Happy Inauguration Week (photo source)! Usually, it is Michelle Obama who is the talk of the fashion world, but I recently read this Vanity Fair interview, specifically the excerpt below, that piqued my interest with regard to the President’s wardrobe:
You also need to remove from your life the day-to-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” [President Obama] said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions. It’s why shopping is so exhausting. “You need to focus your decision-making energy.” ~Page 4, Obama’s Way by Michael Lewis
This got me thinking about mothers and making decisions. How many decisions do mothers make in a day? Likely, MANY. If you removed the “What am I going to wear today?” decision, would your day run smoother? I’m guessing that, if you are like me, you have about 90 seconds to get dressed in the morning, between getting your kiddo(s) out of bed and helping them with breakfast. Here are two ways to decide what to wear in a snap!
The Minimal Closet
Limiting the number of color options in your closet would definitely cut down on the brain power needed to pair items. Focusing your wardrobe around a set of colors that all look good together (and on you) makes getting dressed, as President Obama points out, a no-brainer.
This idea could be implemented anytime you are buying a new wardrobe, for any reason. Maternity clothes? Only purchase them in a limited number of colors that all match. Starting a new job after some time off? Build your work wardrobe around the same idea.
If the idea intrigues you, try limiting yourself to one group of colors in your closet for two weeks. You may find out you love it!
Wear Three Colors
You also may find out the minimal closet strategy is not for you, or it may not be practical (or tempting) to get rid of half of your closet. Your closet is a rainbow of color and you love having all of the options. In this instance, the “wear three colors” approach may help you minimize your decisions around what to wear each morning. The basic rule is that each of your outfits contains three colors from top to bottom. This idea is relatively easy when two of your three colors are neutrals. Pick two neutrals and add a color with your third. Done.
If you want to get more creative with color, try the age-old color wheel! Yes, I’m talking about the color wheel you learned in your elementary school art class. The same color wheel advocated by the likes of Tim Gunn. How do you, pardon the expression, “make it work”?
Color wheel (photo source)
First off, black, brown and white go with any of the colors. One use of the color wheel is to pick a color and pair it with the color directly opposite (e.g. blue-violet and orange). Colors that are in 90-degree angles to each other also pair well (e.g. yellow and red-orange). To wear three colors, add a neutral into your color-wheel pairing (e.g. violet, yellow and brown).
You could also get all three colors from the color wheel by either picking three colors right next to each other (e.g. blue, blue-violet and violet) or picking colors that line up in a T-shape (e.g. green, red and blue-violet).
Print off a color wheel and hang it in your closet. You could also make the process even easier by organizing your closet by color.
Do any of you limit the color palette to your wardrobe a la President Obama? Have you tried it? What are some ways you try to minimize the “What am I going to wear today” conundrum? I’d love to hear in the comments!