How To: Get Dressed

April 27, 2014

Hello, friends!  Do you put your pants on one leg at a time, like everybody else?  Great, you’ve got the basics down, but what if you don’t know what pants to put on in the first place?!

We’ve all been there ladies (and maybe some of you gentlemen, too).  You get up in the morning, look into your bursting closet, and say, “I’ve got nothing to wear!”  Although that is probably untrue in the literal sense, it may feel like you have nothing to wear because you have no idea what’s actually in your closet or drawers and no idea how to put together the pieces that you do have.

So, let’s work out a system together for figuring out what the heck to wear:

  1. Pick your outfit out the night before.  I will be the first to admit that I rarely pick out my clothes the night before, but when I do, it is a major time – and stress – saver!  My mom, you know the fashionista you’ve seen on this blog before, actually picks out her outfits for the whole week on Sunday night.  Now, that’s dedication!  Picking out your clothes the night before definitely saves you from rummaging around in your closet in the morning and trying on every blouse and pant combo you own.  It can help you streamline your morning routine because it means you have one less thing to think about.  But what if you can’t figure out what to wear the night before?  Here are some more helpful tips:
  2. Take environmental factors into consideration.  I’m talking about the weather, folks.  Depending on where you live, this can obviously vary greatly.  Here in Southern California, the weather is temperate so I rarely have to worry about pairing a giant coat with my outfits, but it doesn’t matter where you live, dressing for the weather is simply a practical necessity.  If the weather is changeable (like it typically is during spring, right now), I always recommend layers so that you can peel off or add to your outfit when the temperature drops or climbs.  You may also want to consider the season, although I rarely do.  It’s easy to change the accessories or outerwear to make any outfit season appropriate… minus the Santa sweater, of course.  (I can still remember my sister getting so angry at me when I wanted to wear my favorite Santa sweatshirt to school every day one year in elementary school haha!)
  3. What are you dressing for?  This one, for me, can often be the trickiest because I do so many different things with my days and I often need to look presentable, but still be able to run around chasing after little ones or work in very different environments (like an alligator cage).  My jobs are all largely casual so luckily I don’t have to maintain much in the way of a professional wardrobe, but a key factor in figuring out what to wear is considering where you’re going to wear this outfit.  A suit is totally appropriate for a business meeting while a casual sundress is perfect for the beach, but you definitely couldn’t swap ensembles.  The same could be said when dressing for a date night versus heading to the gym, unless you’re going on a romantic hike with your significant other, in which case, you definitely want to wear your cutest workout clothes!  ;)
  4. Look for inspiration.  Duh.  As a life and style blogger, my absolute favorite thing to hear from friends and readers is that I’ve inspired them with something I’ve worn or made on my blog.  Because I don’t go to work at your typical office every day, I often feel like I have no one to dress for or to see my cute outfits, which is part of the reason I started this blog in the first place – to show off!  Okay, maybe not to show off exactly, but at least so I can say, “Hey, look at this cute outfit I wore!”  And there are TONS of bloggers just like me, dying to share their favorite looks, so go check them out and get inspired!  There are a million resources out there, including Pinterest and magazines, but the key to making something work for you is to not just copy a look you see, but find a way to incorporate it into your style and make it your own.  Be brave, try something new!
  5. CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET!  Okay, this one is probably the most important step and should probably be first, but let’s face it, cleaning out your closet can be a major chore.  That being said, it is a necessary evil.  I’d be willing to bet that the number one cause of “I have nothing to wear” Syndrome is a messy, unorganized, over-flowing and/or neglected wardrobe.  How can you possibly get dressed every morning when you have no idea what you even own?  My guess is you end up wearing the same few outfits over and over again.  Sorry, sister, that isn’t going to cut it.  Clear out the clutter!  It’s time to get fierce and toss out every old piece of clothing that is out of style and that you never wear.  If you aren’t any good at getting rid of stuff, invite over your most ruthless friend and give her (or him) free reign.  Don’t worry, in the end it will feel so much better to be rid of all that excess baggage, and you can feel even better by selling some of your nicer stuff to a consignment shop and making a little extra cash, or donating all your old trash to a thrift store where someone else will turn it into their personal treasure.  It may take a whole day, or several days, but you can do it, I believe in you!

I could probably do a whole post on each of the steps in this one post, particularly the last one, but I thought I’d ease into it with something a little more basic.  Do you have a system for figuring out what to wear?  Be honest, is your closet a hot mess or are you pretty good about keeping things organized??

As always, thanks for reading!  – Kristi :)

PS.  Got something on your mind that you could really use some help with?  Ask away, I might be able to help!  I’m always open to suggestions for topics to cover in my “How To” series.


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  • The Two Cent Chick (Justine)

    Again, adore your how-to posts!! I totally, completely agree with picking out your outfit the night before…it saves me so much time! I try to look up the weather for the next day so I have a general idea of what to wear.
    Looking for inspiration has been so incredibly helpful for me! From you and all of our fellow amazing TSTers to Pinterest to other blogs, there are so much ideas out there!
    I just finished doing my semi-yearly closet clean-out, and it really makes a huge difference! I try to do that trick with your hangers (turn them all one way, if you wear the item turn the hanger the opposite way and at the end of a year, get rid of the clothes you haven’t worn!) but I tend to forget haha.
    Excellent post, as usual :)

    April 27, 2014 at 11:32 am Reply
    • alligatortoe

      Thank you!! I so need to get better about picking out my clothes the night before! I also try to clean my closet pretty regularly, but I’ve never tried the hanger trick (mostly because I know I’ll forget and I’m way too lazy haha!), but I tend to remember if I’ve worn something in the past year anyway! :)

      April 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm Reply
  • Wink n Pout

    Yes and yes to all your points!! These need to be in everyone’s head. And cleaning up your closet regularly is seriously helpful. Great post!
    Love, Wink n Pout
    Blog , App

    April 27, 2014 at 11:43 am Reply
    • alligatortoe

      Thank you! You have such a great app, I would love to hear your tips on keeping a clean and organized closet!! :)

      April 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm Reply
      • Wink n Pout

        Thank you so much Kristi for loving the app :) And we’d definitely try and post an article on a similar topic… even though we must say you have covered just about everything so well! :)

        April 28, 2014 at 4:33 pm Reply
        • alligatortoe

          No, you should definitely do a similar post, too! I would love to hear your tips, I’m sure you’d have some great advice to add!! :)

          April 28, 2014 at 5:37 pm Reply
  • rubyangel711

    I definitely need to clean out my closet, because lately I’ve had a tendency to reach for the same items of clothing that are hanging outside my closet! Lol!

    April 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm Reply
    • alligatortoe

      I hate when that happens! Cleaning my closet is always the best way to rediscover those lost gems hidden in the back of my wardrobe haha! ;)

      April 27, 2014 at 4:46 pm Reply
  • Nout @ SandpaperKissesBlog

    I could not agree more with all the tips but the first and last resonate the most. I always feel rushed if I don’t pick out my outfit the night before. And as someone who has a closet that’s overflowing, I can attest to the fact that it makes finding stuff very difficult!

    April 27, 2014 at 4:07 pm Reply
    • alligatortoe

      Yes, that’s exactly it! I hate feeling rushed in the mornings, but it’s always my own fault for not figuring out an outfit the night before!! I have been trying extra hard to keep my closet consistently curated, though, which definitely helps! :)

      April 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm Reply
  • Kristi helps us get dressed… | Refashion Nation

    […] Kristi of Alligator Toe shares her top tips for putting together fab outfits everyday! […]

    April 27, 2014 at 10:38 pm Reply
  • Jackie and Marilyn

    As a dedicated outfit planner, I LOVE choosing my outfits the night before! I have more time and can play with a couple different options, taking the same amount of time I would in the morning but being a lot less stressed about my time crunch. Sometimes I am debating between this or that belt or my cardigan choice depends on the morning’s temperature, so I will leave out a couple accessories to play with in the morning – at least I have the base down! And I am kind of like your mom: if I am picking my outfit for tomorrow the night before, I sometimes use that time to play with my closet and find other outfits! You have the time to really look at your closet and outfit planning becomes a fun activity. This isn’t a perfect science during Minnesota winters when the weather is so unpredictable, but it’s fun! :) – Brianna

    April 28, 2014 at 10:36 am Reply
    • alligatortoe

      You are far better than I am! I really need to make choosing an outfit the night before part of my routine, but I tend to be much more “go with the flow” when it comes to choosing clothes. I like to decide what I’m going to wear based on what I feel like in the moment, starting with a single item that I want to wear and building from there. Not exactly scientific, but if I’m not happy with what I’m wearing, then I won’t be happy all day! ;)

      April 28, 2014 at 10:42 am Reply
  • marmargerbil

    Oh girl, my closet is such a hot mess right now! It’s been on my agenda to clean out for weeks; I just need to do it!
    One thing that works for me is I try to trade out things consistently. If I buy something new, my rule is I have to put something old in the Goodwill/Salvation Army pile. This also helps calm down my husband when I come home with 3 new dresses ;)

    April 28, 2014 at 1:39 pm Reply
    • alligatortoe

      That is a great rule! My mom uses that rule in theory, but I’m not sure how well she actually applies it haha! ;)

      April 28, 2014 at 4:26 pm Reply
  • Stykin

    Thanks for these wonderful tips dear. Keep posting helpful stuff !!
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    May 11, 2014 at 5:12 am Reply
    • alligatortoe

      Absolutely, I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you!! :)

      May 11, 2014 at 5:23 am Reply

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