LILLIAN CHARLES

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3 Ways to Decide What to Wear

To be completely honest, I cannot wait to get dressed, no matter the occasion. The act of putting together an outfit, for me, is artwork. It's fun. It's exciting. And yes, sometimes it's challenging -- especially when I'm planning for an event or a trip and NOT allowing myself to buy anything new. 

We've all heard it: most of us wear something like 20% of what have. We pick our favorites and the rest falls by the wayside every single season. There are two ways to look at this lesser used portion of your wardrobe: You can ditch 80% of your wardrobe and really go completely minimalist. Or you can put a little more thought into the way you choose what you wear each day.

Here are three (legitimate, real-life, actual-factual) 
ways that I brainstorm what
I should wear for
any given occasion.
 

1. Start with your feet.

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I love this one. This is how I pick out 85% of my outfits on any given week day that I'm in Atlanta. I ask myself:Where am I going today?

  • How much walking am I doing?
  • Am I shopping in a mall (TONS of walking)? Or meeting with clients or potential brand partners in-home or at a coffee shop?
  • Who am I going to see (although I wear "nice" sneakers, I don't typically wear sneakers to see clients if I'm going to their home... on the first visit.)

Here's how my brain works in regards to my choices...

  • If I choose to wear sky-high wedges or platforms, I'll likely wear
    -->  skinny jeans or a short, loose dress
  • If I choose to wear sneakers, I'll likely wear
    --> jogger pants, wide leg cropped jeans or a fitted racer back dress
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Starting with your feet and asking yourself where all you'll be going is an excellent way to begin any outfit brainstorming.

If you're going for a job interview:
how far will you have to walk? How tall of a heel will you wear?
If you've been invited to a wedding:
are you wearing a wedge to a casual outdoor wedding or are you going to wear stiletto dancing shoes? 

When you dress from the ground up, you set the tone for the day in a "how do I want to move through the world" kind of way.

2. Start with your Accessories

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I love this one because it forces you, me, errybody, to choose something special or something you've reserved for a particular occasion. So here's the deal:

  • Choose that pair of statement earrings you have been so excited to show off.
  • Pull your grandmother's vintage cuff out.
  • Style your look around a special silk scarf from overseas.
  • Just your belt or your fabulous shoes can really BE your outfit.

    Take a look:
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In a sense... who cares what I'm wearing with the shoes?!
The shoes are IT!
I know what you're thinking: 
But my new shoes are too fancy for a silly ol' date night.
or Those earrings are too over the top for the office. 

No they aren't.
You aren't dead yet.
Seize the moment.
Wear the fun stuff now.

3. Start with a blank slate

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Another tooootal go-to of mine! I get lazy when getting dressed, too. Often times you'll see me in all black. Or gray and white. Or black and white. Or something totally neutral like white ripped jeans an a white tee. This is a beautiful place to start because (see way #2 to get dressed) If you're lost in the morning or before a date or a meeting, go neutral.

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A few combos to try:

  • light denim button down on dark skinny jeans + a neutral pump ADD killer earrings.
  • fitted black dress all + black booties ADD statement pendant necklace.
  • white denim + white tee shirt (or graphic tee) ADD funky sneakers.
  • black skinny pants + white blouse ADD statement heels.
  • denim dress + OTK boots, wedges or a sneaker ADD a pop of bright lipstick.
 "Picnic Dress" by Bailey44

"Picnic Dress" by Bailey44

Take one simple dress and play with how you can jazz it up with lipstick, shoes, OTK boots. This might take a little time -- to wear something differently than you usually do -- but it's worth it to be able to wear your clothes multiple ways!

BONUS ROUND: Start with one item that you haven't worn in a long time.

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This one is epic if you have time to change. Because, let's be honest, once you start digging and trying, you may realize that... maybe you haven't worn that piece in a long time because it's horrible. If you're pressed for time, this is a tricky "get dressed trick." Or maybe you are pressed for time and you go for it anyway, whatever. Then you wear it for the next 8-10 hours and realize that it needs to be purged because *oh shit, you never got the stain out of the skirt* or you remember that it wrinkles way too easily on your commute.

But say it works! And ta-da! You breathe life into this amazing piece that has been sleeping for a few weeks, months or years. 

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