you have to. The saviour here are Go-To outfits that you can throw on in seconds then head out the door feeling confident that you look fine.
Dresses are a great aid to speed-dressing, especially if you have found wardrobe treasures that you can wear to lots of places and across seasons. Of course, this is where the LBD really comes into its own. I possess a ridiculous number of black dresses - for hot weather, cold weather, casual events, work and evening wear - and they are almost always the items I grab when I have only minutes to get ready. The 'not this again!' feeling can easily be dispelled by mixing them with different jewellery or scarves.
My winter go-to is jeans, a woollen jumper, boots, a colourful scarf and my favourite velvet jacket. This ensemble can take me to school drop-offs, the supermarket, art galleries or dinner with friends. For something a little more up-market, I switch the jeans for a black skirt. For work, my go-to is black trousers and a silk shirt. No fussing or agonising, I just throw on the first ones I see and scoot out the door.
I don't know about you, but I find it helpful to spend a few hours, once or twice a year, compiling my go-to outfits. Just knowing which shoes and pants look good together, or which necklace suits a certain shirt makes a big difference to confident speed-dressing. The best time for this seems to be the change of seasons, when I'm rearranging clothes storage, clearing out the never-worns and compiling my shopping wish-list. Some stylists recommend taping photos of your go-to outfits inside the wardrobe, but I've never gone that far.
Do you have any speed-dressing tips? I'd love to hear them : )