Getting dressed in less than 7 minutes, work clothing

  1. Getting Dressed in 'Less Than Seven Minutes'

    By VANESSA O'CONNELL
    August 30, 2007; Page D12

    As vice chairman and creative director of Elie Tahari Ltd., best-known for women's business and career attire, Rory Tahari knows the importance of looking put-together and fresh at the office.
    But with two small children, the 35-year-old Ms. Tahari has "less than seven minutes to get dressed every day," she says. Until about a year ago, she says, she wore the same items again and again. "People used to come up to me at the office and say, 'Rory, you wear the same thing all the time. This is the fashion business.' But I would tell them: 'I don't have time!' "
    Then, Ms. Tahari, whose responsibilities include overseeing the advertising for the Elie Tahari line, devised a strategy to make her morning routine easier. Once every season, she goes through her wardrobe, pairing each blouse with pants or a skirt. Using this strategy, she has been able to pare her wardrobe down to about 75 looks each year, she says.
    The trick, she says, is to place all the elements of a single outfit on one hanger. She suggests acquiring so-called combination apparel hangers, which can hold a jacket and top, as well as a skirt or pants. She even hangs a necklace or other jewelry over the outfit on the hanger. And she uses a Polaroid camera to photograph the shoes that go best with each outfit and then tapes the shoe photo to the hanger, too.
    In all, Ms. Tahari says, she winds up with as many as 20 office looks each season, plus five outfits for casual weekend outings.
    Her strategy also makes it easier for her to figure out which items in her wardrobe she won't be wearing, because they aren't useful. She usually gives these items to family and friends, or donates them to Bottomless Closet, a charity for women looking to get back into the work force.
    Her system has several benefits. "Instead of wearing that jacket or dress all the time, make it look the best it can look and you will get so much more from it," she says. She also can quickly see what else she needs to buy, such as a particular color of turtleneck.
    She recently began using the strategy to pack for family getaways. Rather than throwing in her favorite tops and bottoms separately, she folds entire outfits into large ziplock bags, along with accessories. "Once, we went to St. Bart's and when I got there and opened my suitcase, I saw that I had only packed tops," she says. "But now I pack my key outfits and nothing else."
     
  2. I admire people like this, but I just can't bring myself to do "outfits." I like to mix and match everything.

    My closet is divided into sections: Jeans, pants, skirts, tops, sweaters, jackets, dresses, etc. Then within each section everything is divided by length or style, color and fabric. It makes it very easy to find what I'm looking for.

    My mother only bought me "outfits" when I was a little kid and I think it traumatized me. I rarely wear the same exact outfit more than once.
     
  3. I'm not a huge outfit fan either...I definetly have clothes that only work as an outfit...but mostly I'm mixing and matching as well!
    And I organize by type (bottoms, tops, dresses, etc.) and then it is color-coordinated from dark to light.
     
  4. How do I get dressed in 7 minutes? Put on my shirtdress, button, tie the belt and go!

    however, I'm a huge mix and match separates girl. To speed up the process I try to pick out what I'm going to wear to work the night before and have it hanging on my bedroom door, shoes out, jewelry, etc so I don't waste time wondering what to wear or digging for the other earring...
     
  5. me too! i often also pack a couple of tops for the same bottoms to see what i feel like wearing when i go on vacation. and mixing and matching pieces of my wardrobe allows my wardrobe to look bigger than it is (though admittedly its getting there..) rather than to wear the same 20 looks every season. plus, i'm whimsical in my choices - if its raining, i put on pink shoes, if i'm having a "fat" day i wear a certain pair of pants, if my feet hurt i wear flats with cropped pants, etc.
     
  6. I don't own a lot of clothes but at least they are good quality and some are big name brands.

    I normally plan my outfits for the week. From Monday to Friday. The following week, I do not organize it so that it is a repeat of the previous week. I would change my scarfs, and jewellery.

    Too much planning in advance can ruin your artisc side and planning can make you appear boring.
     
  7. I have too many pieces to pre plan and I agree with "Purses" that too much pre-planning ruin the artistic side of a person and I work well under stress in fact.... 7 minutes is not a short time for me.

    My trick, run through your outfits in your mind when you wash your face and brush your teeth... when its time to approach the wardrobe (be sure the closet is organized so you do not have to "look" for the "missing" pieces")... it should be quite ready to go even with minor "tweaks" or "changes".
     
  8. I don't think I could do that either. I am also someone who mixes and matches based on mood.

    75 outfits? Wow! I think if I counted my whole closet it would be 75 pieces. I don't know how I would get dressed with 200+ pieces.
     
  9. I try to pick out my day's outfit the night before. It's too difficult first thing in the morning to try and choose something stylish. I'll usually stare aimlessly at the closet for about 20 minutes, then reach for the same old blouse and pants. I end up wasting more time than if I'd just picked my clothes the night before.
     
  10. I agree with your routine also, but I found that when I looked in the closet, that particular clothing is in the wash and then I feel disappointed and then I feel that I have to rush. I think it is also about knowing your style, having wardrobe basics and mix and match.
     
  11. Right. If you don't have a lot of time, just take a quick month or so to go through your closet, plan outfits, take polaroids, make a look book, hang all the elements of each outfit on one hanger, and poof! You, too will be getting dressed for work in under 7 minutes!
     
  12. Does anyone else think that Rory Tahari sounds like a terrible control freak in that article?

    Her advice is just doesn't seem practical to me. People who try so hard to be organized and have "a system" usually end up overlooking important things, because they are so caught with little details. Her story about only packing tops for a vacation is a classic example. There's a difference between organized and anal. I don't know, people like her just tend to bother me... :blah: