As a stylist, I take all sorts of grief. You heard me correctly – grief. And it most often is served up at the grocery store. You heard me correctly again – at the grocery store. A better headline here would have been Grief at The Grocery Store! But alas what fashionista would open that blog post?

Overheard at the kale aisle, “Oh Doreen, of all people to run into, I just came from the gym.” Here’s the question for all the elementary school teachers out there, is that even a sentence? Does the first half of the sentence have anything to do with the second half?

Overheard in the cheese department, “Hi Doreen, I was hoping you wouldn’t see me.” What is this, the high school mean girls club, “If she doesn’t see us we won’t have to talk to her, quick go hide.”

Overheard at the register, “Yikes Doreen, I looked for another aisle so I wouldn’t have to stand next to you.” Plague maybe? Grief at the grocery store maybe?

No, it is women judging themselves. We are our own worst critic. We see things that no one else sees and wish it were different, but let’s realize that we can fix the things that are fixable if  you are uncomfortable with your appearance.

And despite tag lines like ‘Judgement Free Zone’ popping up everywhere (Planet Fitness dare I say), you are judged, and most often, most quickly, by your appearance. That 7-second rule about making a good first impression simply refers to when someone, anyone, first looks at you, they judge you, they form an opinion about who you are, what your traits or characteristics are, education level, socioeconomic level and the research shows at least 10 other major factors are involved. Sounds like a pretty heavy 7 seconds, wouldn’t you say? But believe it or not, that’s not even what I am referring to here!

How you are dressed, not only affects others perception of you, but it effects how you view yourself. Therein lies the story behind grief at the grocery store. These women are not judging me for looking put together at the grocery store, they are judging themselves (making a comparison) for being not put together in a public space. Judging themselves and making excuses simultaneously.

It is my intention, in my everyday work with women, to instill confidence in your skill to pull it together. To figure out how to do the 10-minute tidy! Because no doubt if you took ten, it would change your day, whether at the grocery store or the gas station! Admit it, when you feel pretty, well damn, you just plain feel pretty.

Sing the song with me from West Side Story, “I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and gay!

Overkill? Okay, but you get my point. I want you to always feel good about yourself and it only takes a few minutes of personal time – we all deserve personal time – no doubt, no argument there!

So, let’s get dressed in under 10 minutes and yes, this works for the office, the errands, the school pickups, wherever you go that you should clothe yourself – okay, that’s just everywhere except the shower!

Select Your Outfit the Night Before

This grade school habit still works wonders when you’re an adult. The key is to pull together the whole look the night before, including shoes and accessories. What floats to the top? Possibly the missing items that have been in the laundry pile for weeks, or the multiple forgotten dry cleaner pickups? Wouldn’t you rather know that the night before? You will also find that you are more creative at night when you are not frazzled because the morning coffee cup is empty.

When in Doubt, Dress Monochromatic

Stick with your neutrals – black, navy, brown or grey and wear that single hue head to toe for a long slim line. Pulling those items together is as simple as selecting all the blues from the Crayola box! It’s not rocket science here, just streamlined styling. And by doing it in advance you just might have the energy (time) to add a pop of last minute color with a scarf or necklace.

Check Your Lookbook for a Premade Outfit

I just heard you – what the hell is a pre-made outfit? One of the many services that I do for my clients is to create an electronic lookbook. I assemble and photograph any agreed number of outfits seasonally including professional and casual looks complete with shoes/boots and accessories. The possibilities are endless for my clients including creating capsule wardrobes which makes traveling a breeze. Oftentimes the number of outfits created matches my clients’ calendar of events, thereby getting her rocked and ready months in advance. She just flips through her iPad for her daily outfit inspiration! Easy breezy! Check out this Sample Client Lookbook.

Don’t Overthink It

When you overthink it, you tend to ‘over’ all of it – over layer, over accessorize, over worry. Keep it simple. Have good go-to foundational pieces of clothing already stocked in your wardrobe –  a great fitting pair of black pants, dark wash jeans, a solid long sleeve top, a multi-color sweater or blazer, great looking comfortable black shoes and of course a current, flattering coat to pop over everything. Don’t ruin a good quick look with a dirty down puffer! The same goes for the accessories, keep it simple if you are doing the ten-minute drill. Have a few go-to simple pieces of jewelry so the Elizabeth Taylor bling doesn’t outshine your clean, neutral, monochromatic kale aisle outfit! Or, just pop a little monochromatic red – red earrings, red necklace, red lips!

Need help pulling your looks together in ten minutes?

Here are some options:
Pick up my DIY sassy style guide:
Confidence Is Always In Style
Engage in my Complimentary Consult Call
Attend one of our Spring Workshops


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