8 Simple Dresses

By Bectoria Crandall

“Sigh. What on earth am I going to wear today?” Cue 15-20 minutes of frustrating outfit trial and error.

Layering it up for a movie I was in. Wardrobe loved it!
(The Glasses were a Joke!)

If the above scenario haunts you each morning, trust me. You’re not alone. I’ve mentioned in other posts that once upon a time ago I was a very busy lady. At one time in my life I was attending grad school, working for CPS full-time (a million plus workweek-trust me!) all the while filling the rest of my time raising foster children. It was during this very busy part of my life that I developed a new strategy for dressing myself. I guess I just finally got tired enough of the nagging question mentioned above and decided one day to do something about it. Since then I’ve found that sticking with this strategy has allowed me to save big whilst dressing to the nines.

What’s my secret? The number eight. Okay, so NOW I’m starting to sound as quirky as my other posts! Let me explain…

Many ladies spend gobs upon oodles of money on various wardrobe items without giving too much thought to just how useful that item actually is.

Okay, so confession time… Those within my closest circles know I tend to splurge on little treasures dreamed up by my girl, Kate Spade. This is a fault that I’ve grown to live with over the years.

Setting my own little vice aside, allow this hypocrite to tell YOU how to be more frugal. Instead of wasting time and money on the insanity of fashion randomness why not plan out some bangin’ go-to outfits that you will love living in? How many you ask? Aha! That’s where my magic number comes into play!

Put simply, there are seven days in a week. If I only see you on Tuesdays and have just eight outfits in my wardrobe, then you won’t see me in the same outfit for quite some time. If you do see me on a daily basis, you’re not going to catch onto my trick because I’m still changing my stylish look every day and not falling back on the same, boring “old reliables”. Catch my angle? Here’s how I do it…

Let’s say I’m building my summer wardrobe. First I’m going to choose my base garments. I love summer dresses. And YES! I do keep a simple black summer dress in regular circulation throughout the season. (Nana-nana-boo-boo’s on you, Mac!). I also have some fun and flirty summer blouse & skirt/shorts combos that I like to wear. From here, I lay out the eight base garments or combos on my bed.

Building a seasonal warbrobe from what you have is very frugal but doesn’t mean you can’t go shopping and add to your wardrobe. I’m merely suggesting that you add some strategy and dare I say “savvy” to your shopping. When I’m at the stage of selecting my base garments, I check what’s missing. Maybe I have an awesome skirt but no proper blouse. I make a note of the item and then jot some ideas as to what could go with it.

Don’t tell Stephanie, but I’ve recently become more phone savvy and now store this info in my phone so that I can have it readily at-hand when I hit a great sale. This trick allows me to stay frugal while keeping myself fashion-forward.

Newly put-together outfits can replace or be added to your eight at any time. The point is that focusing on a minimal amount of “outfits” will allow you to look amazing without breaking the bank!

Quick Tip: Each season has its own unique wardrobe challenges. Weather, proper color and proper fabric cut and weight come to mind. I use these considerations at the beginning of each season to build a wardrobe that will work for me. (Hot Tip: Some items can cross-over into different seasons. Bonus

Note: Different outfits can have different looks with the right layers to compliment. For example, tossing a cute jacket over a simple summer dress can make it double as the perfect outfit for a girl’s night out. Take that same dress and layer it up with some nice jewelry and you’re ready for a more formal setting. I love picking out and taking note of all of my options. (Hint: Doing this will help train you to shop for more versatile pieces in the future).

Once I have my base garments selected, I move on to building each outfit in layers. First, I match outfits with shoes and purses. I then move on to more accessory-ish type of stuff. Jewelry, scarves, hats, belts, you name it can really add that finishing touch to whatever you’re wearing.

From here, I make sure that I have ideas in mind for if the weather suddenly changes. I match up jackets, long pants, you get the idea.

FYI: I recently added an exercise regimen to my daily grind. Here’s a shocker… Being a SAHM with little ones, my “morning” exercise routine can, at times, get delayed. Rather than scrubbing it in baggy sweatpants for half my day, I opted to pick some cute exercise clothes that look half-way presentable in the event I have to venture into public before I become fully human and am still in my “workout” clothes. I use the same strategy of “8” for my workout wardrobe.

Okay, so if you’re reading my workout paragraph and you’re good at math, you’ve found out my secret. Sometimes the laundry doesn’t get done on the same day each week! Don’t judge me!!!

Once I have my outfits matched up, I organize everything by taking photos of each look. These photos are then posted on the inside of my closet door. Sounds a little obsessive, I know, but man is this quick reference helpful at 7AM! I then hang my clothes in an order that works best for me and voila! I’ve got a hot wardrobe all set to go!

I realize that my methods often look like a hot mess of madness, but I gotta tell ya, I am constantly being complimented on my outfits. So, give it a try! I only hope that incorporating my strategies will bring you the same luck.

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