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Friend Friday: planning outfits


Today’s Friend Friday topics is about how you choose and plan your outfits. I see my answers are quite repetitive and rambling and not very conclusive today. I was writing them while half watching Silent Witness, so that’s what you get I guess.

1. and 2. How do you determine what you will wear that day? Do you plan outfits out in advance for a whole week, month, weekend?

For the weekdays, I choose the outfit I am going to wear the night before about 70% of the time, and otherwise I just pick something out in the morning. It doesn’t take me long and there are a few tried and tested combinations. I also don’t have that many officey type clothes, so I tend to rewear quite a lot. Sometimes I know I haven’t worn an item for a while, so I make sure I include it in an outfit.

On the weekends, it’s a different story. Sometimes I plan outfits ages in advance, like if I have a new dress to wear. For example at the moment, I have a new thrifted dress that I have yet to wear. I know exactly what I will pair it with, I just need to find the right day. For a special occasion I will preplan longer too. Tonight is Dave and I’s 11 year anniversary, and I also have a big meeting with lots of senior people, so I did a bit of planning. I decided on an outfit on Monday night. Other weekend days I will just flounce around for a bit in front of my wardrobe and pick things out that I fancy wearing that day.

3. Do you have any specific way of tracking outfits and items already worn so you don’t repeat?

Nope, it’s all in my head! I have a pretty good memory for useless details like that – unfortunately for some other things my brain is like a sieve. It helps that I have a lot of clothes and accessories, I don’t think I will ever run out of possible combinations even if I never buy another thing ever again. I actually repeat outfits all the time as well, just not the ones I photograph. Sometimes I will also take an outfit that I’ve worn before as a starting block, and change a couple of details like the belt, and sometimes bigger things too, until eventually it becomes a new outfit.

4. How do you discover new combinations of items in your closet? (Trial try-ons? Hanging items together?)

Again, it’s mainly in my head. I know my wardrobe very well because I’ve been photographing outfits for so long (since 2007), and I can visualise how something will look easily. I’ll sometimes add a necklace or a belt or something, but I only really deviate from my original plan substantially if it looks really awful. I take inspiration from everywhere, other bloggers, people in the street, in films etc, but the foundation of this is that I know what I’ve got at home really well, so if there’s something I like, or something that has weaseled its way into my subconscious (inspiration isn’t always so explicit and literal), I can think of ways of adapting it to what I already have.

5. To streamline the process for 2011 what is one new thing you can do to cut down your dressing time?

I don’t think I need much streamlining really. I don’t spend much time in the mornings, and the time I spend at night is enjoyable, so I don’t feel I need to cut it down.

But I did used to do this thing while I was doing my Masters where on a Sunday night I used to pick outfits for the week ahead, and put each outfit on a hanger (minus shoes, of course) so that in the morning everything was in one place. That worked well, I can’t remember why I stopped. You need some fairly sturdy hangers though, and you can’t repeat during that week.

So it seems I do a little bit of everything, some planning, some last minute decisions, some tried and tested combinations, and some explicitly new juxtapositions. What about you, kittens?

Here’s the roundup of this week’s posts.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • MisfitsVintage 14 January 2011, 9:27 am

    Great pics – so much blue and red! I especially love the blue checked dress and the prettypretty floral dress. Great answers too and so interesting to see how others plan (or don't plan!) their outfits. Thanks for this great post. Sarah xxx

  • Emily Knightley 14 January 2011, 9:38 am

    Congrats on the 11 years!!

    I think I'm pretty much the same – I plan outfits for special occasions but the rest of the time it is a little more spur of the moment!

    I also repeat outfits – I just don't photograph them twice!! If I love a combination, I figure, why not?!!

  • oranges_and_apples 14 January 2011, 9:48 am

    Thank you! Dave made me the checked one – it's a free pattern on Burdastyle (Marie, I think?). I was going to make more of these mosaics for other colours but ran out of time πŸ™

  • oranges_and_apples 14 January 2011, 9:49 am

    I know! I think people can get a bit carried away with the no repeats thing. It's nice to mix things up but there is actually nothing wrong with wearing something again in exactly the same way!

  • chantele cross-jones 14 January 2011, 10:39 am

    Hello. The programme (I now have thanks to the hubs) is called Dress Assistant, its a new app for the mac and cost about Β£12 I think. You upload photos of all your items (ok so that may take a while but we have started and have done all my shoes so far) then you put them in their categories (Jackets, skirts, heels, bags etc) then you can choose to add, name, description, size, wearable preference, weather preference and colour. It then allows you to build outfits by dragging the items together and save, print or export the outfits you make. It will store all made outfits and you can name then and date them like a style diary. It looks great, just hope I use it now.

    Daisy Dayz Home
    Cross-Jones-Photography Home

  • colletteosuna 14 January 2011, 10:48 am

    Cute outfit on the hanger idea…..:)

    Stop by and say Hello:)
    Enter my Lulus Giftcard Giveaway!!β™₯

  • northwest is best 14 January 2011, 11:51 am

    Happy anniversary! I'd forgotten it was Friday until I opened up this post. I don't plan my outfits ahead – I usually decide when I wake up and I'm lying in bed, half asleep and half awake.

  • ClosetConfections 14 January 2011, 12:01 pm

    From this pics, I'm guessing blue is one of your favorite colors. It looka lovely on you. Not much planning during the week seems to be a common thread amongst most people's answers. I'm the same way.


  • Katy_Rose1 14 January 2011, 2:40 pm

    I love the way you added art to this post. It's a creative way to show case the whole outfit planning process. Congrats too on celebrating your 11th year anniversary! Amazing. – Katy

  • Veshoevius 14 January 2011, 5:30 pm

    I love the outfit mosiac! I think I have a very very similiar approach to you but you explained the thought process much more succintly! I'm impressed – I know you may not do it anymore but you're the first friend friday blogger who has actually mentioned in their post that they planned outfits for the week ahead and hung them all out!

  • Sacramento 14 January 2011, 5:42 pm

    Good to know how you put things together.
    Mil besos and a superb weekend.

  • Rebecca 14 January 2011, 6:14 pm

    I love the blue plaid dress you're wearing in two of those pictures.

  • FashionMomma 14 January 2011, 7:36 pm

    Oh, girl, I wish I didn't need streamlining! I'm a mess in the mornings. I'm so jumbled and exhausted, can't think straight… and I usually come to work in a hodge podge! I wish I had your clear thoughts in the morning!


  • Shallowmallow 14 January 2011, 8:33 pm

    Pretty much the same here πŸ™‚ Some outfits bear repeating and usually I just go with the flow.

    Very rarely, usually while watching tv, I suddenly realize that this blouse and that skirt and those tights- and I actually make a sketch so I'll remember to wear my AMAZING outfit idea.

    Sometimes I get dressed in the dark and regret it when I reach my rather well lit work place.. why, I thought that was purple..

  • SheisSara 15 January 2011, 1:01 am

    We pretty much plan outfits the same πŸ™‚ I love seeing all of your looks lined up like this πŸ™‚

  • Linda 15 January 2011, 5:32 am

    Wow. You used to plan for a whole week? Did you find that you needed to make many adjustments as the week progressed? I imagine it would be hard to know exactly how you'd be feeling from day to day.

    The Auspicious Life

  • Ceri 15 January 2011, 4:41 pm

    It is great that you can make your outfits so quickly and they always look amazing- lots of blue and red. Sometimes mine are an impulse others particularly for rare evenings out can take much longer and lots more planning.

  • ShenDove 15 January 2011, 5:19 pm

    I think it's impressive that you pick out our outfits so frequently ahead of time, I plan to get better at that this year!

  • fashionforteens 16 January 2011, 4:42 am

    I agree with you, sometimes(well actually a lot of the time) I pick outfits out that morning and otherwise I do it the night before. That''s a good idea to pick everything out and hang it up beforehand.

  • Tracey 18 January 2011, 11:35 am

    Franca, you're such a wonderful source of stylish inspiration.
    I can't believe how organised you are (it's probably why you end up looking so fabulous) – I tend to rummage around each morning until I find anything to wear and then just get myself out the door … I really need to plan my outfits better.

  • TMHessler 19 January 2011, 9:18 pm

    I am so glad I am not the only one that plans outfits based on something they buy years in advance or for a special occasion!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:13 am

    Aaww, thank you my dear! I'm not as organised in other parts of my life
    though, sadly!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:13 am

    Thank you!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:13 am

    Haha, yes that happens to me too sometimes!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:13 am

    It's nice isn't it, i'll have to tell Dave who made it that it's getting
    much love, he'll be pleased!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:13 am

    Thanks! it is quite weird, 11 years! It feels like yesterday that it was 3
    years, and that seemed ages!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:13 am

    I had more time on my hands when I was doing my Masters and I also wasn't as
    confident in my ability to make up stuff on the spur then.

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:13 am

    Thanks! It worked quite well for a while!

  • oranges_and_apples 28 January 2011, 8:13 am

    Oh, how nice for you to not have to know what day of the week it is! I NEVER
    forget its Friday because I'm looking forward to the weekend so much!