If you are a politician, local celebrity, running for office, or just well known, you are more often than not in the public eye. As soon as you leave the comfort of your home, you are likely to run into fans, constituents, media people, and/or business associates. During busy season, you may have a multitude of events scheduled. So, how do you simplify your wardrobe to look your best and get dressed quickly, and efficiently?
Start with Your Closet
Take a look around your closet, and ask yourself: Are there many items you don’t wear? Is there a method or mode of organization? How versatile is your clothing? The goal with your wardrobe is to have a moderate number of versatile pieces, that can match in various ways to form outfits for different occasions. Before checking further, it’s best to remove the items you no longer wear. Once you take out the pieces that are no longer serving you, you’ll have an easier time seeing what you actually own.
Check how the items you’re keeping are organized. Maybe you have the pieces you wear more often near the front, and work back from there; maybe it’s by season, or by item type, or by color. I suggest starting to organize your clothing first by outfit, then by season. It’s helpful to hang matching items together, in outfits, either on the same hanger, or next to each other. Create as much of a complete an outfit as you can, adding socks, jewelry, a belt, or a jacket. The more you do this ahead of time, the easier it will be to get dressed. This way you don’t need to go searching for pieces, or guessing what goes with what.
Choosing What to Wear
Regarding specifically what to wear, you need to let your personality shine through. Consider whether you’re exuberant, creative, trendy, dramatic, or subtle. If you’re not sure, gravitate towards the more conservative style spectrum and add accessories or more expressive items from there. Even when dressing casually, it’s best to tilt conservative. For example, tailored shorts, with a patterned blouse, or a casual cotton or denim dress are perfect for hot days. For speaking and more formal events, lean towards business professional. Stay away from bold patterns, and go with subtle prints or solid colors in a jacket, blouse, pants combination, or a dress and cardigan. A printed skirt and solid blouse make a flattering combination as well. Guys, you are best with a suit, button down shirt sans tie, or sport coat, shirt, dress pant combination. Keep a solid color jacket in the car.
Colors and Final Touches
When choosing colors, start with neutrals like blue, black, brown and gray. Brighten up your look with shades of pink, light or bright blue, green or lavender. Bright colors such as royal blue, red, orange and green show up better in photos. Black is fine in person, but in photos tends to look subdued. Be wary of wearing white and lighter neutrals. They do not present a powerful impression, and are not recommended for posed headshots. A better choice is something deep, or a dark and bright color together.
Lastly, don’t forget to focus on your shoes. Make sure they’re comfortable, polished and in good condition. Avoid spiky heels when walking outside, and wear closed toe whenever possible. For business casual, thicker soles are more comfortable and will protect your feet.
The most important thing to remember is that you may meet colleagues or others you know when you are in public. Wear simple clothes that skim the body, and avoid anything ripped, dirty or sloppy. You do not need a large amount of clothing to be dressed appropriately for any occasion. You simply need clothing that fits, is flattering, and works for the situation.